Feb 2, 2024

Highlight of the month: Kristín Vídalín Jacobson´s book of poetry

This month there are 160 years since the birth of Kristín Vídalín Jacobson, the founder and first chairman of the women’s charity Hringurinn that celebrated it’s 120-year anniversary last month. She also founded and sat on the board of the Reykjavík Women’s Association (BKR).  

Kristín was also a trained painter and is thought to have been the first Icelandic woman to study painting academically as she attended the Women’s Art School in Copenhagen 1893-1894.

Very few documents related to Kristín seem to be preserved in archives. However, there is an exceptional book of poetry kept at the Manuscript Department (handritasafn) from Kristín, donated by her daughter in 1975. The front page of the book features a hand-stitched flowers and various well-known figures have handwritten words of poetry between 1893 and 1937, including from women’s right campaigners Jarþrúður Jónsdóttir and Ingibjörg Guðbrandsdóttir. Kristín Vídalín Jacobson's book of poetry has been made accessible on handrit.is due to the occasion (Lbs 4714 4to).

Kristín’s husband, Jón Jónsson, national librarian as well as parliamentarian, private collection is kept at the Manuscript Department (Lbs 43 NF). Hringurinn’s collection is kept at the Women’s History Archives (Kvennasögusafn, KSS 9) and many documents there are written by Kristín’s hand, as well as the Reykjavík Women’s Association’s collection (KSS 2018/20). 

Text: Rakel Adolphsdóttir. Reference: Björg Einarsdóttir, Hringurinn í Reykjavík. Stofnaður 1904 – Starfssaga, Reykjavík 2002.