• Grainshore Road, Scott’s House

    KW15 1FL Kirkwall

    United Kingdom

Organization profile

Organisation profile

The Orkney and Shetland Islands, along with Caithness on the Scottish mainland, are identified primarily in terms of their nordic cultural and linguistic heritage. The work of the Institute for Northern Studies is to rediscover, preserve and interpret local culture for future generations.

This interdisciplinary research centre has bases in both Orkney and Shetland.

The Institute has the following four strategic aims

  • To promote and publicise research in Nordic Studies, focusing on Orkney and Shetland studies.
  • To promote Orkney and Shetland culture and stimulate debate.  The Centre will provide educational opportunities at secondary and tertiary level for both local and external students.
  • To provide an overarching focus for locative research in Orkney and Shetland, including their relationship to the North Atlantic Rim.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Institute for Northern Studies is active. These topic labels come from the works of this organisation's members. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Norway Social Sciences
language Social Sciences
Orkney Arts & Humanities
Scandinavia Social Sciences
community Social Sciences
university Social Sciences
evidence Social Sciences
narrative Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.


Photo of Stefan Brink

Stefan Brink

Person: Academic Research Active

Photo of Donna Heddle

Donna Heddle

Person: Academic Research Active


Projects 2010 2022

Research Output 1995 2020

Viking and Norse Heritage Tourism in Scotland

Timoney, S. & Sanmark, A., 16 Jan 2020, 23 p.

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

Open Access
heritage tourism

Assembly Organisation in the Longue Durée: The Scandinavian Thing Institution in its European Context

Sanmark, A., 24 May 2019, Quaestiones Medii Aevi Novae. Warsaw: Societas Vistulana, Vol. 23. p. 151-173 22 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Conflict Resolution
Viking Age
Written Sources
Medieval Period
North Atlantic


David Masson scholarship

Donna Heddle (Recipient), 1993

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

David Masson scholarship

Donna Heddle (Recipient), 1994

Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


Alexandra Sanmark (Recipient), 2011

Prize: National/international honour


Activities 1993 2019

Bolstering Bólstaðir: Norse placenames in Lewis in context

Donna Heddle (Speaker)
31 Oct 2019

Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk

The fourth St Magnus conference

Alexandra Sanmark (Organiser)
16 Apr 201818 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Brepols Publishers (Publisher)

Alexandra Sanmark (Editorial board member)
2017 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Press / Media

Why is New Year such a big deal in Scotland?

Donna Heddle


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Lasers to analyse Pictish rune stones in Scotland

Alexandra Sanmark


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Lasers are turned on Pictish stones by Swedish scientists

Alexandra Sanmark


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Kirkwall Township Heritage Initiative Viking Walk

Ragnhild Ljosland (Participant), Alexandra Sanmark (Participant), Donna Heddle (Participant), Victoria Whitworth (Participant), Crawford Barbara (Participant), Olwyn Owen (Participant), James Barrett (Participant), Christopher Gee (Participant)

Impact: Economic Impacts

The Last Days of Hakon the Old

Victoria Whitworth (Participant)

Impact: Cultural Impacts

Student theses

Today's No Ground to Stand Upon: A Study of the Life and Poetry of George Campbell Hay

Author: Artymiuk, A., 29 Aug 2019

Supervisor: Heddle, D. (Supervisor), Riach, A. (Supervisor) & Baker, T. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


Romantic subjectivity: women’s identity in their nineteenth-century travel writing about Scotland

Author: Beattie-Smith, G., 5 Jun 2017

Supervisor: Heddle, D. (Supervisor), Fielding, P. (Supervisor) & Lumsden, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)


Between Scotland and Norway: connected cultures and intercultural encounters after 1700

Author: Reeploeg, S., 20 Mar 2017

Supervisor: Heddle, D. (Supervisor) & Brink, S. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by OU/Aberdeen)