Do I need to register?

No, it is not necessary to register, but if you do decide to do so, you will be given your own page here at the Digital Archives, through which we offer you a couple of additional services. You can change the viewing mode of dates, and you can choose for the links in your hit lists after having performed a search to appear in a separate window. If you have an account with the Digital Archives you can also log on to the National Archives debate forums. It is both free and free of obligation to open an account, we only ask that you provide us with your full name, both first name and surname, when registering. For those contributing to the discussions, your name will be found through search engines such as Google. 

How do I register?

You will need a valid email address in order to register. In our help section we provide a detailed account of how to register with us.

It is difficult to read the distorted text when trying to register. 

If the text is indecipherable, simply refresh the text box by pressing the symbol (two green arrows making up a circle) next to the box, A new text will appear, and you can click the symbol until you are able to read the text. Make sure you type in all the letters and signs, including full stops, commas, etc. There will always be two words, make sure you add a space between them. Make sure you provide precise casing.


Nothing happens when I click the activation link in the email I received. 

If the link in the email we sent you is not blue, then please simply copy the link and paste it into the address bar of your web browser. Copy the link (right click -> copy) in its entirety, even though it runs over several lines, and open your web browser. Paste the link (right click ->paste) into the address bar (the field at the top of your browser where you write the internet address of the website you want to visit). Click Enter on you keyboard, and you will receive a confirmation on the screen saying your account has been activated, and that you can log on. 

If you are still encountering problems, please forward the email with the link to us (, and we will activate the account for you. 

When I click the link in the email I received, I only get an error message.

There could be several possible reasons why this would happen. It could be that your account has already been activated, so you could try to sign in. Other times there may be problems with your browser, so you could try to open the link in a different browser, like Firefox or Chrome. You would then have to copy the link from your email. It could also happen because you waited too long from receiving the email to activating the account. You will then have to get a new link.

If you are still getting an error message, please forward the email with the activation link to us (, and we will activate it for you.


I get zero hits when searching

There could be several reasons why you do not get any hits when searching:

  • we do not have any data form the period/area you are searching from
  • the spelling does not coincide with the old way of spelling
  • there is too much information in your search

The data in the Digital Archives are mainly from around 1801-1910, although there are some sources from before and after this period. As of 2013 there are only censuses and parish registers available through our new web site, while for other sources, such as emigration registers, military records, tax records etc., you will have to go to the old website. While the Digital Archives have published many sources pertaining to Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane and Trøndelag, the eastern part of Norway has few published sources.

All data is transcribed as written in the original source. A name such as Christoffer can be spelled in many different ways, such as Kristoffer, Krestofer and Christopher. In order to include all those different spellings in your search you will have to use a wildcard, e.g. replace parts of the name with an asterisk. A search for Christoffer could look like this: *risto*. Visit our help pages in order to read more about the different ways of searching. 

The search system will look for all the information that you enter. If you write all the names of a person, the exact date of birth, place of birth and place of residence, you risk not getting any hits. Only the information provided in the source will be included in the transcribed source, and it is only recently that so many details were included in a census or a parish register. The further back in time you are searching, the less details were probably included in the source. So you will have to start with fewer details when searching. If you get too many hits, you can open the search form and add more details. Read more about this in the paragraph below. Remember to use the wild card! 

I get too many hits when I search. 

When you receive too many hits we advice you to add some more information, for instance a name, a place name, year of birth (or other event, marriage, burial, baptism). Using the wild card is advisable (see above), and you can also use with years (181* instead if 1812, or 1810|1811|1812|1813|1814 etc.). Read more about the wild card in our help pages. It can also be worth trying to perform the search using a search form. As well as the general search, we have a source specific and list specific search. If you go to Select source you will find short cuts to the search forms in the right column. You can also find a specific transcribed source and perform a search of only this source. 

Debates/Discussion forums

How to a ask a question or give an answer in the debates?

You need to be signed in in order to write a post. Even though you are signed in to the Digital Archives, you are not necessarily signed in to the debates forums. When going to the page for the forum, and you can see your own name in the upper right corner, you are logged in. If, however, you see "Sign in/Create account" you need to sign in. If you are not registered with the Digital Archives you will have to create an account. You can read more about posting a new topic in the debate forum's help pages. If you wish to reply to a post, simply open the thread and scroll down to the last post. There you will find a text box for replying. 

I am unable to post a reply to a thread.

If you cannot post a reply the reason could be that you are not signed in. Read the paragraph above to learn how to know whether you are signed in or not. It could also be because you are in the archived forums. The archived forums are a collection of the older forums, from before 2011. It is not possible to reply to posts or post a new thread in this old forum. See the post below. 

After an update of the software in the end of January 2014, the Reply-box is now equipped with a switch to toggle HTML-view on and off. If you have deactivated the HTML-view, you will not be able to copy and paste the URL's as links, and the text you submit might disappear. If you experience this, you should try to activate the HTML-view by clicking the switch. You find the switch at the top-left of the tools menu (see image).

I want to reply in the Archived forum - posts from the old forums.

This forum is a collection of all discussion from the old forums. It is not possible to reply to these posts, but the discussions can be continued. If you wish to reply to a thread, copy the title of the thread and preferably the number as well, and use that as a title for your new thread in the Users' forum. In the first post, simply add a link to the original discussion. This way, old users can easily find the new thread, while new users can easily keep up with the discussion and contribute on their own. 

How to get notifications when something new has been posted in threads and discussions I follow. 

You can change the settings so that you receive notifications when somebody replies to a discussion started by you. You can also choose to receive notifications when someone replies to discussions you have contributed to, or that you simply are interested in following. You will find an explanation of all this at the help pages.

I am unable to sign in to the debate forums

In January 2014, we updated the software for the log in-function in the debate forums and the internet site of the Digital Archives. Henceforth, the sites of the Digital Archives and the debate forums will have joint member list. Some of the members will experience that they are unable to log on in the debate forums. This can be solved in one of two ways:

  1. Log on to the internet site of the Digital Archives with the same e-mail address and password that you use in the debate forums. Once you are logged in, you can return to the debate site and log in as usual.
  2. Register on the internet site of the Digital Archives with the same e-mail address and password that you use in the debate forums. After you are registered, you must activate your account. Once the registering process is a success, you can return to the debate site and log in as usual.

Try step 1 first. If you get an error message telling you "Invalid username or password." it means your account is not synchronized and you must follow step 2.