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The Institute‘s services will be disrupted in the coming months. More Information.


The institute undertakes a range of philological research on medieval manuscripts, investigating the language, literature and history of centuries past. Current projects include both academic and practical pursuits large and small, from manuscript preservation to investigations into their provenance and publication. Research in textual criticism is carried out as well, often in collaboration with scholars who specialize in paleographic projects.
Ethnology & Folklore
The institute maintains an ethnographic archive of audio recordings preserving a variety of oral traditions. The Ísmús Database of Icelandic Music & Cultural Heritage comprises a catalogued index of ethnographic material and audio recordings (in some cases). Projects include research on archived material and related activities, especially projects pertaining to collection and archiving.
Place Names
Place names and naming traditions play a large role in Icelandic cultural heritage. Many place names have remained unchanged since the island was settled.

The institute’s Archive of Icelandic Place Names indexes the names of almost all farms in Iceland in addition to the names of highland pastures and fishing waters, among other place names.

Efforts are currently underway to create an online database, nafnið.is, which will facilitate accessibility to the archive for scholars and the public alike. Rannís, the Icelandic Center for Research, recently awarded a grant to support the project with work commencing in 2019.

A portion of the archive is currently accessible through Sarpur, the database for Icelandic cultural history (Icelandic).