The history of the Viking Congress goes back to 1946 when the idea was conceived by Robert Bruce, when he was Area Officer in Aberdeen of the British Council. It was pursued by his successor Mr. A. C. Davis. The working title for the first congress was Scoto-Scandinavian Conference, which was changed to the Viking Congress at the suggestion of Eric Linklater.
The first Viking Congress was held at Lerwick, Shetland as a joint effort by the British Council and the University of Aberdeen.
The Viking Congresses are multinational, interdisciplinary conferences within Viking Age studies. Viking Congresses have been held on a three- to four-year basis since 1950, by turns in Scandinavia and the Britain/Ireland. The objective of the conferences is to create a common forum for the most current research and theories within Viking Age studies, and to enhance communication and collaboration between leading scholars within the field, crossing geographical and disciplinary borders. The main disciplines are archaeology, history, numismatics, philology, name-studies and runology. The official language of the conference is English (also Welsh for 2021).
Besides the academic emphasis an important part of the conference has always been to introduce the participants to the hosting country and its culture. Therefore, excursions to museums and significant cultural sites have played an important role.
The logo of the Viking Congress
…was adopted at the fifth congress in the Faroes. Known in the Faroes as a held (Icelandic: högld), it is a ring made of a locked loop of ram’s horn. It was, and still is, used for a number of purposes, but chiefly as a loop attached to a rope and used when carrying hay.
|Viking Congress 2017||Denmark|
|Viking Congress 2013||Shetland|
|Viking Congress 2009||Reykjavik and Reykholt, Iceland|
|Viking Congress 2005||Cork, Ireland|
|Viking Congress 2001||Faroe Islands|
|Viking Congress 1997||Nottingham and York|
|Viking Congress 1993||Hässelby slott, Sweden|
|Viking Congress 1989||Caithness and Orkney|
|Viking Congress 1985||Larkollen, Norway|
|Viking Congress 1981||Isle of Man|
|Viking Congress 1977||Århus, Denmark|
|Viking Congress 1973||Dublin, Ireland|
|Viking Congress 1969||Uppsala Dalarna, Sweden|
|Viking Congress 1965||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands|
|Viking Congress 1961||York, England|
|Viking Congress 1956||Reykjavík, Iceland|
|Viking Congress 1953||Bergen, Norway|
|Viking Congress 1950||Lerwick, Shetland|