Icelandic Emigration Centre

The permanent exhibit at the Icelandic Emigration Centre (Vesturfarasetrið) in Hofsós details Icelandic emigration in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the fate of settlements from Utah to Brazil. By 1914, 15,000 Icelanders— almost 20% of the population at the time—had left for the "New World".

The centre gives an impression of the lives of these thousands of Icelanders, their reasons for going and the climactic, social and economic situation in Iceland at the time, explored through a combination of photographs, texts and artifacts. Visiting the center is almost like going back in time and guest can learn about about Iceland in the period 1870-1914. 

Many of these emigrants’ descendants still return to Hofsós to seek information about their Icelandic ancestors, accessing information found in the centre’s database and library.

The centre is run by the company Snorri Thorfinnsson ehf., which bears the name of the son of Thorfinnur karlsefni and his wife, Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir, settlers in Vinland (America), who is believed to be the first European child born in the New World. One of the principal goals of the company is to strengthen the ties between the Icelanders and the descendants of the emigrants to the New World.