Introduction

The National Archives of Norway consists of the National Archives in Oslo and eight regional state archives (located in Oslo, Hamar, Kongsberg, Kristiansand, Stavanger, Bergen, Trondheim and Tromsø) and the Sami Archive. The institutions of the National Archives of Norway maintain the archives of all government administration bodies, and are also committed to preserving archives from the private sector. This Statement of Service is the outline of the services the public may expect when making an inquiry to any one of these institutions.

Our goal is to offer public services in a way that makes the individual user feel welcome on our premises and satisfied with our services. Our internal procedures are developed with the objective of assuring the quality of the services offered.

Our basic premise is that the archival material is accessible to everyone. However, just like other civil servants, our employees are under a pledge of confidentiality, and are hence required to protect personal information.

General Information

  • Anyone is welcome to make an inquiry to the National Archives or a regional state archive, either in person or by postal mail, phone, fax, or e-mail.
  • Most services are free of charge.
  • We do our very best to help users find the answers to questions that may be solved using archival material in the holdings of the the National Archives of Norway.
  • We provide instructions on the terms, conditions, and procedures for possibly obtaining access to restricted material.
  • If we are unable to help, we make every effort to refer the user to other bodies that might be of assistance.

Reading Room Users

  • The National Archives and the regional state archives have reading rooms that are open to anyone wishing to use archival material. The opening hours are usually no less than 5 hours within ordinary business hours, Monday through Friday. In addition, the reading rooms are open to the public in the afternoons and on Saturdays, with varying hours depending on the season and the particular needs of the individual institution. Please contact the relevant archive for its exact opening hours.
  • When visiting the reading rooms, users shall receive the necessary instructions from staff on how to locate relevant archival material.
  • Catalogs on archival material shall be available in the context of the reading room.
  • Once identified and requested, the archival items shall be brought to the reading room within 30 minutes. The above rule does not apply if the material is not freely accessible for use, or if the items are located in a specialized room or in another building than the reading room.
  • If necessary, the user can obtain assistance with reading words and sentences written in difficult script. After repeated visits, the users are expected to be able to read ordinary Gothic handwriting on their own.
  • Archival material may be requested in advance for use in the reading room when providing sufficient data to identify the relevant material. Original archival material that is to be used in the afternoons and/or on Saturdays must be requested in advance.
  • All services are provided within the framework of the reading room regulations.
  • Book collections are available in the reading room.

Written Inquiries

  • Under regular circumstances, all inquiries are processed within 15 days. If the staff is unable to do so, the user shall receive notice of when a reply may be expected (temporary response). For certain subject areas, the processing time tends to be longer.
  • If the issue at hand relates to legal or welfare matters, our staff will conduct archival searches and provide answers, possibly in the form of required copies.
  • If the issue is in regard to professional business (researchers, students, journalists), we will provide answers to concrete questions, possibly in the form of required copies, to the extent that this can be accomplished with simple archival look-ups. We take the user’s opportunity to visit the reading room in person into consideration.
  • If the issue at hand is in regard to hobby pursuits, we will provide answers to concrete questions, possibly in the form of required copies, to the extent that this can be accomplished in no more than 1 man hour. Repeated requests from a single user are given lower priority.
  • When concrete answers cannot be obtained, or cannot be obtained under the given circumstances, our staff shall, to the greatest possible extent, provide users with information on how they might be able to continue the search on their own.
  • Responses may be given by mail, e-mail, fax, or phone.

Phone Inquiries

  • The switchboard is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:45 pm (September 15 through May 14), or from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (May 15 through September 14).
  • Users have access to talking with a case manager, but not always a specific person. The Case Manager may respond to an inquiry immediately, call back after having done a further search, or convert the case to a written request. The user may be asked to provide the required information in writing.

Internet Services

  • The National Archives of Norway maintains websites with general information where users may also submit service requests.
  • Our aim is to make as many of our catalogs as possible available online. This is being done on an ongoing basis as the catalogs are converted to electronic formats.
  • Some frequently used sources are digitized and made available online to allow users to search for information directly from their own computers.

Copies

  • We provide copies of archival material and books that may be photocopied without sustaining any damage. Material susceptible to wear and tear is not photocopied.
  • Users are normally charged for copies at rates determined by the Norwegian Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
  • Within regular business hours, a limited number of copies may be supplied while the user is waiting (quick copying). This number is determined by the individual institution, but never exceeds 25 copies.
  • No paper copies are made from an original if the same material is available in digitizes format.
  • The National Archives and some of the regional state archives offer photographs of archival material for use as illustrations, etc.
  • Users may take photograps of original archival material.

Other Services

  • We provide transcriptions of documents in difficult handwriting or type when the objective is to document rights to property, etc.
  • We publish printed source publications of certain sources.
  • We publish instructional brochures on topics central to users, as well as a number of other publications.
  • Upon request, tours of the individual institutions are available to groups.

Not Satisfied?

  • When official decisions that negatively affect the users are made, notification of their right to appeal and procedures to do so shall always be provided.
  • In general, we are committed to correcting any errors on our part and to providing further explanations when needed.
  • We welcome any feedback that may help us improve our services.