Highlight of the month
Weather journal by Árni Ólafsson Thorlacius, Lbs 206 fol.
Árni Thorlacius (1802-1891) was one of the founders of a reading club in Stykkishólmur in 1841, which in 1847 became the Municipal Library of the West Region in 1847). The library was at first situated in the Norwegian House which was built by Árni. He was influential in the battle for independence and took part in Jón Sigurðsson's independence movement. Jón and Árni exchanged letters. Árni supported disadvantaged authors and writers, especially Sigurður Breiðfjörð and Júlíana Jónsdóttir. In November 1845, Árni started observing the weather and keeping a weather journal. At first, he measured both temperature and barometric pressure several times a day. In 1856 he also started measuring rain and the next year the temperature of the sea. It is generally assumed that Árni´s measurements in Stykkishólmur can rightfully be considered the cornerstone of systematic meteorological observations in Iceland. They are also an important contribution to the long-term overall picture of the weather in the Northern Atlantic. Árni kept on doing his weather observations until 1889 when his son took them over. The weather journals are 13 volumes and are preserved in the manuscript department at the National and University Library. The first volume from 1845-1849 has been photocopied and placed on the website handrit.is. This book is now on display in the exhibition Points of View at the Culture House. Here below you can see weather observations in the book from March 1847, 170 years ago.
Here you can see the first volume 1845-1849: