Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaSymbol of the Government of Canada
Français - Version française de cette pageHome - The main page of the Institution's WebsiteContact Us - Institutional contact informationHelp - Information about using the institutional WebsiteSearch - Search the institutional - Government of Canada Web site

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Banner: Directory of Special Collections of Research Value in Canadian Libraries
Introduction SearchHelp

Icelandic Collection
University of Manitoba Libraries, Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Icelandic literature; Old Norse literature; Icelandic language; Old Norse language; Iceland--History; Civilization, Icelandic; Icelandic Canadians

The collection was established in 1936 when Mr. A.B. Olson of Gimli, Manitoba, presented to the university his personal library of thirteen hundred volumes. In 1939, the Government of Iceland designated the collection an official depository of all Icelandic publications. In 1978, the collection was redesignated as a selective depository. Purchases and gifts supplement the collection.

The collection is a comprehensive collection of material on Iceland in all subject fields, with particular emphasis on languages, literature, and history. A nearly exhaustive collection of material written by and about Icelanders in Canada and the United States is included. Holdings in modern Icelandic literature include exhaustive collections of the works of the most significant authors (including all editions, translations, and criticisms). The geographic emphasis is primarily on Iceland and Icelanders in North America although material on Scandinavia, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Arctic is also included. Unique items include the first bible published in Iceland in 1584. An extensive collection of Icelandic serials, and serials pertaining to Icelanders in Canada, is included. Manuscript material on Icelanders in Canada is also present. The personal libraries of two of the Icelandic Canadian community's foremost poets, Stephan G. Stephansson and Guttormar J.Guttormsson, form part of the collection. Scientific material is marginal. Present acquisition plans are to continue collecting published materials on Iceland in all subject fields and languages. All material by and about Icelanders in North America will also be collected. Gaps in the collection of pre-1800 material about Iceland will be filled as funds become available.

Icelandic language material predominates. Material on Iceland in other languages, primarily English, French, German, and other Scandinavian languages, is being collected to broaden the language base.

26,000 volumes including 18,000 monographs and 890 serials; 50 serials currently received; 786 microfilm reels; 1 motion picture; 141 audiotapes; 12 linear metres of vertical files; 18 linear metres of manuscripts.

Bibliographic Access
Older acquisitions are catalogued in a separate dictionary card catalogue. Acquisitions since 1981 can be accessed via the University of Manitoba online catalogue, BISON. The collection maintains a separate shelf list. LC subject headings and classification are used. Icelandic serial titles are recorded in the Union list of serials in the social sciences and humanities : CANUC : S.

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public during regular library hours. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: For circulating monographs only.

Reprography: Yes.

Reference Assistance: Yes. Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Publications Describing Collection
Saunderson, Hugh H. -- The Chair of Icelandic Language and Literature at the University of Manitoba. -- Winnipeg : University of Manitoba, 1961. Johnson, Joan Sigrid. -- "The Icelandic Collection at the University of Manitoba". -- Readings in Canadian library history. -- Ottawa : Canadian Library Association, 1986. Johnson, Sigrid. -- "The Icelandic Collection at the University of Manitoba - Fifty Years". -- The Icelandic Canadian. -- 45:2. -- (1986). -- pp. 23-25.