Views into the Fragments: An Approach from a Microhistorical Perspective

Sigurður Gylfi Magnússon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The approach I call the “singularization of history,” which I have been developing in recent years within the methodological structure of microhistory, is the main subject of this article. It has the precise aim of defining the ways in which scholars can use sources to enter into the past in as detailed and varied a way as possible without becoming trapped within the received channels of the grand narratives. I will make an attempt to demonstrate what the Icelandic School of Microhistory (ISM) is all about and its connection to the scribal culture in the country, as well as the importance of ego-documents for microhistorical analysis. The central element in the analysis of this paper will be the sources themselves—their creation, their context within the events they describe, the opportunities they present for analysis, and in what kind of academic context they have become a subject for enquiry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-206
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Historical Archaeology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I wish to take the opportunity to thank Charles E. Orser, Jr. and Kristján Mímisson for interesting dialogue during a conference held in April 2013 at the University of Iceland under the auspices of XIII Nordic TAG in Reykjavík, session: Singularities: the particular and/or the relational. I would also like to thank Gavin Lucas, professor in archaeology at the University of Iceland, for his constructive criticism on the subject of this article. Lastly, I would like to thank many of my friends and colleagues at the University of Iceland, The National Museum of Iceland and the Reykjavík Academy for their support during the course of my research. This article is part of a research project called: “Emotions, Material Culture and Everyday Life in the Long 19th century” supported by the Icelandic Research Fund (ID: 141237–051).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Other keywords

  • Ego-documents
  • Historical sources
  • Methodology
  • Microhistory


Dive into the research topics of 'Views into the Fragments: An Approach from a Microhistorical Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this