Icelandic Saga Map

Principle author:  Emily Lethbridge
Additional contributors:  Trausti Dagsson, Pétur Húni Björnsson, Logi Ragnarsson, Zachary Melton, Gísli Pálsson, Hjördís Erna Sigurðardóttir, Nikola Machackova
Contributing institution: University of Iceland
Spatial Coverage:  Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Greenland, Faroe Islands, United Kingdom, North America
Temporal Coverage : Early Viking Period - Modern, with focus on Early Viking Period, Late Viking Period, Early Medieval Period
Subject List (FISH Vocabularies): Documentary research
Creative Commons Licensing: CC BY-NC

The Icelandic Saga Map database contains geo-referenced texts in Icelandic and English, with specific emphasis on medieval Icelandic sagas. All geographical places mentioned in the texts are displayed on a map interface with the text alongside. Other data pertains to medieval and post-medieval parchment and paper manuscripts of the geo-referenced saga texts, and to Icelandic travel books.

The text of each saga (in modern Icelandic) was uploaded into the ISM database. Place-names in the text were then identified and geo-referenced using search tools such as the and websites to get GIS co-ordinates. In some cases notes about difficulties re. locating places were made. Each named place in the saga text was given a place-type (i.e. farm, harbour, hill etc). Once saved, all places mentioned in that saga subsequently appear on the map interface. Clicking the place-name on the map brings up the chapters in the saga it appears in. Users can also retrieve a list of other sagas/chapters that reference that place. The relevant saga text can be read on the right-hand-side of the map. Place-names in the text are hyperlinked to the map and clicking on them in the text makes them appear on the map.

Retrieve full project and record-level metadata for Icelandic Saga Map on Github.

University of Iceland Logo
Data provided courtesy of the University of Iceland
Sample of saga manuscript
Late 15th-century saga manuscript containing three sagas about outlaws. The manuscript is associated with the West Fjords and the page shown above is the beginning of Harðar saga og Hólmverja.
Image copyright: Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies