Month: February 2018

Presenting the project at DHN Helsinki

I’m travelling to Helsinki, Finland next week to attend the 3rd annual conference of the Association of Digital Humanities in the Nordic Countries / DH i Norden from 7–9 March. Organised by the Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities (HELDIG) at the University of Helsinki, the main conference theme is “Open Science” with sub-categories focused on “History”, “Cultural Heritage”, “Games”, and “Future”.

On Friday 9 March, I’ll be presenting a short paper falling within the conference’s sub-theme of “History”. I will share some of the results of the Icelandic Scribes project, focusing on this website as the project’s main digital output. I will also touch on some ideas for more effective collaboration among existing and future digital resources in the field of Old Norse-Icelandic studies. My paper has been accepted for publication in the conference’s official proceedings, and I will share this after the event, when it becomes available.

DHN 2018 will be my first Digital Humanities conference, as I come from a more traditional Humanities background (medieval literature and cultural studies). I’m looking forward to the opportunity to have productive discussions about this and other projects, and to learn more about wider issues in Digital Humanities.

The full conference programme is available to browse at


Official conference poster, DHN Helsinki 2018. Used with permission.

A Copy of Mágus saga jarls: Copenhagen, Arnamagnæan Collection MS Rask 33

One of the manuscripts in the Arnamagnæan Collection in Copenhagen that may be connected to Magnús Jónsson í Vigur is Rask 33, the majority of which was copied by Magnús í Vigur’s scribe Þórður Jónsson, in 1680. Þórður’s copy of the romance Mágus saga jarls is decorated in a similar manner to many of the other sagas copied for Magnús í Vigur, and it seems very likely that this saga was also intended for him.

Copenhagen, Arnamagnæan Institute, Rask 33

Copenhagen, Arnamagnæan Institute, Rask 33, the end of part 1 and beginning of part 2 of Mágus saga jarls (ff.38v–39r). Photo: SMW.

This manuscript was not part of Árni Magnússon’s original collection, but was added to the collection in the nineteenth century after the death of the Danish linguist Rasmus Rask (1787–1832), along with over 100 other Icelandic manuscripts that he had owned. How the manuscript eventually made its way from the Westfjords of Iceland where Þórður copied it to become part of Rask’s collection is unknown, although the name of a previous owner, Ólafur Ólafsson, was written several times along with two place names and dates – Jódísarstaðir and Ánastaðir – and three dates – 1794, 1798, and 1811.

I wrote about this manuscript for the Arnamagnæan Institute’s Manuscript of the Month (Månedens Håndskrift) series in August 2017; you can read more about it on their website, in English ( or Danish (

“Medieval Romance in Early Modern Iceland”

“En middelalderlig riddersaga i det tidligt moderne Island”