Most known book collections in medieval Norway are associated with religious institutions such as monastic houses and cathedral chapters. In the northernmost parts of Norway there were no such institutions, but we still find traces of books and book collections. The Norwegian National Archives host fragments from almost a hundred manuscripts, both in Latin and Old Norse, with a provenance from the fief of Nordland. These were used as binding support for fief and bailiwick accounts in the seventeenth century. Additionally, surviving sources testify to the presence of books in medieval Hålogaland and post-Reformation Nordland: books mentioned in wills; incunables from Trondenes; and two famous Norse manuscripts currently kept in the De La Gardie collection in Uppsala, which have a seventeenth-century provenance from Salten in Nordland, where the governor's residence was located. For the first time, all these sources are studied together in the present article, thus leading to a new understanding of which books existed in Nordland before and after the Reformation, and their fate.
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Opphavsrett 2021 Synnøve Midtbø Myking