Nasjonalbiblioteket’s mandate is set by the Storting under Prop. 1 S (2012–2013). Nasjonalbiblioteket, the National Library of Norway, is a knowledge resource of national importance. Our activities involve collecting, preserving and making available published content across all media types.

The operations of Nasjonalbiblioteket are governed by the Legal Deposit Act (Pliktavleveringslova). The objective of the act is to ensure that all documents in the public domain are deposited with Nasjonalbiblioteket, so that records of Norwegian culture and society are preserved and made available as source material for research and documentary purposes.

In its role as a research library and custodian of the national collection, Nasjonalbiblioteket is a key part of Norway’s research infrastructure. Nasjonalbiblioteket also plays a role in cultural policy by preserving cultural heritage for posterity and by commemorating prominent Norwegian authors. Our collection is a unique knowledge base for the benefit of present and future generations. Drawing on our own experience and the evolution of our own services, Nasjonalbiblioteket has a particular responsibility to develop and strengthen the role of libraries across the country as active and relevant institutions within Norwegian society. As the national development agency for the library sector, Nasjonalbiblioteket helps to shape and implement central government policy for public and specialist libraries.

Nasjonalbiblioteket sets bibliographic standards, prepares bibliographies and lists of authorities, operates a repository library for inter-library loans, and is in charge of developing a Norwegian digital library.

Through Nasjonalbiblioteket’s digital collection and services such as, and through partnerships with Norwegian newspapers to digitise and share their historical archives, we are working on creating digital platforms that will enable public and specialist libraries in Norway to offer new services.

Nasjonalbiblioteket maintains and develops the technological infrastructure for Språkbanken, the Norwegian Language Bank, a collection of digitised linguistic resources. These resources are used by developers of language technology products for commercial and non-commercial purposes, by the public sector and by linguistic researchers.

Nasjonalbiblioteket is a national centre of expertise and a central resource for other institutions in the library and cultural sector.

Strategy 2018–22

Nasjonalbiblioteket – Norway’s shared memory

Nasjonalbiblioteket aims to be the premier source of knowledge relating to Norway and all things Norwegian. By preserving cultural heritage and the published word, Nasjonalbiblioteket provides a basis for documentation, research and learning, and helps to foster a sense of identity and belonging. Nasjonalbiblioteket encourages Norwegian libraries to evolve into modern centres for public enlightenment.

The collection

Nasjonalbiblioteket collects, catalogues and preserves all published material available in the public domain in Norway. The collection is intended to be a window on public life in past times, and to enable present and future generations to understand and interpret Norwegian society in a historical context. All publishers are required to deposit their publications with Nasjonalbiblioteket. We also constantly supplement the collection with content not covered by the legal deposit requirement. Nasjonalbiblioteket’s collection is intended to reflect the forms and media of public expression in use at any given time. The collection is stored in physical and digital repositories designed to allow preservation for thousands of years.

A national library for everyone

Digitisation of the collection is creating new opportunities for public enlightenment and widespread access to knowledge and information. Through our online digital library, Nasjonalbiblioteket aims to offer a modern, user-focused service providing democratic access to our collection. Nasjonalbiblioteket is putting in place agreements with rights holders to allow us to make copyright-protected material available as well.

Infrastructure and regulation

Nasjonalbiblioteket is the Norwegian government’s regulatory and development agency for the library sector. We are also an infrastructure and content provider for Norwegian public and specialist libraries, thanks to services such as the repository library, library search and the historical newspaper collection. Digitisation is creating new opportunities for additional sectorwide infrastructure. To enable Norwegian libraries to derive maximum benefit from this national information network, Nasjonalbiblioteket is pursuing a programme to enhance the network’s content and functionality

Knowledge source and research services

As an ever increasing proportion of our collection becomes available online, new users and new generations will seek knowledge about the historical context of the col

collection. As a research source and part of the national research infrastructure, Nasjonalbiblioteket pursues research projects and collaborations that support our mandate. We communicate our specialist knowledge through seminars, publications and online platforms.

Through our digital corpus and digitised source material, and by developing new tools for exploring the collection, Nasjonalbiblioteket provides infrastructure for external users and contributes to the development of new knowledge and methods in the digital humanities field.

Communications and publications

Nasjonalbiblioteket seeks to promote interest in knowledge, history and cultural heritage by sharing content from our collection with a wide cross-section of the public. Through events, publications, exhibitions and lectures available online, Nasjonalbiblioteket aims to be one of Norway’s leading cultural institutions and cultural advocates. Along with the digital library, these communications activities are designed to position Nasjonalbiblioteket as a modern centre for public enlightenment. Digitisation of the entire collection is a key success factor in this process.

Centre of expertise

Nasjonalbiblioteket has specialist expertise in the conservation and preservation of all media types and information vehicles. We are also experts in organising knowledge and developing and using modern digital tools and services in these areas. As a result of our digitisation programme, we have built up expertise in mass digitisation and long-term digital preservation. Nasjonalbiblioteket provides know-how and services in these areas to other archive, library and museum institutions. Nasjonalbiblioteket also has a specific responsibility to provide such institutions with legal advice on copyright law.

Main projects 2018–22

  • Implementation of the new Legal Deposit Act
  • Enhance Nasjonalbiblioteket’s overall communications activities online, at the National Library in Oslo and through other channels
  • Enhance our infrastructural role as a centre of expertise for Norwegian libraries, archives, cultural institutions and researchers
  • Review our internal processes with a view to improving efficiency and quality