Iceland-Denmark Joint Issue - Manuscripts
Iceland Post and Post Denmark are releasing a joint stamp issue featuring manuscripts from the Arnamagnæan Collection preserved by the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies and Nordisk Forskningsinstitut in Copenhagen. The manuscripts are The Book of Kálfalækur including the Saga of Burnt Niall and a Danish manuscript which contains legal statutes for Sjælland.
Árni Magnússon is best known for having collected manuscripts in Iceland and elsewhere and for the Land Register which he wrote with district magistrate and poet Páll Vídalín. Their 1703 Census is included in UNESCO‘s Memory of the World Register as the first preserved National Census. Árni was born at Kvennabrekka in the west of Iceland in 1663. He studied theology in Copenhagen where he worked all his life while often sojourning in Iceland. Árni built the most extensive collection of medieval Icelandic and Norwegian manuscripts known at the time. A part of this library was lost in the great
Copenhagen fire in October 1728. The loss of the manuscripts devastated Árni who passed away a year later at the age of 66. In 1961 Iceland and Denmark negotiated the division of the Collection and the first manuscripts were shipped to Iceland ten years later. In 2009 the Arnamagnæan Manuscript Collection was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.