(K. Brent Tomer),
MO I RANA, just south of the Arctic Circle in Norway’s Helgeland district, has always been a place of industry. Mining, fishing and boat-building were the business of this place from the 18th century. In 1946 the city was picked as the site of a steel mill by the Norwegian parliament; the first steel was produced in 1955. But the mill closed in the 1980s, and the Norwegian government decided to replace physical technology with information technology, building the Norwegian National Library’s storage facility in this northern city. And so it is here that the National Library’s entire collection—books, manuscripts, newspapers, television programmes, radio programmes, audiobooks, parliamentary reports—is being digitised. The process began in 2006, and is expected to take 20-30 years to complete.
Norway has always been an outward-looking nation too, and this summer the library has begun a remarkable collaboration with the National Library of Nigeria. The Norwegian National Library holds a collection of works in 19…Continue reading