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The Vikings


The Vikings

Subject Guide to Library Resources Available

Actual Viking helmet
Viking Helmets
Did not have horns:
too cumbersome for battle

Vikings: the only European warriors to use the battle-axe

The Vikings, the proud symbol of Long Beach City College, have long been noted as fierce warrior-pirates from the icy regions of Scandinavia. Well, they did raise fear in the hearts of men as their ships' dragon-heads appeared through the fog like sea monsters and sliding onto shore the fiercest Beserker Vikings came wildly swinging their battle axes. The largest longships could carry more than 60 warriors who could quickly embark from their shore-landed ships. A medieval prayer echoes the fear of the Europeans: "From the fury of the Norsemen, good Lord deliver us." (see John R. Hale:

Modern research, however, has found that the Viking culture of Sweden, Denmark and Norway was far more complex than that, and the violence of the Viking culture was no more ruthless than other groups in Medieval Europe of the 8th through 11th centuries A.D. Vikings spread trade through Russia to Constantinople, Arabia and the Near East, and even East Asia. They brought new agricultural techniques to their settlements in Northern France and England, and they explored far and wide to establish settlements in Iceland, Greenland and briefly, North America. Today we find Nordic influence in our own language and culture. This guide was created to assist you in locating available information on the Vikings at the Long Beach City College Library and through the Internet. See
A good place to start a paper is to read a little general literature about the field (encyclopedia, internet article) and look up basic terms that are unfamiliar to you. The Encyclopedia Britannica (in print or online) is an excellent source of information on topics about the Vikings.

The next step would be to look for books which cover or touch upon your specific topic. Use the chapter headings and indexes of books that seem relevant to zero in on your topic.

Finally, look for journal articles focused on your specific area of inquiry for more in-depth and recent coverage.

When unable to find answers to your questions in these resources, the internet and other reference books will often give you new leads to the answers. Finally, don't forget the wealth of information contained in videos. Your research about the Vikings will be enhanced by information and visual material documented in videos.


Viking ornamental dragons
Viking Ornamental Dragons

Reference tools such as indexes, directories, bibliographies, guides, encyclopedias and atlases are generally found in a reference area where many people can refer to general information. Items found in reference areas cannot be checked out of the library.

Occasionally other copies of reference-type items can be found in the circulating collection for you to check out.

To find articles and books on various aspects of the Viking world, the main printed indexes in the Reference Area to use for extensive research are (use Interlibrary Loan to request books & articles not available at LBCC):

Humanities index.
Location: LAC Index Table (Reference Room) Call Number: AI3 .H85

Social sciences index.
Location: LAC Index Table (Reference Room) Call Number: AI3 .S62

(Previous volumes known as Social Sciences & Humanities Index AI3 .R49)

Reference Books on Norse Mythology

Norse mythology : legends of gods and heroes. 1968.
Location: LAC Reference Room Collection. Call Number: BL860 .M86 1968

Eddic [mythology].1964.
Location: LAC Reference Room Collection. Call Number: BL25 .M8 1964 vol. 2

Norse mythology A to Z : a young reader's companion. 1991.
Location: LAC Reference Room Collection. Call Number: BL850 .D34 1991


Viking portrait
Norsemen Reflect
Norse Mythology

Books can be located by searching Voyager, the Library's online catalog. Use the term of a Viking area such as Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland. You may also search for Viking religion, civilization, archaeology, culture, epigraphy, inscriptions, numismatics, architecture, history, mythology, art, art history, language, literature, atlases, or historical geography. Look also for items under medieval history or the middle ages. Combine these terms in a keyword search for the best results, following subject links in desired records to find more similar records.

To find Electronic books in Voyager which can be read online from home, try a search using general terms and adding a Quick Limit of E-Books. You will need to view the record for the book to click on the link to the website that hosts the book. To view from home you will need passwords which can be found with the passwords for online databases available from the librarians.

