Libraries and collection
The Central Bank of Iceland operates an archive, a library, and a numismatic collection for the purpose of acquiring data, preserving source materials, and providing information. These activities take place both in the main offices at Kalkofnsvegur and at Einholt 4. A library of periodicals, journals, and documents is also located at the Bank’s headquarters at Kalkofnsvegur.
The Central Bank of Iceland library has two main functions: as a site for preservation of materials related to Iceland’s economic history, and as an institutional library for day-to-day use within the Bank.
The materials in the library consist primarily of publications concerning economics and banking, numismatics, Icelandic industry and social affairs, and Icelandic history and natural resources. Library materials are catalogued in the national library system Gegnir and can be found on the website www.gegnir.is.
The library is housed in two locations. Although the majority of the materials are at Einholt 4, the library in the Bank’s headquarters at Kalkofnsvegur 1 contains reference works, current international journals, and the latest magazines and reports.
The services provided by the library are aimed primarily at meeting the Bank’s own needs; however, services are provided willingly to others, insofar as is possible and warranted.
The Central Bank of Iceland archive operates in compliance with the Act on Public Archives, no. 77/2014. The archive is part of the Internal Information Services unit operating under the auspices of the Operations and Human Resources Department. It is housed in the Bank’s headquarters at Kalkofnsvegur 1 and at Einholt 4. The Bank’s documents extend back to its establishment in 1961. For the first twenty years, the Central Bank and Landsbanki Íslands jointly operated the archive containing documents of both institutions from the date of their establishment. According to an agreement concluded in 1981, Landsbanki Íslands earlier accounts and documents were to remain in the Central Bank archive. All documents from before 2002 are stored in the archive at Einholt 4, and more recent documents are held at the archive in the headquarters at Kalkofnsvegur 1. Documents dating from 2002 onwards have been recorded systematically in the Bank’s electronic archive management system.
Other document-related activities carried out by Internal Information Services are:
- Formulation, maintenance, and enforcement of the Bank’s documentation policy
- Formulation and maintenance of a classification system and management of access to records and documents
- Record management and administration of electronic record management system
- Preparation of storage and thinning schedules and follow-up
- Consultancy and support for employees with respect to record management issues
The Central Bank and National Museum Numismatic Collection
The numismatic collection consists mainly of Icelandic banknotes and coins, foreign currency from previous centuries (particularly that mentioned in Icelandic source documents), and more recent currency from Iceland’s principal trading partners. The collection currently contains nearly 20,000 coins and almost 5,000 different types of banknote. It also contains a sizeable collection of numismatic handbooks.
Agreement on the operation of the numismatic collection
The Central Bank and the National Museum of Iceland operate the numismatic collection jointly, in accordance with an agreement ratified by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture on 28 January 1985. According to the agreement, the numismatic materials owned by both institutions shall be held in a single collection operated by the Bank; however, coins and other artefacts found during archaeological excavations are still held at the National Museum of Iceland.
A representative selection from the numismatic collection is on display in showcases on the first floor of the Central Bank’s headquarters at Kalkofnsvegur 1. The exhibition also features multimedia materials on Central Bank operations and related activities. The exhibition is open to the public on weekdays from 13:00 hrs. to 16:00 hrs. It can be accessed through the Bank’s main entrance on Arnarhóll. Admission is free of charge.
The museum has issued the following publications:
- Kristján Eldjárn: Alþingishátíðarpeningarnir. Reykjavík, 1986. (Myntrit 1)
- Gjaldmiðill á Íslandi. Stutt ágrip. Ólafur Pálmason and Sigurður Líndal. Reykjavík 1994. (Myntrit 2)
- Opinber gjaldmiðill í 220 ár. Anton Holt and Freyr Jóhannesson. Reykjavík, 1997. (Myntrit 3) (with introduction and glossary in English)
- Opinber gjaldmiðill á Íslandi (Myntrit 3 - second edition): The Currency of Iceland.
- Ath.: Á bls. 66-68 í ritinu er nefnd samstæðan Íslensk mynt árið 2001. Þar á að standa Íslensk mynt árið 2000.