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.
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.
The collection is open to the public during regular library hours. For further information visit: http://www.umanitoba.ca/libraries/units/dafoe/collections/icelandic.shtml.
Interlibrary Loan: For circulating monographs only.
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.