Research Resources on Iceland
University of Iowa Library

Statistical records are becoming availiable within the resources of the Unviersities Libraries. Icelanders have been exceptionally good in keeping statistical records of their history. (They were helped along early in the century, 1914-1930, by the French who, of course, are both very good at records and building formidable administrative bureaucracies. Yes, the French presence in Iceland began at least in part when some shipwrecked French sailors, who were fishing for cod to preserve with salt, were rescued from the sear and befriended by Icelandic farmers.) Iceland now sustains a very good statistical bureau (Hagstofa Island) which provides a library and services to researchers and also sells a large number of useful statistical volumes that have table titles in English as well as in Icelandic. One of the most useful is their standard statistical summary. These are now appearing yearly under the series title Landshagir (Statistical Yearbook of Iceland), and these are still available from Hagstofa Island. Before 1991, these came out intermittently, in 1930, 1967, 1974 and 1984 under the title, Tolfraedihandbok (Statistical Abstract of Iceland). These are not in print, but I have copies and would be glad to make the materials available. There is a marvelous new volume, Hagskinna: Sogulegar hagtolur um Island (Icelandic Historical Statistics), which came out in 1997 both in hard copy and in CD ROM versions. Again, these are available from Hagstofa Island. Current contact (no Internet access):

Statistics Iceland
Phone: +354-560 9880
Fax: +354-562 3312

With respect to Nordic Statistics generally, the Nordic Council has published since the mid 1960’s the Yearbook of Nordic Statistics (in English and usually one of the Nordic languages). This is an excellent comparative statistical source. The University of Iowa main library has the volumes in this series, either in hardcopy or fiche. The series in its original character ended in 1996, and beginning in the 1997 version, the amount of original data was reduced drastically, with the format being altered so as to reach a very broad market (lots of graphs and tables, but not the original numbers). What the Nordic Council did do as a replacement of the original series was to produce a CD ROM version of the comparative data. The most complete and up-to-date CD ROM is entitled Statistics across Borders and it is available in the Government Publications Library at the Main Library.

Stephen Wieting, Spring '99


IRIS: Information, Research, and Instructional Services
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Last updated: May 1, 1999