• 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.

  • 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



    Research Output

    Picts and Britons in the early medieval Irish Church: Travels west over the storm-swelled sea

    Plumb, O., Sep 2020, Brepols Publishers. 204 p. (The North Atlantic World)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Upon the utmost corners of the warld: Orkney in early maps and literature

    Heddle, D., 2020, What is North?: Imagining and Representing the North from Ancient Times to the Present Day. tbc ed. Brepols Publishers, Vol. tbc. p. tbc tbc. (The North Atlantic World).

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

  • Viking and Norse Heritage Tourism in Scotland

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

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

    Open Access
  • Prizes

    David Masson scholarship

    Heddle, Donna (Recipient), 1993

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    David Masson scholarship

    Heddle, Donna (Recipient), 1994

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively


    Sanmark, Alexandra (Recipient), 2011

    Prize: National/international honour

  • Activities

    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

    'Mask of Integrity' Design Innovation Inspired by Viking Women

    Donna Heddle


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Ancient Viking waterway discovered in Orkney

    Alexandra Sanmark


    20 items 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

    Runic writing in Orkney: expression of a Norse identity?

    Author: Freund, A., 26 Feb 2020

    Supervisor: Sanmark, A. (Supervisor) & Brink, S. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (awarded by UHI)


    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)