09 February 2012

Norway's Documentary Heritage

Here's a nice thing: Under the aegis of the UNESCO Memory of the World Program, the Norwegians have selected 60 documents or archives which are unique, irreplaceable and authentic documents of their time. It's a pretty mixed bunch, including delights such as the Leprosy Archive in Bergen (especially for my colleague CL), Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's autograph copy of the words to the national anthem ('Ja, vi elsker dette landet, som det stiger frem, furet, værbitt over vannet, med de tusen hjem...' - stirring stuff!), Norway's first two printed books (both for the Catholic liturgy) from 1519, Bjørge Lillelien's amazing commentary when Norway beat England 2-1 in 1981 (have a listen, it's fab), Swedish King Carl Johan's imprimatur for the new Norwegian flag design from 1821, Edvard Munch's will, etc. etc. But most wonderful of all the rune stone from Kuli, erected when 'Christianity had been twelve winters in Norway' - whenever that was...

Thanks to Åge Hojem / NTNU Vitenskapsmuseet for the photo, and to www.middelaldernett.com for the tip!

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