UCL is home to the first Department of Scandinavian Studies in the UK. Professor William Paton Ker (1855-1923), who was appointed Quain Professor of English Language and Literature at UCL in 1889, was asked by the College to take on the directorship of the newly founded Department of Scandinavian Studies in 1917. UCL Special Collections has preserved the manuscript of Ker’s lecture ‘History of literature of Denmark, Norway and Sweden’, given on occasion of his appointment to ‘take charge of […] the Northern province of philology and literature’ (as he states himself in the opening remarks of his lecture). Over a century later, the Department of Scandinavian Studies at UCL is today one of the only two left in the UK, alongside that at the University of Edinburgh.
Location: UCL Special Collections, Ker Papers