Every weekday except Wednesdays, there is a guided walk in English through the exhibition Medieval Manuscripts – Edda and Sagas, at the Culture House in Reykjavík. The tour is free of charge and no booking is needed.
Many of Iceland’s national treasures are on display in the Culture House’s featured exhibition Medieval Manuscripts – Eddas and Sagas. It includes the principal medieval manuscripts, such as Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda and the compendium Flateyjarbók, as well as law codices and Christian works, not to forget the Sagas of Icelanders. An important paper manuscript from later centuries is also displayed.
The old vellum (calf-skin) manuscripts preserve the Northern classical heritage: unique sagas, poems and narratives which are often our sole written sources of information on the society, religion and world view of the people of Northern Europe from pagan times through the tumult of Viking Expansion, the settlement of the Atlantic Islands and the period of Christianisation.
The exhibition focuses on the period preceding the writing of the manuscripts, their origins and role, manuscript collecting, editions, and on their reception in Iceland and abroad. It also portrays the process of book making itself: preparing the vellum and ink, writing, illuminating etc. are explained in a special exhibit area.
The Árni Magnússon Manuscript Collection was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2009.