The Arnamagnæan manuscript collection – University of Copenhagen

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The Arnamagnæan manuscript collection

Håndskrift til konservering

The Arnamagnaean Institute houses the Arnamagnæan manuscript collection, which the Icelandic philologist and historian Árni Magnússon had bequeathed to the university upon his death in 1730.

The bulk of the manuscripts in the Arnamagnæan collection are Icelandic, but there are also many important Norwegian, Danish and Swedish manuscripts, in addition to approximately one hundred of continental provenance.

Anne Mette Hansen is head of the Arnamagnæan Institute and deputy head of the Department of Nordic Research.

M. J. Driscoll is the curator of the Arnamagnæan manuscript collection.

Transfer to Iceland

In 1965 the Danish parliament passed legislation which decreed that a significant part of the collection, just over half, should be returned to Iceland. The transfer started in April 1971 and lasted until the summer of 1997. This part of the collection is now housed in the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies at the University of Iceland.

There is a list of manuscripts at the Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen on the Danish version of the website.

There is also a link to a list of the manuscripts in Iceland.

Kristian Kålund's catalogue of the Arnamagnæan Collection.


If you wish to use the collection, please send us an e-mail stating the purpose of your visit and which manuscripts you want to see.

If you want to order digital images of manuscripts in the collection, please send an e-mail to the photographic department.

Photographic collection

In connection with the transfer to Iceland all the manuscripts that were sent back to Iceland were conserved and photographed, including those manuscripts that came from the Royal Library in Copenhagen. In addition to these pictures the photographic collections contains photographs of Icelandic manuscripts in other collections, such as The Royal Library in Stockholm, Uppsala University Library, The British Library and The National Library of Iceland. The photographic collection forms part of the Institute library.