History of the Manuscript Department

The origin of the Manuscript Department of the National Library dates back to the purchase of the manuscript collection of bishop Steingrímur Jónsson and his wife Valgerður Jónsdóttir to the National Library in 1846. The Manuscript Department of the National Library (Id: LBS) grew gradually. In 1879 the manuscript collection of Jón Sigurðsson was purchased which contained 1.342 items (Id: JS). In 1901 the Library purchased the manuscript collection of the Icelandic Literary Society, Copenhagen Branch (Id: ÍB) and Reykjavík Branch (Id: ÍBR), which contained about 1.800 manuscripts. More manuscript collections came into the Library‘s possession during the 20th Century and new material - mostly private archives - are donated to the library every week on average.


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