Try a keyword search and look at the subject headings assigned to some of your hits, then link to those subject headings for more records. If you don't find records in the LBCC Library for what you need, try searching online databases for articles and search other libraries for books. You may use Interlibrary Loan to request books not found at LBCC. Some of the topics you might search in Voyager for concerning the Vikings, their settlements, and their mythology include the following (search online databases for articles and search other libraries and use Interlibrary Loan to request books not found at LBCC):
Bjarni Herjolfsson
Erik the Red
Faroe Islands
Kiev (Kaenugard)
Leif Eriksson
Long Ship

New Foundland
Norse Mythology
Novgorod (Holmgard)

Stave Churches
York (Jorvik)

You can also browse the shelves by the Library of Congress Classification letters assigned to books in these subject areas either in the Reference Area or on the stack level listed for books that can be checked out:

Find these call numbers on Stack Level 1, Sub-basement of LAC:
BL860 -- Norse Mythology
CC -- Archaeology
CJ -- Numismatics
CN -- Insriptions, Epigraphy
DL65 -- Viking History

Find these call numbers on Stack Level 2, Basement of LAC:
E105 -- Vikings in America
G -- Historical Geography, Atlases
GN -- Anthropology, Prehistoric Archaeology
GR -- Folklore
GT -- Manners and Customs

Find these call numbers on Stack Level 3, First Floor of LAC:
N6763 -- Viking Art

Find these call numbers on Stack Level 4, the Mezzanine of LAC:
PD -- Scandinavianl Languages & Literatures

Find these call numbers on Stack Level 5, the Second Floor of LAC:
VM -- Ships


Some videos may be found in Voyager, the online catalog, to be checked out. First select a Quick Limit of Videorecordings, then do a keyword search on the word Vikings or a term from above.

You may also view videos inhouse from the Instructional Media Collection. Search Medianet for the word Vikings or a term from above.


A few periodical titles currently held by the LAC library in hard copy and containing information on the Vikings include:

Actual Ships at Viking Museum
Viking Ship Museum


Cultural Anthropology

Journal of Anthropological Research

Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

National Geographic


The Library has a subscription to several online databases containing information on research on the Vikings. These databases are particularly helpful in finding information as many journals can be searched simultaneously by the keywords you select. The full-text is then most often available online for printing or sending to your email account. Some of these databases include:

Encyclopaedia Britannica

Facts on File On-Line


SIRS Renaissance

SIRS Researcher

Thor's Hammer amulet

Thor's Hammer (Mjolner)
Returns to Thor's Hand Like a Boomerang

Only current faculty, students or staff may use these databases. Ask for passwords at the Reference Desk at either Library. The Librarians can instruct you on using these article databases. There is a free workshop offered for learning the ins and outs of online database searching.


Many good resources can be found on the Internet for current research, basic information, and indexes to more resources. You will also come across many sites produced by school classes and others that will not carry the authority you might be looking for. So review the origin of the information you find carefully. Follow the links by clicking on the pictures on this page. A few other interesting sites to visit include:

Beowulf Resources:
Dragons of Scandinavia:
Etymology of the Word "Viking":
Isle of Man:
Lord of the Rings & Norse Mythology:
Norse Literature Chronology:
Norse Mythology Encyclopedia:
Norse Sagas & FairyTales--Text:
Stave Churches:
Stave Churches of Norway:
Viking Age Page Links:
Viking Art:
Viking Helmets:
Viking Heritage Pages:
Viking History - BBC:
Viking Longships:
Viking Longships:
Viking Religion:
Viking Settlement of Dublin,Ireland:
Viking Settlements:
Viking Timeline:
Viking Women - BBC:
Viking World & Their Gods:
Vikings (Multimedia Website):
Vikings Overview:
Vikings on Nova:
Vikings in America:
Vikings in Russia:
Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga - Smithsonian Exhibit:
World of the Vikings Internet Links:
Write Your Name in Runes:


Viking ship sailing away
Viking Ship Replica

Finally, while you are writing your paper, there is an online subject guide, Writing Tips, with links to online help for organizing and formulating your paper, and finding online dictionaries and citation tools.

There is also a Writing Center at both campuses to help you with the fundamentals of your paper, for information call the Writing Center at LAC (562) 938-4520 and at PCC: (562) 938-3991.


Increase Your Research Skills!

Enroll for Lib1 (Information Resources 1-credit)
or Lib3 (Information Competency 3-credits)

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Compiled 4/2004 by P. Nielson