Lasse Mårtensson

Digitization of the West Norse Manuscripts in Swedish Collections

The medieval Icelandic and Norwegian (i.e. West Norse) manuscripts hold a unique position among the written records of medieval Europe, containing such works as Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, the Eddic poems and the Icelandic sagas. Sweden holds a large number of West Norse manuscripts, many of highest linguistic and philological importance. Yet only 13 of c. 385 manuscripts in the National Library and Uppsala University Library are preserved digitally. Furthermore, many manuscripts are very fragile. A great need exists to preserve and provide this manuscript corpus for the International research community.

The proposed four-year infrastructural project is designed in three parts to make the West Norse manuscripts available as images and electronically-searchable research material:

1) Digitization of all West Norse manuscripts preserved in the largest Swedish collections. All images will be available in two databases maintained at the National Library of Sweden (Manuscripta) and Uppsala University Library (Alvin).

2) Diplomatic transcriptions of manuscripts of especially high linguistic and/or philological value. These searchable texts will be accessible through existing infrastructure, the Medieval Nordic Text Archive (MENOTA).

3) The diplomatic texts resulting from 2) will be normalized by computational linguistics methods, to increase the usefulness of the texts for modern readers and philological researchers.
Grant administrator
Uppsala University
Reference number
SEK 15,656,000.00
Infrastruktur för forskning
Specific Languages