Highlight of the month
A letter from Fr. Schlichtegroll about a library and a scientific society in Iceland 1817
200 years have passed since the first mention of establishing a public library in Iceland. A letter from Friedrich Schlichtegroll, Secretary of the Royal Academy of Sciences in Munich, dated 28 August 1817, to Dr. Münter, bishop in Zealand, Denmark is preserved in the library. In the letter, which is in German, Schlichtegroll encourages the establishment of a society in Copenhagen and Reykjavík for the promotion of Icelandic literature, with the creation of a library. There he mentions that the library could handle all scientific issues, preserve collections in natural sciences and physics, history and art, and gradually a star-tower should be built at the museum, including a chemistry workshop and a botanical garden. Schlichtegroll's idea was thus not limited to literature and library, but he intended to establish a complete collection of natural sciences, ethnology and arts, or a multidisciplinary and multi-arts institute. The letter is preserved in the manuscript collection and can be viewed on the website handrit.is. Also, there is a letter from the Danish school board, about this inquiry to the bishop Münter, Grímur Thorkelin, Birgir Thorlacius and Finnur Magnússon.
Here you can see the manuscript ÍB 41 fol.: