Nordic Council of Ministers

Nordbok News
Nordbok’s budget for 2004 contains NOK 1,550,000 for project funding and NOK 2,900,00 to support translation work. Nordbok also disposes of an additional NOK 560,000 to promote the translation of Baltic literature into the Nordic languages and Nordic literature into the languages of the Baltic. The Nordbok meeting in June saw the distribution of the total funds available for projects and NOK 1,596,000 to support the work of translation.

We received 153 applications for translation support, representing a total sum of NOK 6,5 million. 85 of these applications were accepted. The support scheme covers translation to eight Nordic languages, the distribution of funds taking place in accordance with a previously- agreed ratio. The minority languages of Greenlandic, Sami and Faeroese were given support for four, six and five translations respectively. Iceland received support for six titles, while the remaining 59 grants were spread fairly evenly between Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish.

42 applications for project support were received, representing a total amount of NOK 6,827,000. The funds available were distributed among 23 projects, the sum granted to each project varying from NOK 20,000 to 140,000.

Project themes cover a wide range from literary festivals and exhibitions to courses and conferences; from the publication of special literature for the disabled and handicapped to the fulfilment of the UN Children’s Convention in the everyday work of libraries. Several projects were concerned with children’s literature and its promotion among young people.

The project which received the largest amount is entitled ELINOR, which stands for Electronic Literature in the Nordic region.

The University of Bergen is responsible for this project, the aim of which is to increase the production and distribution of electronic literature in the Nordic region by establishing an environment for writers and critics of electronic literature in the Nordic countries. A related project is the Internet journal, New Poetry, consisting of Nordic poetry, sound, essay translations, academic works, dialogues, etc., which will be published only on the Internet. The project Nordisk serietek is also Internet- related and will be run by five Nordic libraries which have specialised in comic strips and cartoon series. These five relatively small libraries will combine their efforts to establish joint web sites offering virtual services to those who read, create or carry out research on cartoons and comics.

During the autumn of 2004 Nordbok has also been engaged in initiatives receiving financial support from sources outside regular project funding. At the Book and Library trade fair in Gothenburg in September a Baltic literary arrangement was carried out in cooperation with the Nordic information offices in Tallin, Riga and Vilnius. On the same occasion a seminar on literary criticism was arranged by the yearbook Nordic Literature. In October the Nordic Federation, in cooperation with the Malmö City Library in Sweden, arranged a conference on the promotion of Nordic literature throughout the Nordic region. This conference was financed by surplus funds available after the Nordic Library Week.

Information on the projects and translations that have received financial support can be found on Nordbok’s Web site should be glad to answer any queries concerning these projects and to provide details of relevant contacts.

Translated by Eric Deverill

director, Nordbok.