Manuscripts in exhibitions
Since the return of the manuscripts to Iceland in 1971, manuscript displays were frequent until 2013 when the facilities at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies were considered no longer suitable for safely showcasing the manuscripts. Today, a few manuscripts in the Institute’s collection are displayed in two exhibitions in Reykjavik, a total of nine manuscripts and one manuscript fragment written from the end of the 13th century until the end of the 17th century.
The exhibition is a cooperation between The Institute of Árna Magnússon in Icelandic Studies, The National Archives of Iceland and The National Gallery of Iceland. It is held in commemoration of Iceland‘s 100 years as a sovereign state. These institutions along with The Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen and The National and University Library of Iceland provided seven manuscripts for this exhibition including rare copies of Njálssaga, Ormsbók and Möðruvallabók.
The Points of view exhibition in the Culture House (Safnahúsið) on Hverfisgata 15 contains contributions from six different cultural institutions, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies among them. The manuscripts on display were chosen because of their illustrations and decorative artwork. Seven manuscripts of the law code Jónsbók (Jón’s book) are on display at the exhibition, including one of the oldest, dating from the late 13th century, and one of the most recent, which is a paper manuscript from the 17th century. Also, among the manuscripts is the beautifully written and visually depicted Skarðsbók Jónsbókar (1363). In addition to the manuscripts, detailed copies of the medieval Icelandic Book of Drawings and of seven illustrated pages from the biblical manuscript Stjórn (c. 1350), can be seen in the exhibition.
The Institute’s museum educator, Svanhildur María Gunnarsdóttir, offers guided tours of the manuscript exhibition for school groups. Tours for the general public are organised by the Culture House staff. Requests for guided tours for groups should be sent to the Culture House email address firstname.lastname@example.org but information is also available by telephone: 530 2210.