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Our Story: The National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket)

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The National Archives together with the regional state archives (“Statsarkivene” in Norwegian), form the National Archives Services of Norway (Arkivverket), headed by the Director General (Riksarkivaren).

The National Archives of Norway is an independent government authority under the Ministry of Culture. The authority of the Director General and the National Archives of Norway is vested in the Norwegian Archival Act of 1992.

The tasks of the National Archives and the regional state archives are to

  • preserve archive material from state institutions
  • make this material available for use to the public
  • control the work on records administration within the ministries, regional and county authorities
  • contribute to the preservation of private archives

The National Archives of Norway and the regional state archives are thereby both administration bodies and scientifically based institutions for culture preservation.

We have a several decade long tradition of administration and maintenance of the Norwegian archival standard for records management, the Noark standard. The current version is Noark-5. 

The process of long term preservation from public records management systems (Noark- certified systems) as it is today, includes the requirement that metadata is be transformed from the internal representation into Noark-XML code.

In addition, associated digital documentation has to be on a few specified file-formats, where PDF/A (variants) are the chosen file format for written text.

These activities are the responsibilities of the creator organisation before the material is sent to the National Archives.

The National Archives then validates the input before accepting the material. For registries (databases), the traditional approach has been to transform from databases into a locally developed XML-language called ADDML. 

Due to quality and authenticity issues regarding both of these above-mentioned approaches, we are evaluating additional measures, at least as a supplementary approach. This is one motive for joining the E-ARK project.

For the last few years we have been evaluating the SIARD-approach in different pilots and also been using it to some (limited) extent during production.

For the last couple of years, the National Archives has also required input according to (an implementation of) the OAIS-framework. Still being in the early stages of utilising OAIS, the need to get a deeper understanding of information packages, SIPs, DIPs, or AIPs and all the various design choices, is another motive for joining the E-ARK project. 

As a third motive, we have been using an earlier version of the ESSArch software from another partner in the E-ARK project, ES Solutions AB.

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