The National Museum’s archives

The National Museum's archival collections consist of comprehensive documentation and research materials of great artistic, historical and cultural importance. The collections contain the archives of both public and private organisations, as well as a broad range of documentation relating to Norwegian artists and the museum’s collections. The material is diverse in content, form and scope, and includes letters, photographs, notes, diaries, manuscripts of minutes of meetings, journals, copybooks and accounts.

A considerable part of the archives comprises the artistic and historical materials of the institutions that have constituted the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design since 2003: The National Gallery (established 1837), the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design (established 1876), the Museum of Contemporary Art (established 1988), the National Museum – Architecture (established 1975) and the National Exhibitions (established 1996). The archives document the history and activities of these institutions, including their exhibitions, acquisitions, appointments, construction projects, accounts, art mediation activities, borrowing and lending activities and featured artists, etc. The archival collections also consist of the private archives of several artists, researchers, collectors, associations, organisations, groups and companies. The Department of Architecture at Bankplassen also has a large collection of architects’ private archives. An overview of these archives can be obtained through the Samkatalogen (National Archives catalogue) on the National Archives’ website.

The archives are accessible to the general public in the library reading room upon request. Materials must be requested three working days prior to visiting the library.


Visitors are able to make copies of items from the archives for a fee. Whether archival materials may be copied is evaluated in each individual instance.

  • Black and white copies: NOK 3.00
  • Colour copies: NOK 10.00

Contact us

Turid Aakhus 
Head of Library, Archive and Research
(+47) 21 98 21 53 
Anita Kongssund
(+47) 21 98 21 65
Kaja Maria Ranveig Hjort
Archive officer
(+47) 21 98 21 93