The Collections at Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is engaged in a rich and varied programme of activities in Icelandic and Viking studies, supported by exceptionally strong library resources.
A single donation in 1967 - the library of Noël Grudgings - brought a fine research collection to Nottingham. A student in Pharmacy at University College Nottingham, Grudgings graduated in 1931. His passionate interest in Old Norse, which he and other enthusiastic students were taught by Alice Selby, is evident in his collection of poetry, Grimnisal (1931). Books from his library are identifiable by their distinctive bookplates.
Eiríkur Benedikz (1907-1988), a scholar, diplomat and bibliophile, was attached to the Icelandic Legation in London. His classes in Old Norse at University College London were attended by Christine Fell (1938-1998), who subsequently became Professor of Early English Studies in Nottingham.
Eirik Benedikz (left) and Christine Fell (right)
In 1998 the Benedikz family gave the Eiríkur Benedikz library to Nottingham, in recognition of Fell's friendship and her support for Icelandic and Norse studies.
The Benedikz Collection, which includes material from the library of Dr Benedikt Benedikz, is a wonderful resource for both the scholar and the more general enthusiast. Its treasures range from rare editions of manuscripts to works of modern Icelandic literature. Collections of rímur, the post-medieval genre of Icelandic poetry, are a particular strength.
The Benedikz bookplate
The image used as a bookplate by Eiríkur Benedikz illustrates the legend of Saemundur Sigfusson 'The Wise', a 12th-century Icelandic cleric and historian, who was allegedly transported with his psalter to Oddi by the devil in the shape of a seal.
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