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Iceland Collection

History Archive - Iceland Collection

Iceland, is an island in the northern Atlantic, on the borders of the Arctic Ocean. It lies 130 miles east of Greenland and 850 west of Norway. For most of its history it belonged to Denmark. Its area is 39,756 square miles. Iceland in many respects is one of the most interesting parts of the world.

Its physical features are very remarkable, and not less so its history and the character of its inhabitants. It consists in great part of lofty mountains, many of which are active volcanoes. Only certain level districts along the coasts and a few valleys are inhabitable or in any degree capable of cultivation. There is scarcely a tree to be seen, and the climate is unsuitable for grain.

The interior is almost entirely occupied with rugged tracts of naked lava and other volcanic scoriae. In many places vast ice-fields connect high mountain summits, and prodigious glaciers descend in some parts even to the coast, where they break off into icebergs. To go from one inhabited spot to another is difficult and dangerous, but civilization has long been established.

The people are poor but intelligent. Oxen, horses and sheep form the chief part of their wealth. The horses are small, but vigorous and active. Iceland ponies are often imported into Great Britain and the United States. Seals abound on the coasts, and these are taken in large numbers. Various kinds of water-fowl and fish abound, and their flesh is the chief food of the villagers.

The mineral wealth of Iceland has just begun to be developed. The population in 1910 reached 85,089. The people are of Scandinavian origin. The legislature, called the althing, consists of two houses. The capital is Rejkjavik. The chief exports are Iceland moss, wool, dried fish, seal-skins, whale-oil, sulphur, eider-down, bird-skins and ponies. There has of late been considerable emigration of Icelanders into Manitoba, Canada.

See Iceland by Forbes and Ultima Thule, by Burton.


The New Student's Reference Work pg. 911 (1914)

Available Books


Image Name
Map of the Southwest Coast of Iceland
Looking Up Thorsmork
Boiling Springs in the River Reikiadalsaa
Snaefell Jokul
Title Page
Eyjafell from Barkarstadir
The Tungu River and Alternating Geyser
View of the Geyser When Empty, Immediately After an Eruption
Map of Iceland
New Geyser
The Fall of Oxara
Eruption of the Geyser
Church of Saurbar
Cave at Stappen
Plan and Section of the Basin of the Great Geyser
The Logberg and Thingvalla Vatn
Gill at Gilsbakki
Mount Hekla from Odde
Icelandic Costume
Front Cover
Eyafialla Iokul, Mount Hekla and the River Elvas from the Westward
Back Cover
An Icelandic Lady in Her Bridal Dress
The Logberg and Nicolas Chasm
Front Cover
Natural Arch on the Coast Near Stappen
Eyafialla Iokul from Hliderende
Kongsbakki Bjarnarhsn in the Distance
Snuff Box
Title Page
Theory of the Geysers
Plan of an Icelandic House
Map of the Geysers and Neighbouring Springs
Geology Diagrams
Great Jet of Steam on the Sulphur Mountains
Melstad and Reykir
Mount Hekla from the South
Cauldron of Boiling Mud on the Sulphur Mountains
The Lang Spiel
Krisuvik and the Sulphur Mountains
Title Page
Summit of Snaefell Jokul
Icelandic House Diagram
The Horn at Sunrise
Eruption of the Great Geyser
Summit of Heklaas seen from Naifurholt
Back Cover
Descent of Arnardals Skarth


Map Name
Travels in the Island of Iceland - Map of the Southwest Coast of Iceland (1811)
Travels in the Island of Iceland - Map of Iceland (1811)


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