Árni Magnússon, who undertook Iceland’s first-ever census and land survey, was a near-obsessive manuscript collector; he gathered many thousands of medieval documents, sagas, and other materials and sent them back to his house in Copenhagen. And in 1728, when the worst fire in the city’s history and destroyed more than a quarter of the buildings and nearly every book in town, Magnússon managed to get most of the manuscripts (though none of his own books) out of his house before it collapsed in flames, rescuing a huge portion of what we have of old Icelandic literature today. – Literary Hub

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