To request editing rights on the Wiki, click here.

Norway Archives and Libraries

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 18:27, 12 May 2015 by SteuartRC (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Norway Archives and Libraries

Archives collect and preserve original documents of organizations such as churches or governments. Libraries generally collect published sources such as books, maps, and microfilm. This section describes the major repositories of genealogical and historical records and sources for Norway.

If you plan to visit one of these repositories, contact the organization and ask for information about their collection, hours, services, and fees. When writing to an archive in Norway, you may write in English.

Although the records you need may be in an archive or library in Norway, the Family History Library and the Norwegian American Genealogical Center (NAGC) (see the "Societies" section) may have a microfilm copy of them. The Family History Library has copies of many records from Norwegian archives and libraries.

In Norway there are several major types of genealogical repositories:

  • National archives
  • Regional archives
  • Church parish offices
  • University and public libraries
  • Historical and genealogical societies 

National Archives
[edit | edit source]

The Norwegian government collects records relating to Norwegian history, culture, and people. Records of genealogical value at the national archives include census records, military records, and emigration lists. The National Archives of Norway is open to the public. You may purchase microfilms or request photocopies of the records by using forms obtained from the archives.

Riksarkivet (National Archive)
Sognveien 221, Kringsjå, Oslo

Write to:
Postboks 4013, Ullevål stadion
0806, Oslo
Phone: 47 22 02 26 00
Fax: 47 22 23 74 89
Internet:http: Riksarkivet i Oslo

DIGITALARKIVET (The Digital Archives)[edit | edit source]

The digital Archives is a public service from the National Archives of Norway.  Transcribed, indexed, and original records can be serached for free.

Regional Archives[edit | edit source]

In Norway there are eight regional archives and 1 Sami Archive. They serve as repositories for records of their particular areas. Records of genealogical value at regional archives include birth, marriage, and death records (church records); land records; and court records. The regional archives of Norway are open to the public. The regional archives may also have records on microfilm for areas that are not under their jurisdiction.  The archives also have much of the printed genealogical material such as farm books (bygdebøker) that pertains to the area they cover.  Check what hours they are open before you visit.  Hours of operation are usually shorter during the summer.

The regional archives for the various counties [fylker] are listed below.

For Østfold, Akershus, and Oslo counties (Fylker)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Oslo (State Archive in Oslo)
Sognveien 221, Kringsjå, Oslo, Norway 

Write to:
Postboks 4015 Ullevål stadion
0806 Oslo

Phone: 47 22 02 26 00
Fax: 47 22 23 74 89

Statsarkivet i Oslo

For Buskerud, Vestfold, and Telemark Counties (Fylker)
[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Kongsberg (State Archive in Kongsberg)
Frogsvei 44
3611 Kongsberg

Phone: 47 32 86 99 00
Fax: 47 32 86 99 10

Statsarkivet i Kongsberg

For Oppland and Hedemark counties (Fylker)
[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Hamar (State Archive in Hamar)
Lille Strandgate 3, 2317 Hamar, Norway 

Write to:

(Postboks 533)
2304 Hamar

Phone: 47 65 55 54 40
Fax: 47 62 52 94 48

Statsarkivet i Hamar

For Aust-Agder and Vest-Agder counties (Fylker)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Kristiansand
Märthas vei 1
4633 Kristiansand

Phone: 47 38 14 55 00
Fax: 47 38 14 55 01
Statsarkivet i Kristiansand


For Rogaland County (Fylke)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Stavanger (State Archive in Stavanger)
Bergelandsgate 30
4012 Stavanger

Phone: 47 51 50 12 60
Fax: 47 51 50 12 90

Statsarkivet i Stavanager

For Hordaland, Bergen, and Sogn og Fjordane counties (Fylker)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Bergen (State Archive in Bergen)

Årstadveien 22
5009 Bergen

Phone: 47 55 96 58 00
Fax: 47 55 96 58 01

Statsarkivet i Bergen

For Møre og Romsdal, Sør-Trøndelag, Nord-Trøndelag, and Nordland counties (fylker)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Trondheim (State Archive in Trondheim)
Maskinistgata 1
7042 Trondheim

Phone: 47 73 88 45 00
Fax: 47 73 88 45 40

Statsarkivet i Trondheim

For Troms and Finnmark counties (Fylker)[edit | edit source]

Statsarkivet i Tromsø (State Archive in Tromsø)

Huginbakken 18, Breivika, Tromsø

Write to:

Pb 6315

9293 Tromsø

Phone: 47 77 64 72 00
Fax: 47 77 64 72 01
Statsarkivet i Tromsø


Samisk Arkiv /Sámi Arkiiva (The Sámi Archives)[edit | edit source]

Hánnoluohkká 45, Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino 

Write to:

9520 Kautokeino

Phone: 47 78 44 85 60
Fax: 47 78 44 85 69

[edit | edit source]

Church Parish Offices[edit | edit source]

Church records containing an entry dated less than 80 years ago are kept at the local parish office. All others are sent to the state archives for the area. It is possible to write to local parishes and do so in English. See also the "Church Records" section for more information .


