Digitizing policy

The National Library of Norway’s vision is to act as a national memory bank by providing a multimedia knowledge centre focusing on archiving and distribution. To achieve this vision the National Library of Norway shall be a modern digital national library – and thus a new form of national library.

Users should be able to enjoy access to a large variety of digital content from wherever they are located, and whenever they want. This means the National Library of Norway’s digital collection must be available in both the National Digital Library and through other online services.

The National Library of Norway’s collection is being digitized in accordance with the requirements laid down for long-term archiving of digital content. The Library is establishing the required standards for this in collaboration with a number of international organisations. The digital objects are enriched with metadata and sustainable identifiers which will increase the opportunities for archiving, use and reuse over the next millennium. The Library facilitates diverse and varied use of the collection’s content. The content is published in an attractive format.

These objectives are achieved by:

  • Systematic digitization of the entire National Library of Norway collection
  • On demand digitization of on-demand material
  • Entering into agreements with publishers to ensure that as much content as possible is deposited in digital format
  • Serving as a digital archive and a secure archiving location for digital materials for both the National Library of Norway and other cultural institutions
  • Collaborating with strategic economic and professional partners
  • Providing access to as much as possible of the Norwegian cultural heritage
  • Entering into agreements with right owners to give access to materials that are not in the public domain
  • Being visible in search engines and relevant portals
  • Offering a modern digital online library service

The National Library of Norway is systematically digitizing its entire collection. Modern legal deposit legislation requires all materials to be deposited, regardless of the media of provenance. The collection is also enhanced through strategic purchases and gifts. The National Library of Norway’s digital collection houses many different types of content ranging from the Middle Ages through to the present day.

In addition to systematic digitization, requests from third parties are taken into account to the extent these coincide with the National Library of Norway’s strategic prioritisations. It is important to exploit the potential offered by migrating the collection to a digital format. Searches are possible of both metadata and the collection’s content to the extent allowed by existing technology.

Digital delivery
Today nearly all publishers produce their publications in digital format. The National Library of Norway strives to ensure that digital sources for all publications are deposited directly by the publisher, together with the publisher’s metadata. This will permit the collection to be expanded to include high-quality digital content as well as increase the size of the physical collection. Metadata received directly from the publisher will also improve the efficiency of cataloguing of material and simplify retrieval.

Many publishers also now issue in digital format. Such material is covered by the Norwegian Legal Deposit Act and is collected in the National Library of Norway – partly through direct digital depositing by the publisher and partly through regular collections of relevant online material performed by the Library.

Digital archiving
Both digitizing and digital deposit are performed so as to satisfy requirements for digital archiving, where the National Library of Norway is establishing the necessary standards in collaboration with a number of international organisations. The Library’s trusted digital repository preserves the collection for the next millennium. Major challenges and costs attach to the establishment and operation of a large-scale digital archiving solution. The Library constantly endeavours to establish a flexible and scaleable solution offering a high degree of security, effective integrity controls, sufficient capacity and solutions for secure migration and conversion of digital content where required. This undertaking also requires personell who are highly skilled in digital archiving and infrastructure development and operation.

The National Library of Norway also offers services for storing digital content to other cultural institutions in Norway in collaboration with the National Archives of Norway.

Strategic collaboration
The National Library of Norway establishes national standards relating to digitization of various types of material. This allows the Library to enter into strategic collaborations regarding digitizing initiatives. Several other parties wish to digitize either their own publications or parts of their collections for strategic reasons. Allocation of costs between the National Library of Norway and the publishers makes it possible to speed up digitization, while clearly defined standards for digitization work enables the Library to benefit from others’ digitization initiatives.

Entering into agreements
Digital content no longer covered by copyright shall be made available to everyone in the digital library. The entire digital collection shall be available for research and documentation on the National Library of Norway’s premises. The Library shall otherwise enter into agreements with beneficial owners regarding the right to grant online access to researchers, students and the Library’s users in general.

Available where the user wants
The National Library of Norway also offers its metadata and digital content as part of other online services. This allows users to access material in their preferred environment. This is achieved by offering services that other service suppliers can easily integrate into their own services, and generally making metadata and digital content available to search engines and other online service providers.

The Digital National Library
Distribution of the collection will increasingly be in digital form. The scope of opportunities within digital distribution is evolving at a rapid pace. The National Library of Norway constantly monitors developments in order to be able to adapt and utilise new distribution arenas and methods.

Co-ordinated searches in Norwegian library catalogues simplify access to the core book collection available in Norwegian libraries. At the same time, the opportunity to perform co-ordinated searches in the National Library of Norway’s catalogues improves the availability of the National Library of Norway’s collection.

The Digital National Library of Norway shall form the core of the Norwegian digital library. This means that large parts of Norwegian culture and knowledge dating back as far as the Middle Ages gradually will be made available in the Digital National Library. Together with supplementary collections from other institutions, this core will form the Norwegian Digital Library.

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