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Boreal Manuscripts


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A collection of 153 Scandinavian manuscripts (chiefly Icelandic, a few Danish, Latin and Swedish), including papers relating to poetry, law and history.


  • Creation: 16th-19th century


16.94 Linear metres (154 boxes)

Language of Materials

  • Icelandic
  • Danish
  • Latin
  • Swedish

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Boreal 1].

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Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Boreal 1-153

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 12805


A collection of 153 Scandinavian manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

Finn Magnusen (1781-1848), was born in Iceland and educated at Copenhagen. He was a lawyer at Reykjavik, 1806-1815.

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. IV, nos. 20642-20794.

A catalogue by Magnusen himself, dated 1828, is in the Library, and was printed in 1832 with the title 'Catalogus...codicum cliii manuscriptorum Borealium præcipuæ Islandicæ originis, ...autcore... Finno Magnæo, Islando'.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The manuscripts were bought from Finn Magnusen for £350, through W.C. Trevelyan, esq., of Wallington Hall, Northumberland, in 1828.

Boreal Manuscripts
Collection Level Description by Emily Tarrant; EAD version 2020 by Kelly Burchmore
EAD version 2020
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom