Doctor Arthur Vaag's Faroese collection was made over to the library of the, at that time, South Jutland University Centre by a deed of gift dated 15.september 1971.
Arthur Asser Vaag, born Rasmussen (he changed his name to til Vaag in 1938), was born in Skanderborg in 1896 and died in Hørning nearby his town of birth in 1988, 92 years old. He had travelled widely, first working as a trained telegraphist in 1914 in Newcastle. after that from 1914-16 in St. Petersburg, and from 1925 as a doctor at the cryolite quarry in Ivigtut in Greenland. He was on the island of Vágar in the Faroe Islands from 1927 until 1934. From 1961-63 he was again in the Faroe Islands as a doctor on the Island of Sand. From 1963 until his retirement in 1983, Arthur Vaag was a general practitioner on Mandø. (Source: Dansk biografisk leksikon. Vol. 16. - Kbh.: Gyldendal, 1984).
While he was in the Faroe Islands, Vaag discovered a disease, he called ornithosis or chlamydial psittaci, better known as parrot disease or sea-horse disease, which he described as early as 1934 in the weekly journal of the Danish Medical Association: Ugeskrift for Læger. The disease was a type of pneumonia. The credit for the discovery of the disease according to Arthur Vaag was given completely wrongfully to another doctor, who had in 1950 been given an honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen. Vaag's account of the disease, its etiology and incidence together with a very bitter account written later of the "theft" of his discovery can be found together with the papers accompanying the gift of the collection to SUC's library.
During the first years after the collection was made over, it stayed with Arthur Vaag on Mandø, and it was first in 1974 that it was transferred to SUC's library. The collection has since been supplemented with further gifts and now consists of 774 titles (books and journals) amounting to 955 volumes. The works deal only with Faroese circumstances, with texts in Faroese, Danish or English. The collection consists of both non-fiction and fiction.
The deed of gift in 1971 was accompanied by a card catalogue, prepared by the Esbjerg Public Library, and SUC has since - i 1979 - prepared a register in paper-form consisting of photocopies of all the catalogue cards so that the contents of the collection can be researched in and the works lent out according to the library's usual lending arrangements with other localities than the University Library in Esberg.
The books can be used according to the University Library of Southern Denmark's normal library rules for the use of older material - See library rules.