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Research Guides

Research Guide for Norse Literature

Welcome to the library research guide for SCAND 270, "Sagas of the Vikings" and SCAND 330, "Scandinavian Mythology." Use the navigation bar for information on locating sources for assignments in these courses.

Searching Old Norse Names

Variant Spellings

When searching for Norse topics, be mindful that many names from the literature have multiple variants. Searching for an individual, place, or saga, it can be important to keep this in mind as a search on one variant may or may not return results for other variants, depending on the source.

For example, the name Egill Skallagrímsson has variants Egil Skallagrimsson and Egill Skalla-Gmsson. Egils saga may be referred to as Egils saga, Egills saga, Egil's saga, or the abbreviated Egla.

You can search multiple variants at the same time in many databases with the Boolean operator OR. To capture all articles in the MLA International Bibliography or UW Libraries Search, for example, the following search string could be entered into one search box:

  • "egils saga" OR "egills saga" OR "egil's saga" OR "egla"

Personal Names

In the context of Norse literature, the name Thor has variants like Þórr or Tor. However, Thor and its variants also common given names and can clutter your search results. Rather than using a keyword or "all fields" search, refine results using a database's subject search. This avoids getting false positives from the "author" or other fields.


Nordic Studies Librarian

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Dan Mandeville