Monday, January 14, 2008

Those Icelanders

The other day I was poking around a used books store and came across an intriguing little book narrating the history of Icelandic immigration to Canada from the 1880's to the 1910's. Who knew. I love the complex weave of humanity's stories with all its hidden strands.

Part of what makes this such an interesting story is simply the numbers. The population of Iceland in this period was about 70,000. 15-20,000 departed for Canada.

Even I couldn't warrant purchasing the book; limitations of space have forced me to ever higher standards of self-restraint. Even writing that sentence, I can feel Sally raising a skeptical eyebrow. But be it noted that there is no book on Icelandic immigration in the house.

Instead here are a couple of sites sketching out this intriguing story.

The Icelandic Immigration

Samkoma - History, Western Icelandic A veritable buffet of links to all things related to Icelandic immigration.

And here is the general Samkoma site, "The Meeting Place" for Icelandic & Western-Icelandic connections.

Early Icelandic Settlement in Canada

Icelandic Immigration to Alberta

New Iceland - A Forgotten Nordic Colony In Canada - This site, strange maps, by the way, is a great place to spend time for anyone with an interest in history and geography.

Well, enough about Icelandic immigration. I sure do enjoy coming across new information about something of which I was never even aware. You don't know what you don't know.

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