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Norway

Crown Prince Haakon visits the Norwegian National Archives


Sven Gj. Gjeruldsen, The Royal Court

On Wednesday, Crown Prince Haakon of Norway visited the Norwegian National Archives at Sognsvann just outside Oslo city centre.

On arrival at the National Archives, Crown Prince Haakon was received by Oslo’s Mayor Marianne Borgen and National Archivist Inga Bolstad. The National Archivist informed the Crown Prince about the work that is being done with the digitisation of the medieval sources and about the possibilities that the use of technology and artificial intelligence provides almost a thousand-year-old documents for new research. A large number of documents have already been digitised and made available to everyone on the website digitalarkivet.no. After the National Archivist’s briefing, the Crown Prince was given a tour of the medieval collection, where several documents were displayed.

All of the documents Crown Prince Haakon got to look at were from the Middle Ages. One of the documents was the document from 1388, which confirmed the Norwegian Parliament’s election of Margrethe Valdemarsdatter as Queen of Norway. The oldest document the Crown Prince saw was a fragment of a manuscript written in England before the middle of the 10th century.

At the end of the visit, Crown Prince Haakon received a gift in memory of the visit to the National Archives. There have been seven kings who have held the name Haakon in Norway for the last thousand years – from Haakon I in the 900s to Haakon VII in the 1900s. The National Archives, therefore, found one document from each of them and placed a copy of them in an archive box as a gift for the Crown Prince.

The National Archives takes care of Norway’s largest collection of medieval documents. From 2017-2019, a significant amount of medieval sources were digitised and made available to everyone online. This opens up new use and research. The National Archives ambition is that all documents from the Middle Ages in Norway will be available digitally before the big anniversary in 2024, marking 750 years since King Magnus Lagabøte introduced the first law that applied to all of Norway. King Olav was present when the National Archives building in Oslo was inaugurated in 1978.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.