Church records

Libraries in Norway[edit | edit source]

Some of the sources you will want to use are also available in major libraries in Norway and in the United States.  Contact these libraries and ask about their collection, hours, and services.  The Nasjonalbiblioteket is the largest library in Norway and its function is similar to that of The Library of Congress.  By law they are to receive a copy of everything that is published in all media formats in Norway.

Nasjonalbiblioteket, avdeling Oslo*

Henrik Ibsens gate 110
0255, Oslo, Norway

Write to:  Nasjonalbiblioteket

Postboks 2674, Solli N-0203, Oslo, Norway
Phone:  47 81 00 13 00  
Fax:  47 23 27 60 50  



  • National Library of Norway, Oslo Division

The main public libraries in Oslo and Bergen have large collections, and the collections of family histories, local histories, and biographical works are extensive.

Deickmanske Bibliotek

Arne Garborgs plass 4
N-0179 Oslo, Norway 

Write to:
Deickmanske Bibliotek
Postboks 1453, Vika Oslo, Norway

Phone:  47 23 43 29 00  

Fax;  47 22 11 33 89 



Norsk Lokalhistorisk Institutt (Norwegian Local History Institute)

0254 Oslo, Norway

Write to:  Postboks 8045
Dep., 0031, Oslo, Norway

Phone:  47 22 92 51 50

Fax:  47 22 92 51 30



Bergen Offentlige Bibliotek
Strømgaten 6
5015 Bergen

Phone: 47 55 56 85 60
Fax: 47 55 56 85 70


The Norwegian Emigration Center in Stavanger, Norway, is a foundation supported by the county or Rogaland, the city of Stavaanger, and the community of Tysvær.  The center has a copy of most of the published material about Norwegian families as well as an almost complete collection of Nrwegian church, census, and emigration records.  The center also has passanger lists from the Norwegian American Line and one of the largest colledtions of farm books (bygdebøker).  They answer questions and do research ofr a nominal fee.

Det Norske Utvandrersenteret  (The Norwegian Emigraion Center)

Strandkaia 31
N-4005 Stavanger, Norway

Phone:  47 51 53 88 60

Fax:  47 51 53 88 63

Office hours:  M-F 9:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.



There is an emigration museum with an archive located in Otterstad with an extensive collection about Norwegians in America.  They have more than 7,000 emigrant letters, microfilm of about 2,000 Norwegian Lutheran Churches in America from around 1840-1900, and a collection of about 9,000 photographs.

Norsk Utvandrermuseum (Norwegian Emigration Center)

3212 Otterstad, Norway

Phone:  47 62 57 48 50

Fax:  47 62 57 48 51

Office hours 9:00-5:00 T-F by appointment only



There are several libraries in Norway that have genealogical information that may be searched on the Internet at:
Arkivnett Norge (Norway archives on the net) is another useful site: 

The Memorial Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has one of the largest collections of Norwegian local histories in the United States, and these histories contain much genealogical information. Dennis Auburn Hill has published a bibliography of their holdings:

Norwegian Local History: A Bibliography of the Material in the Collections of the Memorial Library (Jefferson, NC, USA: McFarland, 1989; FHL book 977.583/M1 A3hi;

Other libraries that have large collections of Norwegian local histories include:

Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota—Grand Forks
Mikkelsen Library, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Rølvaag Library, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota

Historical and Genealogical Societies[edit | edit source]

Norway has some organized historical and genealogical societies. Some maintain libraries or archives that collect valuable genealogical records. For more information, including addresses of some societies, see the "Societies" section.

Archives in the United States[edit | edit source]

The archives of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have microfilm copies of most of the Norwegian-American Lutheran church records. The copies can be loaned via the mail for a nominal fee. The ELCA is divided into nine regions. The regional archives may have additional information.

To contact staff with questions about the Norwegian Lutheran church records in the United States, go to:

You may visit the ELCA archives in person by appointment only:
ELCA Archives
321 Bonnie Lane
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 1-847-690-9410


Other records of Norwegians in America are kept at the National Archives. These include service and pension, naturalization, immigration, and homestead records. For information, write to:

The National Archives of the United States
Washington, D.C. 20408

Other United States records are kept on a state and county level.

Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards

Computers with modems can be useful tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In fact, computer networks themselves serve as libraries. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial online services help family history researchers:

  • Locate other researchers
  • Post queries
  • Send and receive e-mail
  • Search large databases
  • Search computer libraries
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions

You can use online services to find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Norway in many sources at local, provincial, national and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most information is available at no cost.

Internet sites that include information about archives, censuses, church records, probate records, and military records are found in various Norway Wiki articles. Some sites that act as an index to many useful Norwegian genealogical sites include:

National Archive in Norway (Riksarkivet):
Digital Archive:
Family History Department

Inventories, Registers, Catalogs[edit | edit source]

Some archives have catalogs, inventories, guides, or periodicals that describe their records and how to use them. Write to each archive you are interested in for a guide to its collection. If one is available, study it before you visit or use the records during your visit so you can use your time more effectively. Some guides are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog under the Place search with the heading ARCHIVES AND LIBRARIES and the subheading INVENTORIES, REGISTERS, AND CATALOGS.