Icelandic Place Names

Brynjúlfur Jónsson fræðimaður frá Minna-Núpi
Brynjúlfur Jónsson frá Minna-Núpi

The Department of Name Studies administers the archive of Icelandic Place Names. It contains descriptions of place names from almost every farm in Iceland which was still habitated in the early twentieth century, most of whom can be traced back to medieval times. The oldest description in the archive is from 1910 and descriptions were collected throughout the 20th century. The Icelandic place name material is, however, far older. Records of the settlement of Iceland in the 9th and 10th centuries still exist in the famous Landnámabók (Book of settlements) which contains a vast number of place names. Other sources worth mentioning are Íslendingabók (Book of Icelanders), Íslendingasögur (Icelandic sagas), and various other histories and documents from the 12th century onwards.

Work of digitizing the archive into a computer database is in progress.


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