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Culture in a few clicks – tips for using Nordic digital resources

19.12.2019

Everyone should have access to culture and a social life. For those who are unable to get to Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki, we’ve put together some tips for using digital resources so that you can enjoy Nordic literature, music, language, culture, and history free of charge. Perhaps you were unaware that these resources are freely available, or maybe you struggled to find them.

Literature

Nordic Women’s Literature
Here you will find information on the latest trends in Nordic women’s literature and can delve into more than a thousand years of women’s literature from across the Nordic Region. The website has lots of articles on literature, biographies, and the history of literature. All of the content is available in Danish, Swedish, and English.

Project Runeberg
Project Runeberg has electronic editions of classic Nordic literature.

The Swedish Literature Bank
This is like having a library of historical Swedish works on your doorstep, boasting works from Sweden’s literary history. Everything is readable and searchable, and you can download works to your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Klassikerbiblioteket
Here you will find complete works from Finland’s literary history in both the Swedish and Finnish languages.

Arkiv för dansk litteratur
Here you will find complete works from Denmark’s literary history, from the Middle Ages to the present day.

Digital text-critical editions of some specific male writers from the Nordic Region:
Henrik Ibsen, Zacharias Topelius, Søren Kierkegaard, Carl Michael Bellman, Ludvig Holberg

FarLit
Here you’ll find everything you want to know about Faroese literature, from information about the publication, translation, and export of literature to a historical overview of Faroese literature. You can also subscribe to their newsletter to keep up to date. The platform is in English.

The Finnish Literature in Translation Database
This database is a handy resource for those who want to find information about which languages Finnish literature has been translated into. The database includes reference information on translations of Finnish, Finland-Swedish, and Sami fiction and non-fiction.

Vagant
Vagant is a Norwegian literary science journal that also publishes some of the journal’s content, and content in addition to what is published in printed form, online. Although most articles are in Norwegian, there is some content in Danish and Swedish.

National Library of Greenland and Central Library of Greenland
Ideal for those who want to keep abreast of Greenlandic literature through the news items posted by the Central Library of Greenland. The website is available in Greenlandic, Danish, and English and also contains information on the National Library of Greenland, where you can find lots of interesting electronic resources and research related to the Arctic and the Inuit.

É Romani Glinda
É Romani Glinda is a publisher of literature in Romani (usually Kelderáš, which is mainly spoken in Sweden) and also publishes a newsletter. Take a look at their website to find out what literature is currently being published in Romani.

Music

Spotify contains masses of Nordic music. If you want to save time and discover something new, search for “Nordic Playlist” – here you’ll find playlists of Nordic music covering a variety of genres. For those who are curious to read about how the playlists were set up, take a look at the Nordic Council of Ministers’ website.

Smålands musikarkiv’s Visdatabas
A Swedish song database with notes, texts, manuscripts, and research on Swedish folk songs.

Language

The Nordic languages guide at Helsinki University is designed as an aid for studies and research in the Nordic languages. You’ll find everything from a dictionary of dirty words to dictionaries for minority languages and grammar dictionaries. For those looking for lots of different resources on the Nordic languages, take a look at https://libraryguides.helsinki.fi/nordiska_sprak/hem.

ISLEX
A very user-friendly and clear Icelandic dictionary, perfect for those who are curious about the Icelandic language, who want to read Icelandic but who are not yet fully conversant in the language, or who just want to practise their vocabulary. Icelandic is the source language, and Danish, Norwegian bokmål, Nynorsk, Swedish, Faroese, and Finnish are the target languages.

Icelandic online
Free online courses in Icelandic from the University of Iceland. Courses are available for complete beginners, as well as for those who are a little more conversant in the language.

Finland Swedish Online
Free Swedish courses where those new to Finland can learn Finland-Swedish.

Språkbanken
Språkbanken is a research unit at the Institute for the Swedish Language at the University of Gothenburg, where you’ll find lots of resources for the Swedish language, including Lärka, which is a free online platform for anyone who wants to learn Swedish, and Korp, which requires a little getting used to but is a great resource for those who want to check the usage frequency of certain words and phrases, as well as other advanced searches.

Lær Dansk
Lærdansk usually requires a profile to access the courses on offer. They do have a self-study guide, however, with four free themed courses.

Life in Norway
A website by and for English speakers who want to settle and work in Norway. The website is packed with information that even Scandinavians or other curious people will find interesting, even if they’ve no plans to move to Norway!

Culture and history

Samer – Sápmi, Sábme, Sábmie, Saepmie
A comprehensive network of resources packed with information. The website contains articles on everything from useful phrases to a historical timeline, video lectures, and knowledge tests. Although the website is in Swedish, it contains information about Sápmi as a whole.

Bibliotek på Åland
For those who want to familiarise themselves with Ålandic literature, language, culture, and history. Here you’ll find everything from Ålandic author portraits and literature lists to factual texts on Ålandic customs as well as lots about the Ålandic language.

For information on Nordic culture and culture programmes in the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Åland:

The Nordic House in the Faroe Islands, the Nordic House in Iceland, the Nordic Institute in Greenland and the Nordic Institute in Åland. The websites are in English, Scandinavian, and the primary language of the area.

We hope you find something that you’re interested in, that you can benefit from, or that you never knew existed. Happy browsing!

 

Madeleine Dunderlin
Scholar in Nordic literature and worker at Nordic Culture Point’s specialist library.

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