Journal of a visit to Iceland by Alice Selby (fl. 1918-1951), lecturer in English at The University of Nottingham, 1931

Scope and Content

The journal, written throughout in pencil and totalling nearly 200 pages, was written between 20 June and 21 August, 1931. In it, Alice Selby, recorded observations of customs, costume, language, industry, food, weather, aesthetics and the people that she met as she toured Iceland. 1931 (MS 378/1);

The journal is accompanied by 14 black and white photographs showing scenery and people, probably in Iceland although only one photograph is annotated to this effect, c. 1931 (MS 378/2);

A photocopy of Selby's journal in substantially revised form published in Saga book of the Viking Society: XIX (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 1974) also accompanies the manuscript journal. 2002 (MS 378/3).

Administrative / Biographical History

Alice Selby was educated at the University of Cambridge where she attained an MA. She was a member of the English Department of University College Nottingham (later The University of Nottingham) from 1918-1951. She became senior lecturer in English and taught Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and Old Norse. In 1931, she paid a visit to Iceland. Her journal, the manuscript of which is described below, was published as Icelandic Journal (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 1974) and was edited by Arnold Rogers Taylor. From the mid-1930s Alice Selby lived in Kniveton, Nottinghamshire and lived at Church Farm in the village from 1944-1953, running the farm with the help of her sister, Dorothea.


The collection has been divided by document type into three series.

Access Information

ACCESS: Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

NOTE: Copyright on all Finding Aids belongs to the University of Nottingham.

  • This description is the only finding aid available for the journal. Copyright in the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Conditions Governing Use

REPROGRAPHIC: Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

COPYRIGHT: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The journal was given to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections in July 2002.


  • ed. A.R. Taylor, Icelandic Journal by Alice Selby (London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 1974)