The Director General's authority is founded on the Norwegian Archives Act with Regulations. The set of laws and regulations that spring from the Archives Act is organised into a three-level hierarchy. In some cases, the law, the Archives Regulation and the Regulation on the Handling of Public Records each contain provisions pertaining to the same topic, e.g. disposal. The difference is that these provisions get increasingly detailed as you descend through the hierarchy. The Regulation on the Handling of Public Records can be viewed as a specialisation of the Archives Regulation. These provisions carry greater weight than the more general ones in the Archives Regulation.
The Archives Act with Regulations applies to all public bodies. However, there are some differences between the national and the municipal levels.
In 1996, the International Council on Archives (ICA) adopted professional ethical guidelines for archivists worldwide.
The majority of specialised terms and vocabulary is gathered and explained on a separate page.