National Library of Norway

Last updated

The National Library of Norway
National Library of Norway (4453612421).jpg
The building of Nasjonalbiblioteket in Oslo
Established1989(30 years ago) (1989)
Reference to legal mandateThe Legal Deposit of generally available documents
Location Oslo and Mo i Rana, Norway
Coordinates 59°54′50.61″N10°43′2.85″E / 59.9140583°N 10.7174583°E / 59.9140583; 10.7174583
Items collectedUnique collections of manuscripts, special collections of books, music, radio and TV programmes, film, theatre, maps, posters, pictures, photographs, electronic documents and newspapers.
Size8,5 M
Legal deposit The Legal Deposit Act
Access and use
Access requirementsReading rooms: free.
Registration for lending: be Norwegian resident or citizen over 18
Circulation153,228 (2007)
Other information
Director Aslak Sira Myhre

The National Library of Norway (Norwegian : Nasjonalbiblioteket) was established in 1989. Its principal task is "to preserve the past for the future". The library is located both in Oslo and in Mo i Rana. The building in Oslo was restored and reopened in 2005.

Norwegian language North Germanic language spoken in Norway

Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken mainly in Norway, where it is the official language. Along with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a dialect continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional varieties; some Norwegian and Swedish dialects, in particular, are very close. These Scandinavian languages, together with Faroese and Icelandic as well as some extinct languages, constitute the North Germanic languages. Faroese and Icelandic are not mutually intelligible with Norwegian in their spoken form because continental Scandinavian has diverged from them. While the two Germanic languages with the greatest numbers of speakers, English and German, have close similarities with Norwegian, neither is mutually intelligible with it. Norwegian is a descendant of Old Norse, the common language of the Germanic peoples living in Scandinavia during the Viking Era.

Oslo Capital of Norway

Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour. It was established as a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. The city functioned as a co-official capital during the 1814 to 1905 Union between Sweden and Norway. In 1877, the city's name was respelled Kristiania in accordance with an official spelling reform – a change that was taken over by the municipal authorities only in 1897. In 1925 the city, after incorporating the village retaining its former name, was renamed Oslo.

Mo i Rana Town in Northern Norway, Norway

Mo i Rana is a town and the administrative centre of the municipality of Rana in Nordland county, Norway. It is located in the Helgeland region of Nordland, just south of the Arctic Circle. Some of the outlying areas of the town include the suburbs of Båsmoen and Ytteren in the north and Selfors in the east and Åga/Hauknes/Dalsgrenda in the south.


Prior to the existence of the National Library, the University Library of Oslo was assigned the tasks that normally fall to a national library.

National library Library specifically established by the government

A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow books. Often, they include numerous rare, valuable, or significant works. A national library is that library which has the duty of collecting and preserving the literature of the nation within and outside the country. Thus, national libraries are those libraries whose community is the nation at large. Examples include the British Library, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris.

The Norwegian ISBN Agency, responsible for assigning ISBNs with prefix 82- and 978-82-, is part of the National Library of Norway. The National Library is also responsible for legal deposits made from publishers in Norway. All material is to be submitted free of charge.

Norway Country in Northern Europe

Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic country in Northwestern Europe whose territory comprises of the western and northernmost portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula; the remote island of Jan Mayen and the archipelago of Svalbard are also part of the Kingdom of Norway. The Antarctic Peter I Island and the sub-Antarctic Bouvet Island are dependent territories and thus not considered part of the kingdom. Norway also lays claim to a section of Antarctica known as Queen Maud Land.


On 15 August 2005, Norway opened a fully functioning national library for the first time in its history. This occurred exactly 100 years after Norway dissolved its union with Sweden. Although gaining independence in 1905 marked the peak of Norwegian nationalism, it took Norway a century to go from being a sovereign nation-state to establishing its own national library. The establishment of the national library evolved as a result of a lengthy political process. Since 1813, the University of Oslo Library had functioned as both a library for the university and a national library. In 1989, Norway established a repository in Rana in the northern part of the country as part of the national library, with a mandate to preserve everything published within the country in compliance with a revised version of the Legal Deposition Act. The University of Oslo Library retained its mandate to preserve historical and unique collections and to make all its collections available to the public. In 1999, these tasks were consolidated within a newly established branch of the national library in Oslo. Provisional arrangements were made for the period between 1999 and 2005, while the library building was being renovated. In 2005, the national library moved into a renovated building in Oslo, which marked the true beginning for this new national institution. With its reopening in 2005, the national library launched its redesigned website. The institution intended to present itself as a modern library, with both a physical presence and a digital appearance. According to the website, it was to be the premier source of information about Norway, Norwegians and Norwegian culture, and Norway’s main resource for the collection, archiving and distribution of Norwegian media. [1]

Digital Library Project (Bokhylla or NBdigital)

National Library of Norway has started with digitization process in 2006 with a goal to digitize its entire collection. In October 2012 the Minister of Culture, Hadia Tajik, opened the Bokhylla (″Bookshelf″) website at as a permanent service. When launched, the service offered 104,000 books online out of estimated 250,000 total books published in Norway before the year 2000. Digital Library of Norway is sometimes also called NBdigital.

Hadia Tajik Norwegian journalist, jurist and politician

Hadia Tajik is a Pakistani-Norwegian jurist, journalist and politician. On 21 September 2012, she was appointed Minister of Culture and, at 29 years of age, became the youngest minister ever to serve in the Norwegian government, as well as the first Muslim and Asian. She is a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party representing Oslo.

