MoreMore | Maps | Search | History | About |
English

Digitial reproductions

Tímarit.isTímarit.is
Newspapers and periodicals from Iceland, Faeroe Islands and Greenland
Handrit.isHandrit.is
Icelandic manuscripts catalog with digital reproductions
Bækur.isBækur.is
Digital reproductions of old Icelandic books
Íslandskort.isÍslandskort.is
Images of old maps of Iceland and their history

Icelandic digital archives

SkemmanSkemman
A digital repository of academic and research documents
RafhlaðanRafhlaðan
Electronic documents from institutions and companies in Iceland
Íslenska vefsafniðIcelandic web archive
Icelandic web material from 1996 to the present day
Leitir.isLeitir.is
Search portal for several Icelandic digital collections
GegnirGegnir
The OPAC for Icelandic public libraries

Foreign digital archives

Find JournalsFind Journals
Catalog of periodicals subscribed to by the National and University Library of Iceland
Hvar.isHvar.is
Iceland Consortium for e-journals and databases

Informational websites

DoktorsritgerðaskráDoctoral theses
A register of doctoral theses by Icelanders
Íslensk útgáfuskráNational bibliography
The Icelandic national bibliography and statistical database
Íslensk bókaskrá til 1844Bibliography until 1844
Detailed Icelandic bibliography until 1844
KvennasögusafnWomen's History Archive
The Icelandic Women's History Archive
KvennasögusafnOral history
The Center for Oral History
Jónas HallgrímssonJónas Hallgrímsson
Dedicated to the Icelandic poet Jónas Hallgrímsson and his works
Translated SagasTranslated Sagas
A bibliography with translations of the Sagas of Icelanders

Íslandskort.is  

National and University Library of Iceland
Access to Knowledge for Everyone

Publication 1

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1844
View: Picture 1
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 1
    PDF file (702.8 KB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 1
    High quality PDF (3.0 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 1
    JPG file (2.9 MB)

Publication 2

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1844
Size:
43,7x55,5 cm
View: Picture 2
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 2
    PDF file (1.1 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 2
    High quality PDF (4.5 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 2
    JPG file (4.5 MB)

Publication 3

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1844
Size:
43,7x55,5 cm
View: Picture 3
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 3
    PDF file (1.1 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 3
    High quality PDF (4.4 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 3
    JPG file (4.4 MB)

Publication 4

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1844
Size:
43,7x55,5 cm
View: Picture 4
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 4
    PDF file (1.2 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 4
    High quality PDF (5.1 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 4
    JPG file (5.1 MB)

Publication 5

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1844
Size:
43,7x55,5 cm
View: Picture 5
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 5
    PDF file (1.2 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 5
    High quality PDF (4.8 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 5
    JPG file (4.8 MB)

Publication 6

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 6
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 6
    PDF file (857.7 KB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 6
    High quality PDF (4.5 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 6
    JPG file (4.5 MB)

Publication 7

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 7
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 7
    PDF file (814.1 KB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 7
    High quality PDF (4.5 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 7
    JPG file (4.5 MB)

Publication 8

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 8
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 8
    PDF file (866.8 KB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 8
    High quality PDF (4.2 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 8
    JPG file (4.2 MB)

Publication 9

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 9
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 9
    PDF file (1.3 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 9
    High quality PDF (6.1 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 9
    JPG file (6.1 MB)

Publication 10

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 10
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 10
    PDF file (1.3 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 10
    High quality PDF (6.0 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 10
    JPG file (6.0 MB)

Publication 11

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 11
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 11
    PDF file (1.3 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 11
    High quality PDF (6.2 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 11
    JPG file (6.2 MB)

Publication 12

Publication locations:
Copenhagen, Reykjavik
Publication year:
1845
View: Picture 12
  1. Download PDF file: Picture 12
    PDF file (1.2 MB)
  2. Download PDF file: Picture 12
    High quality PDF (5.6 MB)
  3. Download PDF file: Picture 12
    JPG file (5.6 MB)
 

