Archive for the 'Online Resources' Category

The Dictionary of Old Norse Prose

It seems as though we’re unlikely to see any further printed volumes of the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose in the foreseeable future, which is a great shame. But to make us feel a bit better about the situation, the Dictionary has redesigned its website with a host of new features. This is what they say in their recent press release:

In the course of 2010 major changes to ONP’s website have been undertaken:

As of June 2010 all of the dictionary’s unedited slips/citations (en – ǫ) with revised references are presented via ONP’s homepage, linked to graphic images of the text pages from which the quotations are excerpted. The previously published articles (ONP vols 1-3, a – em) as well as the volume of indices (Registre // Indices + updates) are also accessible in electronic form.

In November 2010 the first new structural presentation of verbs and prepositions was posted, and in the new year preliminary drafts of articles on simplex nouns together with a full treatment of ‘ghost words’ will also be available. Everything on this new site is open to comment and criticism via a direct postal link. It is hoped that distant users will contribute significantly with reactions and suggestions for future developments.

Note: these features seem only to be accessible by the Danish interface–the English pages haven’t been updated.

Islandica Goes Electronic

There’s no doubt about it: Open-Access publishing is the coming thing, and Medieval Scandinavian Studies are gradually starting to reap the benefits. The latest e-publishing initiative in the field is Cornell University Press’s decision to publish all future volumes in the famous Islandica series on the internet, as well as in print. Volume 53, Joseph Harris’s collected essays, is now available free to anybody with a computer. Readers will also be able to order volumes over the net on a print-on-demand basis.

Without wishing to be greedy, I just hope that they’ll also decide to digitize the first fifty-two volumes in the series as well! redesigned and relaunched

new-hsk-logoJon Julius Sandal’s Heimskringla website is undoubtedly one of the most useful Norse e-resources out there, and has been of great use in compiling the database of Old Norse Texts Online. Now Heimskringla has got even better, with a new design (which seems very clear and user-friendly), new resources, and a new logo. As the press release says:

The Nordic internet project “Heimskringla”, also known as “Old Norse texts and poetry”, expands its collection of texts and opens a new database today. The new database uses the wiki technology, and the project has got a clearer and a more user-friendly layout. The project, that aims to provide Old Norse literature on the internet is based on voluntary collaborations and is developed without official support.

In addition to source texts in the original language readers will find several texts translated into the later Scandinavian languages, classical scholarly works and other background material, in particular from before 1900. The project has a digital mailbox where the public can place relevant questions. New projects under development are, among others, Finnur Jónsson’s «Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning» and a Norwegian translation of the Eddic poems published by Gustav Antonio Gjessing in 1899, together with a biographic overview. Already present in the project are both the Prose Edda and the Eddic poems in several Scandinavian translations, in addition to an important assortment of Old Norse skaldic poems, rímur, sagas of the Icelanders, sagas of ancient times and the king’s sagas. Nearly 1700 unique texts. The database contains also rich overview over external web resources, a so-called e-library.

One of the new features of the site is a series of brief biographies of some of the great scholars who produced the editions and translations of the texts in the Heimskringla collection, which I think is a great idea. I’m pretty sure I’d never seen a picture of Albert Ulrik Bååth before!

Many thanks to all those involved in producing this wonderful resource.

Old Norse Texts Online

Some time ago I announced our plans to ‘publish a directory of all Old Norse texts available on the Web’. It’s fair to say that this has taken longer to accomplish than I thought it would. But anyway, this list is now available at our new site:

At present, it simply takes the form of an alphabetical list of texts, drawn from the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose, with links to all the online editions and translations that I’ve found of each. At some point in the future, I hope to convert this data into a properly searchable format. It excludes poetry, pretty much all of which is available at the Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages project website.

The list will grow over time; at present I can’t pretend it’s anything like comprehensive, but I hope people will find it useful to have a one-stop central location to help them find the texts and translations they need to consult.

Do let me know what you think … all suggestions gratefully received. And, of course, I’ll be particularly pleased to hear about any online texts that are currently missing from the directory.

Learn Old Norse — The Alaric Way

Alaric Hall, the benefactor to society whose ‘Magic Sheet‘ of Old Norse paradigms has been one of the most popular links on Old Norse News, wrote a while back to advertise some more teaching materials that he’s put on line for the benefit of beginners in Old Norse language. Most excitingly, you can watch videos of Alaric explaining the Magic Sheet in person! There are also some texts to read, and some lectures on the cultural background to the subject. Enjoy!

Viking Society Publications Online

Exciting news! The Viking Society for Northern Research has made the majority of its publications available online, entirely free of charge, at

Among the highlights now available in this new open-access repository are:

  • A complete run of Saga-Book from 1895-2005. (New editions will be added to the site two years after publication.
  • Most of the Society’s Text Series (including many English translations of texts that are otherwise unavailable).
  • Anthony Faulkes’s standard edition of Snorra Edda. (Professor Faulkes has also added six of his important studies of the Edda –which can be difficult to locate–to the site.)
  • The four excellent facing-page editions that Nelson’s originally published in the sixties: Gunnlaugs saga (ed. Quirk), Heiðreks saga (ed. Tolkien), Völsunga saga (ed. Finch), and Jómsvíkinga saga (ed. Blake). Also the recent (2003) edition of Egils saga by Bjarni Einarsson.
  • The full list is a testament to the variety, depth, and quality of the Viking Society’s publications over the past century. And naturally it seems that its decision to go along the open-access route of dissemination can only be good for the field.

    Please note: many of the files available from are still in copyright, and should not be distributed without the consent of the Society and (where applicable) the author.

    Website Watch: The Icelandic Saga Database

    Another on-line text database this week. As I’ve trawled the net looking to build up a comprehensive list of the Norse texts that are available in digital formats, it’s struck me how few are ‘official’ projects: largely unfunded, and without the backing of any academic institution, people are taking the initiative to make this stuff available for the love of it. Another example of an amateur — though very far from amateurish — effort in publishing medieval Scandinavian texts on the web is the Icelandic Saga Database. This site is dedicated to the Íslendingasögur, and forms a comprehensive collection of Modern Icelandic orthography versions. It also has many translations into various other languages, and some of the original Old Norse. It’s really easy to use, and the texts are well presented: they can also be downloaded in .pdf format. It’s just a shame that the editors aren’t identified: I wonder if the Icelandic versions are the same as on Netútgafun?

    Coming soon to Old Norse News: While I’m on the subject of online editions, I shall advertise our plan to publish a directory of all Old Norse texts available on the Web (to make sure that I do it!). So, if you’re away from libraries, but still online, and you need to find a text of Lúcíu saga, for example, you’ll be just a couple of clicks away. I think I’ve gathered most of the data, and just need to turn it into a usable format. Watch this space!

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