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Scandinavian Realms: The Library of Waldemar Westergaard

Scandinavian Realms: The Library of Waldemar Westergaard In-Person

Venture into the wilds of Scandinavia by exploring a curated selection of volumes from the personal collection of Professor Waldemar Westergaard, which includes more than 4,000 texts on Scandinavia and the Baltic.

This exhibit, curated by Westergaard Postdoctoral Fellow Josh Hodil and students from his "History of Scandinavia to 1800" course, allows visitors to delve into the interconnected worlds of history, cartography, mythology, travel, and the Scandinavian “other.” Westergaard, Professor of History at Pomona College (1916-25) and then UCLA (1925-49), championed the study of northern Europe, with a particular emphasis on the history of Denmark. A second-generation immigrant to Danish parents, he launched his academic career with the book A History of the Danish West Indies (1917). Westergaard’s interests, however, were eclectic, a fact demonstrated by the impressive thematic breadth of his library. From historical monographs to atlases to a copy of the first Bible printed in Danish, the faculty, students, and staff of The Claremont Colleges have an impressive array of Scandinavian material at their fingertips to explore.

Engraving of a ship with sails and a sea serpent on the waterSelected items on display include books, maps, and prints. Researchers with an interest in early modern and modern Scandinavian history, geography, and culture will find innumerable wonders within this exhibit and collection.

Exhibit highlights include:

  • The Danish Atlas (Den Danske Atlas) of Erik Pontoppidan (1763-81)
  • The letters of Mary Wollstonecraft written during her stay in Scandinavia
  • The Compleat History of Sweden by Samuel von Pufendorf (1702)
  • A 17th-century treatise on Danish Viking-Age runestones
  • An 18th-century natural history of Greenland

Exhibit Details
North Lobby Gallery, The Claremont Colleges Library
(800 N. Dartmouth Ave., Claremont, CA 91711)
March 4 - August 2, 2024*
Exhibit on view during Library building hours

*Please note this is the correct end date; our calendar is limited to a 45-day window so the dates listed below will be updated as time goes on.

Accessing the Collections
Students, faculty and staff of The Claremont Colleges, as well as members of the community, are welcome to consult the collections for research and instruction. You can explore the collections and schedule your Reading Room appointment today.

For more information, please contact Special Collections.

Monday, May 20, 2024
Wednesday, July 3, 2024
Time Zone:
Pacific Time - US & Canada (change)
North Lobby, Honnold 2
The Claremont Colleges Library