Skip to Main Content

Scandinavian Literature


This guide is an introduction to the study of Scandinavian literature. It features books, journals, media, and databases accessible through the UCLA Library. Organized by genre, then country, each section contains a selection of literary works and scholarly resources. Refer to the Scandinavian Studies Research Guide for additional resources. If you need research help on this subject, contact Shannon Tanhayi Ahari, the Librarian/Curator for European Studies. 

Selected Images

Trolls by John Bauer (1882–1918)

John Bauer (1882–1918) was a Swedish artist known for his depictions of folktales. 

Image citation: John Bauer. Trolls. 1911. Painting. Walter Stenström's "The Boy and the Trolls" or "The Adventure" in Among Pixies and Trolls. Available from: Wikimedia Commons

Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940)

Selma Lagerlöf (1858-1940) was a Swedish writer who authored many successful works and became the first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909. 

Image citation: Bain News Service. Selma Lagerlöf, seated. Photograph. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Available from: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Flock of Birds by Kay Nielsen (1886–1957)

This illustration by the Danish artist Kay Nielsen (1886–1957) appeared in the Norwegian folktale collection East of the Sun and West of the Moon (1914), which contains tales collected by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe.

Image citation: Kay Nielsen. Flock of Birds. 1914. Painting. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. Available from: National Library NZ of the Commons


Tove Jansson

Tove Jansson (1914–2001) was a Finnish writer, artist, and creator of the beloved Moomin book series. 

Image citation: Reino Loppinen / Lehtikuva. Tove Jansson. Photograph. 1956. Available from: Wikimedia Commons


The Ash Lad and the Dragon by Theodor Kittelsen

This work by the Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen (1857–1914) depicts the Ash Lad (or Askeladden), a character whose adventures are chronicled in many Norwegian folktales. 

Image citation: Theodor Kittelsen. The Ash Lad and the Dragon. 1900. Painting. Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum), Oslo, Norway. Available from: Nasjonalmuseet Fine Art Collections

Njal's Saga by August Malmström

This illustration for Njals Saga is by the Swedish painter August Malmström (1829–1901).

Image Citation: August Malmström. Illustration for Njals Saga. Painting. Circa 1895–1900. National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden. Available from: National Museum Collections

Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875) was a Danish writer best known today for his literary fairytales. He is pictured here reading the newspaper Fædrelandet. 

Image citation: Israel Berendt Melchior. H. C. Andersen med Fædrelandet. 1867. Photograph. Det Kgl. Bibliotek (Royal Danish Library), Copenhagen, Denmark. Available from: Det Kgl. Bibliotek Digitale Samlinger