On the Advent 1994 (finished)
The exhibition commemorates that 20 years have passed since the opening of The National and University Library of Iceland and it portrays pictures from the opening ceremony on December 1st 1994.
The history of the building is, though, quite long. In the year 1956 Gylfi Þ. Gíslason, the then Minister of Education, submitted a proposal of the merger of the National Library of Iceland and the University Library, and later on suggested the construction of a building that would house both libraries. Then the Committe for the National Festival announced in 1968 that a new National Library building would be the main monument on the 1100 years anniversary of the settling of Iceland in 1974, a present from the nation to itself. In 1972 the architects Manfreð Vilhjálmsson and Þorvaldur S. Þorvaldsson were given the project of designing the building. Construction started in 1978. Þorvaldur withdrew from the task in 1984 when he started working for the Reykjavik city plan, but Manfreð Vilhjálmsson finished the work with the personnel of his firm.
It took 16 years to build the house. Ólafur G. Einarsson was the Minister of Education when the building was ordained, and he had worked very hard on the financing of the building. Hagtak finished the greatest construction phase in the last years. All in all 12 firms took part in designing the building.
A great number of people attended the opening ceremony, a.o. the president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, who formally opened the building; the Speaker of the House of Parliament, ministers, president of the Supreme Court, the bishop of Iceland and Reykjavík´s mayor, as well as nordic guests, national librarians of Denmark, Finland, Faroe Islands, Norway and Sweden, the Board of NORDINFO and the ambassadors of many foreign countries.
The exhibition stays open until January 25, 2015.