The History of the Regional State Archives

The Regional State Archives in Bergen was established in 1885 as the so-called "Stiftsarkivet i Bergen". It covered Rogaland, Hordaland, Sogn og Fjordane counties as well as Bergen and Sunnmøre. In 1949, Stavanger got a regional state archives office of its own and from 1970, Rogaland was a separate state archives district. The documents from Sunnmøre were sent to the Regional State Archives in Trondheim from around the 1930s.

From Klosteret to Årstad
The first years after the establishment in 1885, the institution was located in Klosteret 17. In 1914, however, it was decided to move the State Archives to Årstadvollen. The house was build in 1920-21 and in use from 1. July 1921. The architect Egill Reimers was inspired by both the old building in Klosteret 17 and by monasteries. In the entrance hall you find a niche with a wooden statue of St. Sunniva, guardian of Bergen and the west coast of Norway. The statue is carved by Wilhelm Rasmussen.

The entrance hall in the Regional State Archives in Bergen.

The entrance hall in the Regional State Archives in Bergen. Photo: Kristian Strømme

"Stiftsarkivet i Bergen" at Klosteret

"Stiftsarkivet i Bergen", Klosteret 17.

German headquarters
The Regional State Archives building was taken over by German officers 10. April 1940. They turned it into the headquarters for German soldiers at the west coast of Norway. The generals Herman Tittel and de Boer, as well as Lieutenant General von Beren all resided in this building. The general administration and the various other offices, in addition to soldiers, were also located here. The archive material was tranferred to various other locations.

New buildings
The buidling remains of the Germans were removed in 1969, although some of the underground constructions were kept. In 1975 a preservation department was built, and in 1992 a new repository was built in connection with the old repository.