On Thursday the 11th of September an exhibition commemorating the 400th birthday of pastor and hymnwriter Hallgrímur Pétursson was opened in the National and University Library of Iceland. The exhibition is a collaboration of the library and The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies. Margrét Eggertsdóttir writes the text of the exhibition.
One of the treasures of the Manuscript department of the National and University Library is the manuscript of the Passion Hymns in the poet´s own handwriting from 1659. The manuscript was in the collection of Jón Sigurðsson which was bought by the library in 1877. The story of the manuscript is quite remarkable, Hallgrímur presented it to Ragnheiður Brynjólfsdóttir, the daughter of the bishop in Skálholt, in 1661. This particular manuscript is one of very few manuscripts preserved in Hallgrimur´s own handwriting.
The works of Hallgrímur Pétursson are preserved in the library in different formats. His writing has mostly been passed to us as printed books and numerous rewritings in different manuscripts. In the Manuscript Department there are about 600 manuscripts associated with Hallgrímur. His poems, psalms and rhymes have been rewritten in a number of manuscripts and the same goes for his biography and genealogy. His work has also been published in many editions. The Passion Hymns were first printed at Hólar in 1666 and now they exist in 90 Icelandic editions.
The exhibition will remain open until 3 May 2015.
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