Due to copyright restrictions, Bokhylla applies IP address blocking to some of the books which are available only for Norwegian IP addresses. For access outside Norwegian IP-space, users have to apply through special form. [2]

In 2013, Bokhylla reported 51 million page views served during 2012, which indicates that, for its users, the National Library of Norway is essentially a digital library. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

National Library of Sweden library

The National Library of Sweden is the national library of Sweden. As such it collects and preserves all domestic printed and audio-visual materials in Swedish, as well as content with Swedish association published abroad. Being a research library, it also has major collections of literature in other languages.

Library and Archives Canada national library and archive of Canada

Library and Archives Canada is a federal institution tasked with acquiring, preserving and making Canada's documentary heritage accessible. It is the fourth biggest library in the world. LAC reports to Parliament through Pablo Rodríguez, the Minister of Canadian Heritage since August 28, 2018.

National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design National Museum in Oslo

The National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo is a Norwegian state-owned museum

Norwegian Students Society

Norwegian Students' Society is Norway's oldest student society.

Landsbókasafn Íslands – Háskólabókasafn is the national library of Iceland which also functions as the university library of the University of Iceland. The library was established on December 1, 1994 in Reykjavík, Iceland, with the merger of the former national library, Landsbókasafn Íslands, and the university library. It is by far the largest library in Iceland with about one million items in various collections. The library's largest collection is the national collection containing almost all written works published in Iceland and items related to Iceland published elsewhere. The library is the main legal deposit library in Iceland. The library also has a large manuscript collection with mostly early modern and modern manuscripts, and a collection of published Icelandic music and other audio. The library houses the largest academic collection in Iceland, most of which can be borrowed for off-site use by holders of library cards. University students get library cards for free, but anyone can acquire a card for a small fee. The library is open for public access.

The University of Michigan Library is the university library system of the University of Michigan, based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in the United States.

The California Digital Library (CDL) was founded by the University of California in 1997. In collaboration with the ten University of California Libraries and other partners, CDL has assembled one of the world's largest digital research libraries. CDL facilitates the licensing of online materials and develops shared services used throughout the UC system. Building on the foundations of the Melvyl Catalog, CDL has developed one of the largest online library catalogs in the country and works in partnership with the UC campuses to bring the treasures of California's libraries, museums, and cultural heritage organizations to the world. CDL continues to explore how services such as digital curation, scholarly publishing, archiving and preservation support research throughout the information lifecycle.

National Archives of Sweden Swedish administrative authority

The National Archives of Sweden is the official archive of the Swedish government and is responsible for the management of records from Sweden's public authorities. Although the archives functions primarily as the government archive, it also preserves some documents from private individuals and non-public organizations. The mission of the archives is to collect and preserve records for future generations.

The Digital Assets Repository is a system developed at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) by the International School of Information Science (ISIS) to create and maintain digital library collections and preserve them to future generations.

John Hay Library

The John Hay Library is the second oldest library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. It is located on Prospect Street opposite the Van Wickle Gates. After its construction in 1910, the Hay Library became the main library on campus, replacing the library now known as Robinson Hall. Today, the John Hay Library is one of five individual libraries that make up the University Library. The Hay houses the University Library's rare books and manuscripts, the University Archives, and the Library's special collections.

National and University Library in Zagreb national library of Croatia and central library of the University of Zagreb

National and University Library in Zagreb (NSK) is the national library of Croatia and central library of the University of Zagreb.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress claims to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."

University of Oslo Library

The University of Oslo Library is a library connected to the University of Oslo.

The Illinois Newspaper Project (INP) began as part of the United States Newspaper Program (USNP), a cooperative effort between the states and the federal government designed to catalog and preserve on microfilm the nation's historic newspaper heritage. The USNP was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and administered by the Library of Congress, who are currently funding the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), of which the INP is also a part.

Schous plass square in Oslo, Norway

Schous plass is a square in the southern part of the borough of Grünerløkka in Oslo, Norway.

Lloyd Sealy Library Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

The Lloyd George Sealy Library is the campus library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY). Located in Haaren Hall, the library specializes in criminal justice-related materials.

The Association of European Film Archives and Cinematheques is an affiliation of 44 European national and regional film archives founded in 1991. Its role is to safeguard the European film heritage and make this rich audiovisual records collected and preserved by the various film archives accessible to the public. ACE is a regional branch of FIAF Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film / International Federation of Film Archives. ACE members are non-profit institutions committed to the FIAF Code of Ethics.

Norwegian Labour Movement Archives and Library

The Norwegian Labour Movement Archives and Library is an archival and historical institution in Oslo, Norway, opened in 1909. It was established and is still owned by the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions and the Labour Party.

Pepperdine Libraries

Pepperdine Libraries is the collective name for all of Pepperdine University's academic libraries. Pepperdine Libraries has a collection of over 1 million physical books and periodicals, 1.5 million full-text articles via 150 electronic databases, rare books, and a digital press. The main branch, Payson Library, is home to Pepperdine Libraries' Special Collections, with collections such as University Archives, the Malibu Historical Collection, the John Mazza Collection of Historic Surfboards, and the Churches of Christ Heritage Center.

Digital Archives is a website of the National Archival Services of Norway for publishing digitized archival material. The website contains sources that are both and transcribed (searchable) and scanned. The most important searchable sources are the nationwide censuses of 1801, 1865, 1900, and 1910. In addition, it contains many transcribed parish registers and emigration records. The website is available in both Norwegian and English.


  1. AKLE, M. (2010). National reproduction: Norway's new national library. Nations & Nationalism, 16(4), 753-773.
  2. "Access request form". National Library of Norway.
  3. "BCUL Annual Report 2013" (PDF). National Library of Norway.[ permanent dead link ]

Coordinates: 59°54′50.61″N10°43′2.85″E / 59.9140583°N 10.7174583°E / 59.9140583; 10.7174583