Kattie Burnside

Kattie Burnside

Published: 16 Sep 2023

Source: Axiell.com

The National Library of Norway is not just a repository of books; it is a treasure trove of knowledge, culture, and history. Nestled in the heart of Oslo, this prestigious institution holds the title of being the largest library in Norway, with a vast collection of over 5 million books. But there’s more to this magnificent landmark than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into 13 fascinating facts about the National Library of Norway, shedding light on the significance of its collection, the innovative technologies it employs, and the cultural heritage it preserves. From rare literary works to mesmerizing architecture, get ready to embark on a journey through the captivating world of the National Library of Norway.

Table of Contents

A Rich History

The National Library of Norway has a rich history dating back to 1811 when it was founded by the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters.

Size Matters

The library houses over 5 million books, making it the largest library in Norway.

A Digital Archive

In addition to physical books, the National Library of Norway is also known for its extensive digital collection, including manuscripts, maps, and photographs.

Legal Deposit Library

The library is designated as a legal deposit library, meaning it receives a copy of all publications produced in Norway.

The National Bibliography

The National Library of Norway maintains the national bibliography, which is a comprehensive record of all published works in Norway.

Preservation and Conservation

The library is committed to the preservation and conservation of cultural heritage and employs various techniques to safeguard its collection.

Famous Manuscripts

The library houses several famous manuscripts, including the Codex Regius, which contains the medieval Norse poems known as the Poetic Edda.

The Library’s Architecture

The National Library of Norway is housed in a modernist building designed by architects Gudolf Blakstad and Herman Munthe-Kaas.

Accessible to All

The library aims to make its resources accessible to everyone, providing services for people with disabilities and offering online access to digital content.

Exhibitions and Events

Regular exhibitions and events are organized at the library, showcasing various aspects of Norwegian culture and literature.

The Bibliotheca Norvegica Project

The library initiated the Bibliotheca Norvegica project, which aims to digitize the entire Norwegian cultural heritage.

Collaboration with International Libraries

The National Library of Norway actively collaborates with international libraries and institutions to promote research and cultural exchange.

The National Library as a Cultural Symbol

The National Library of Norway is not only a center for knowledge and information but also serves as a cultural symbol for the country’s literary heritage.

These 13 facts highlight the significance of the National Library of Norway as a hub of knowledge, preservation, and cultural heritage. With its vast collection, commitment to accessibility, and ongoing digitization projects, the library continues to play a crucial role in promoting literacy, research, and the dissemination of Norwegian culture worldwide.


The National Library of Norway is a treasure trove of knowledge and a symbol of the country’s rich literary and cultural heritage. With its impressive collection of books, manuscripts, maps, and other historical documents, it serves as a hub for research, education, and preservation. The library not only offers a vast array of resources but also provides numerous services and initiatives to promote reading, literacy, and cultural understanding.Visiting the National Library of Norway is a must for any book lover or history enthusiast. Its stunning architecture, extensive collections, and innovative exhibitions make it a truly fascinating place to explore. Whether you’re interested in ancient manuscripts, contemporary literature, or exploring Norway’s cultural history, this library has something for everyone.In conclusion, the National Library of Norway is a true gem, cherished by locals and admired by visitors from around the world. It stands as a testament to the power of books and the importance of preserving our collective cultural heritage.


1. What is the National Library of Norway?

The National Library of Norway is a major research library located in Oslo, Norway. It is responsible for preserving and providing access to the country’s printed and digital cultural heritage.

2. How old is the National Library of Norway?

The library was established in 1813, making it over 200 years old.

3. How many books and documents does the library hold?

The library houses over 5 million books and has a vast collection of manuscripts, maps, newspapers, and other historical materials.

4. Can anyone visit the National Library of Norway?

Yes, the library is open to the public. Visitors can explore the reading rooms, exhibitions, and attend various cultural events.

5. Are there any special collections or rare books?

Yes, the library has special collections that include rare books, ancient manuscripts, and valuable artifacts. These collections are carefully curated and preserved for research purposes.

6. Does the library offer any digital resources?

Yes, the library provides access to a wide range of digital resources, including e-books, digitized manuscripts, newspapers, and photographs.

7. Is there an admission fee to enter the National Library of Norway?

No, entry to the library is free of charge.

8. Are there guided tours available?

Yes, the library offers guided tours for individuals and groups. These tours provide insights into the library’s history, collections, and services.

9. Can I borrow books from the National Library of Norway?

No, the library is primarily a research library, and its collections are not available for borrowing. However, visitors can access the materials within the library premises.

10. Are there any educational programs or workshops offered?

Yes, the library organizes educational programs, workshops, and lectures on various topics related to literature, culture, and research.