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The Runic Archives

The Runic Archives were established toward the end of the 1800s, when the runological portion of the topographic archive of the University’s Collection of  National Antiquities was separated to form an independent archive.

Photo: Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo, Norway

The Runic Archives were used by philologists such as Sophus Bugge and Magnus Olsen in their studies of Norwegian runic inscriptions.

National archive

The archives’ first director, appointed in 1948, was Aslak Liestøl, and he was followed in 1985 by James E. Knirk. Over 1600 Norwegian runic inscriptions have been discovered, dating from as early as the mid-100s to the 1400s-1500s, and today the Runic Archives serve as a national archive for information on these.

Many types of material

The archives comprise documentation and research materials (photographs, drawings, copies, reports, descriptions, notes, manuscripts, database registrations, etc.) and collections of books and offprints of articles. They also hold materials relating to the management of runic objects in the archaeological collection of the museum and in the district in which the museum is responsible for archaeological activities.

The periodical Nytt om runer

The head of the archives serves as editor of the national corpus of inscriptions, Norges innskrifter med de yngre runer. The periodical Nytt om runer: Meldingsblad om runeforskning (News about Runes: Bulletin of Runic Research) has been published by the Runic Archives yearly since 1986. This periodical presents the previous year’s news from all over the world, a runic bibliography, and other information for those interested in runes.

Since issue 21 in 2006, the bulletin has only been available online.

Published Dec. 4, 2012 1:13 PM - Last modified Feb. 26, 2019 11:15 AM