Menota is a network of leading Nordic archives, libraries and research departments working with medieval texts and manuscript facsimiles. The aim of Menota is to preserve and publish medieval texts in digital form and to adapt and develop encoding standards necessary for this work. The archive will contain texts in the Nordic languages as well as in Latin. There are now 15 members of Menota (see bottom of the page) and new members are welcome to join the network. Since its founding in 2001, the archive has been led by Odd Einar Haugen at the University of Bergen
Menotas håndbok v. 3.0 er publisert (12.12.2019).
Þiðriks saga av Bern er lagt ut i arkivet (25.09.2019).
Konungs skuggsjá under annotasjon (19.09.2018, oppdatert 20.09.2019).
Menota på YouTube (16.08.2018).
Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar i Wolfenbüttelbók i arkivet (22.06.2018).
Kalkars ordbok er på nettet med fulle søkemuligheter (31.03.2017).
The texts have been encoded on one or more levels. The most widely used level is the diplomatic level (as seen in many Old Norse editions), while some texts have also been encoded on a facsimile level (i.e. in a very close transcription) and some on a normalised level (as in the Íslenzk fornrit series). These levels are specified under Facs, Dipl and Norm in the catalogue. By clicking the file name in the second column of the catalogue, you will be able to read the text on one or more levels, depending on how many levels have been encoded.
See our helpdesk for an explanation of the catalogue and the display of texts in the archive. It also informs about morphological and syntactic queries that can be made in some of the texts (via PROIEL or INESS)
The Menota handbook (all versions)
Translations (catalogue set up 1 October 2016).
Several dictionaries of Medieval Nordic languages are accessible on the web. They are presently in different formats and the interfaces are not uniform, but they do represent an extremely useful resource:
Söderwall’s and Schlyter’s dictionaries (Swedish) – queries in Fornsvensk lexikalisk databas
Kalkar’s dictionary (Danish) – scanned images of the printed dictionary (launched in 2000)
Kalkar’s dictionary (Danish) – full search capabilities (launched in 2017)
A project headed by Hans Fix, University of Greifswald, has made Walter Baetkes Wörterbuch zur altnordischen Prosaliteratur accessible in an updated version for free usage. The dictionary can be downloaded as a PDF file (75 MB). A fast connection is thus essential.
Walter Baetkes dictionary digital (link to registration page)
Ongoing dictionary projects:
Gammeldansk ordbog (Danish) – presentation of the dictionary project
Gammeldansk ordbog (Danish) – beta version of the dictionary with search capabilities
A number of archives, libraries and museums have started making their holdings of Medieval Nordic texts or manuscripts available via the web:
Some projects associated with Menota:
Menota was established on 10 September 2001 at a meeting in Oslo between major Nordic institutions.
The Menota statutes were passed at the council meeting in Reykjavík on 6 September 2003.
The council is an advisory body in which each participating institution is represented by one member. Different departments or sections at the same university are recognised as individual institutions. In addition to the permanent members, other representatives may join the meeting at the discretion of the board.
The council appoints a board for a period of three years. The board for the current period (2019-2021) is:
Odd Einar Haugen (chair), Norway
Haraldur Bernharðsson, Iceland
Alex Speed Kjeldsen, Denmark
Marco Bianchi, Sweden
Rune Kyrkjebø, Norway
to be announced, Iceland
Tarrin Wills, Denmark
Sara Risberg, Sweden
The Menota handbook version 3.0 was published 12 December 2019 on this site. The contributors in this version are Odd Einar Haugen (general editor), Ivar Berg (Trondheim), Haraldur Bernharðsson (Reykjavík), Marco Bianchi (Uppsala), Alex Speed Kjeldsen (København), Robert K. Paulsen (Bergen), Friederike Richter (Berlin), Beeke Stegmann (Reykjavík), Nina Stensaker (Bergen) and Tarrin Wills (København).
There are minutes from several of the meetings by the contributors to the handbook.
Menota now welcomes texts from other institutions or individual researchers, but cannot presently offer assistance in converting texts to XML. Please contact one of the board members (see above) if you would like to deposit a text in the archive. We encourage potential depositors to read the encoding guidelines in the Menota handbook and validate the text against the Menota DTD contained in the handbook. Sample XML files are available for inspection and comparison. The Menota depositor license, which is based on a corresponding document used by the Oxford Text Archive, has parallel Norwegian and English text. Please note that the depositor keeps all his or her intellectual rights to the text after depositing it in the archive. The same text may be withdrawn at any time and also published in other archives and other formats at the depositors will (cf. section 3.4 in the license):
Denmark: Institut for Nordiske Studier og Sprogvidenskab (NorS) ved KU (herunder Den Arnamagnæanske håndskriftsamling og Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog ) | Det Kongelige Bibliotek | Det Danske Sprog- og Litteraturselskab || Iceland: Stofnun Árna Magnússonar í íslenskum fræðum || Norway: Riksarkivet | Institutt for nordiske og lingvistiske studier ved UiO (herunder Eining for digital dokumentasjon ved UiO ) | Institutt for lingvistiske, litterære og estetiske studier ved UiB | Universitetsbiblioteket i Bergen | Nasjonalbiblioteket || Sweden: Språkbanken, Göteborgs universitet | Svenskt Diplomatarium, Riksarkivet | Det svenska fornskriftsällskapet | Handskriftsenheten, Kungliga Biblioteket, Stockholm | Institutionen för svenska språket, Linnéuniversitetet | Institutionen för nordiska språk, Uppsala universitet
Opprettet 30.04.2007. Sist oppdatert 12.12.2019. Vevsjef.