One goal of the Institute is to possess negatives, photographs or digital scans of all Icelandic manuscripts in foreign libraries. A great deal remains to be done toward accomplishing this goal, although a substantial photographic collection has already been established.
A large number of the Institute’s manuscripts have been digitally photographed and some of these reproductions are accessible on Handrit.is. Although photographs can never replace the manuscripts themselves, which must be consulted now and then, they are more suitable for hands-on work, and through the use of photographs manuscripts are protected from unnecessary wear or damage. A photographic studio is located in the Institute, and it is possible, for a fee, to order digital images of the Institute’s manuscripts, for the purposes of research and publication.