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Nordic History Collections

Find out more about Nordic research material in the IHR Wohl Library. We collect historical sources and guides to finding and using them. 

Introduction

Sources for the history for all the Nordic countries - Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden - are represented here by a variety of printed primary sources. You will find editions of correspondence, records of governments, landownership and taxation documents. Though these source span from the early medieval period up until the 20th Century, the collection is particularly strong for the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. 

We subscribe to each country’s main historical journals and have the complete sets going back to the middle of the 19th century.  

Our collection complements the Scandinavian collections in University College London Library. 

Highlights from the Collections

Arrangement of Collection

The structure of the collection is very simple: the classmark ED is used for general Nordic sources and bibliographic materials, followed by a unique classmark for each country:  

  • EDA Denmark 

  • EDC Finland 

  • EDE Iceland  

  • EDF Norway  

  • EDG Sweden.  

Periodicals are under classmark EDP and are also separated by country. 

Each national collection is further divided in classification by period and subject matter in the enumeration. For Example:

EDA.34/Kir  ‘Kirkeordinansen 1537/39’ - Danish History (EDA), 1523-1814 (3), Religion (4). 

Periodisation varies between national collections. Periods are subsequently organized by type of source material: 

  • General  

  • Politics & Government  

  • Law  

  • Religion  

  • Economy & Society  

  • Culture & Learning  

  • Geography & Travel  

  • Biographical Works  

  • Other Subjects 

The Nordic collections are currently held in on-site store and can be accessed by request.  

General Works

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Denmark

The Danish collections make up a significant section of the overall Nordic collections. These holdings span from c.800 up until the mid-20th Century, with a particular strength in early modern diplomatic and political history. These sources include several multi-volume collections of letters and correspondence of significant political figures from early modern Denmark. 

Finland

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Iceland

A great strength of the Icelandic collections is in primary source material pertaining to the political, social and legal structures of early medieval Iceland. In addition to these holdings, we also have a selection of more recent journals and diary accounts from the 19th and 20th centuries which record the experiences of non-native explorers to Iceland, including those of William Morris.  

Íslendingabók   

Diplomatarium islandicum, 10 Volumes, (834-1542) 

Codex Regius of Grágás, 2 Volumes  

Annales Islandici posteriorum saeculorum, Annálar 1400-1800, 4 Volumes 

Konungsbók and Staðarhólsbók 

Bréfabók Guđbrands byskups ÞorTlákssonar, 8 Volumes 

The old Icelandic land registers 

Morris, W. Icelandic journals 

Sagas 

The collection also includes a comprehensive selection of sagas, both in Old Norse and English translation. Many of our translated editions include textual analysis, criticism and contextual information which enrich theses sources as useful materials for historical inquiry. 

Íslendingasagnaútgáfan, 12 Volumes 

Origines islandicae 

Ljósvetninga saga and Valla-Ljóts saga  

Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu,  

Grettir's saga 

Bandamanna saga & Víga-Glúms saga 

Eyrbyggja saga 

Egils saga 

The saga of the sister saints 

Norway

Though less comprehensive than other areas of the Nordic collections, the Norwegian holdings span from c.800 up until the mid-twentieth century. This is including several early Old Norse sources as well as detailed works on the Kings of early medieval Norway.  

Regesta Norvegica, 10 Volumes, (822-1430) 

Morkinskinna : the earliest Icelandic chronicle of the Norwegian kings (1030-1157) 

Diplomatarium Norvegicum, 2 Volumes, (1270-1562) 

Kongens reise til det ytterste nord : dagbøker fra Christian IVs tokt til Finnmark og Kola i 1599 

Fredrikstad lagtingsprotokoll nr. I-VIII 1607-1615 

A significant strength of the Norwegian collections are sources relating to the political transformations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These materials detail the creation and development of both the Liberal and Conservative electoral parties in the 1880’s, the dissolution of the Swedish-Norwegian union, the rise of left-wing and communist politics during the interwar years, and the period of German occupation of Norway from 1940 until 1945.  

Høyres sentralstyreprotokoller 1884-1920 

Forhandlingsprotokoll for Norges Venstreforening 1884-1909 

Erindringer fra min politiske tid 

Komintern og Norg : DnA-perioden 1919-1923. En dokumentasjon 

Nasjonal Samling : Møteprotokoll 1934–1945 

Sweden

Annales suecici medii aevi 

Acta pontificum Suecica, 2 Volumes, 1062-1492 

Diplomata Novevallensia : the Nydala charters 1172-1280 

Diplomatarium Suecanum, 10 Volumes, 1341-1374 

Chronica Regni Gothorum 

Svenska riksrådets protokoll, 12 Volumes 

Konung Gustaf den förstes registratur, 29 Volumes, (1521-1560) 

Rikskanslern Axel Oxenstiernas skrifter och brevväxling Series 1Series 2, 30 Volumes, (1606-1654) 

Borgarståndets riksdagsprotokoll, 2 Volumes, (1751-1756) 

Prästeståndets Riksdagsprotokoll, 7 Volumes, (1740-1779) 

Modern Swedish history is best represented in our collections through personal narratives. These holdings include the diaries, family papers and correspondence of a variety of individuals, including royalty, politicians, social reformers, soldiers and missionaries. 

Östen Undén : Anteckningar, 2 Volumes 

Dagbok från fälttåget i Österbotten 1808 

"Bäste biskop" : korrespondensen mellan drottning Victoria och biskop Gottfrid Billing 1900-1924 

Arkeologin & livet : ett dubbelporträtt av paret Agda och Oscar Montelius genom deras brevväxling 1870-1907 

Får jag se dig åter ansigte mot ansigte? : de Blomstrandska familjebreven 1830-1952 

Further Help

Contact us if you would like help on finding or using our collections, or if you have any comments or suggestions about the content of this guide. We are happy to help. 

You can also book a tour or training session