The Arnamagnaean Manuscript collection was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register on July 31st, 2009.
The Icelandic scholar and antiquarian Árni Magnússon (Arnas Magnæus, 1663-1730) spent much of his life building up what is generally considered to be the most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts anywhere. It numbers close to 3,000 items, the earliest dating from the 12th century and provides invaluable sources on the history and culture of medieval, renaissance and early-modern Scandinavia and much of Europe. The collection features many examples of the uniquely Icelandic narrative genre known as the Saga, landmarks of world literature still widely translated and read today.
The Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavík and the Arnamagnæan Institute in Copenhagen jointly submitted a nomination of the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.