By Arvind Dilawar

The National Library of Norway in Oslo (Credit: Photo by Hans-Petter Fjeld; used with Creative Commons license)

The National Library of Norway is in the process of digitizing its entire collection, which spans early 14th century psalms to contemporary TV shows. Digitization began in 2006, and large parts of the collection can already be viewed online, with the rest estimated to be accessible in 20 to 30 years. Material not protected by copyright will be available to anyone, and the library is securing agreements to make copyright-protected items accessible to anyone with a Norwegian I.P. address.

The new digitization program follows earlier legislation which mandated that all material published in Norway be deposited with the National Library. Thus, it today contains books, music, films, photographs and more — all of which are in the process of being digitized. Beyond scanning and converting several terabytes each day, the library is translating text to be searchable by computers and tagging everything with metadata to make it all available via search engines.

Aside from the digitized backlog of its physical collection, the digital collection includes contemporary media and will continue to incorporate new material through legislation requiring publishers to make digital deposits and through the library’s own efforts.