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Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection

Documentary heritage submitted by Denmark and Iceland and recommended for inclusion in the Memory of the World Register in 2009.

© The Arnamagnaean Institute
A Spanish manuscript, AM 795 4to

The Icelandic scholar and antiquarian Árni Magnússon (1663-1730) (Arnas Magnæus) spent much of his life building up what is by common consent the single most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts in existence, nearly 3000 items, the earliest dating from the 12th century. The manuscripts and documents in the collection are invaluable sources on the history and culture of medieval, renaissance and early-modern Scandinavia and, in a more general way, much of Europe. Perhaps foremost among the texts preserved in the collection are the many examples of the uniquely Icelandic narrative genre known as the saga, widely recognised as constituting one of the highpoints of world literature and still translated and read throughout the world today.

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