Uppdráttr Íslands

Author:
Björn Gunnlaugsson/Olaf Nikolas Olsen
Country:
Iceland
Publication period:
1844 - 1848
 

Although the coastal charts from the first quarter of the 19th century were an important step forward, there was still a long way to go before the target was reached, a satisfactory map of the whole country, both inhabited and uninhabited. The coastal charts were probably enough for sailors, given the conditions and standards of the time, but they were of less use to the Icelanders themselves, either as regards general knowledge of the country or for other purposes. By a fortunate coincidence, it happened that a man was to be found in Iceland who had taken a degree in mathematics and worked for a time as a surveyor abroad. This man was Björn Gunnlaugsson, a teacher at the grammar school at Bessastadir.
In a letter which he sent to the prefect on the 12th of August 1829, Björn urges that the Danish government should hand over to the Icelanders the instruments that had been used for the coastal survey. This request was not attended to at the time. The Icelandic Literary Society (Hid íslenska bókmenntafélag) then intervened and after a certain amount of hesitation undertook early in 1831 to advance a certain sum towards initiating a survey of the whole country. The prefect was asked to provide the instruments, and was quick to comply. The grant from the Literary Society was limited to one year, however, and was on condition that the survey began in Gullbringu- and Kjósarsýsla. The task was naturally entrusted to Björn Gunnlaugsson, and he had at least three months' holiday from teaching. During the summer of 1831 he surveyed the appointed area and made a map, which was at once sent to Copenhagen with a view to publication.
Björn Gunnlaugsson worked on the survey during the years 1831-1843. The Literary Society made Björn an annual grant and the financial position was eased when the Danish government made him a grant in 1836 which he continued to receive until 1846.
The original idea was to survey each county individually and make separate maps, but in the event it was felt impractical to undertake such a large task on account of the cost. O. N. Olsen was appointed to attend to the publication of the maps in Copenhagen. Olsen, who later became director of the surveying department of the Danish army, proposed that the map should be printed on four sheets. It was his task to take maps of the separate counties and regions as they arrived from Björn Gunnlaugsson, and join them together and reduce them. He probably also decided the scale and projection, though perhaps in conjuction with Björn.
Although Björn Gunnlaugsson's map is usually dated from 1844, no part of it probably was completed until four years later (1848). The Icelandic Literary Society was the publisher, as it says on the map itself, but the cost was paid by the Danish treasury. It is estimated to have cost six times as much as the survey.
Olsen made a second, smaller map of Iceland which is dated from 1849 although it probably didn't appear until a year later. It is simply a smaller version of the larger map on a scale of 1:960.000.
Björn Gunnlaugsson used the coastal charts as a starting point, as far as they went. He himself measured no base-lines, but simply extended the coastal surveyors' triangulation.
In the course of his survey Björn covered virtually the entire inhabited area and a good part of the uninhabited. Because of the cost, however, these journeys were not as extensive as he wished or considered necessary. But his principal concern was to map the inhabited regions, leaving a complete map of the rest of the country until a better opportunity. In some places he was forced to rely on accounts from local people, who were not all equally trustworthy, or make do with sketches. The central highlands, therefore, were still rather left out, although it was a great advance on previous maps. For the first time it was possible to get a reasonable picture of the lava-fields and glaciers and the course of the rivers in the highlands. There are of course more inaccuracies here than one would wish, but if he had attempted a more precise survey, he would never have been able to finish the task. It was better to relax demands where exactness was of less importance. It might be a long time before another survey would be undertaken with a view to map of the whole country. In spite of some errors, Björn Gunnlaugsson's survey and map are a great scientific achievement, unique of its kind, carried out with extremely limited resources both in finances and equipment.

 
 
 
The National and University Library of Iceland
Arngrimsgata 3 - 107 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: 525 5600 ? Fax: 525 5615
Information service: upplys (hjá) landsbokasafn.is
Website: vefumsjon (hjá) landsbokasafn.is