About us

The Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound is a foundation established in 1984 through an agreement made between Arne Dørumsgaard and the city of Stavanger.

The institute manages a collection of recorded music and associated items which is one of the worlds's largest private collections of its kind. The collection currently contains more than 120,000 LP records, 50,000 78 rpm records, 10,000 audio reel tapes, 5,000 video and music cassettes, 5,000 books on music, record catalogues and periodicals, as well as extensive equipment for playing and copying of recordings. The bulk of the collection is approximately 90 cubic meters or about 42 metric tonnes.

The collection is unique in its construction as its goal is to document the interpretation and performance of music in European 20th century culture through its recordings. The different parts of the collection are systematized in alphabetical order by performer. The collection has its emphasis on European vocal music from the first half of the 20th century. Norwegian music and recordings of Norwegian musicians is also well represented.

Facts in numbers

  • Established in 1984
  • The Arne Dørumsgaard collection was bought in 1984 for the total sum of 1,-Norwegian kroner.
  • Hired its first full-time employee:1989
  • The second was hired in 2006
  • Officially opened its premises: June 6th, 2003
  • The Institute manages one of the biggest private collections available to the public in the world. It includes:
    • 120,000 LP records
    • 50,000 78 RPM records
    • 10,000 magnetic reel tapes
    • 5,000 video and audio cassettes
    • 5,000 music books, record catalogues and magazines
    • 40 different Tandberg reel to reel tape recorders
    • Play-back machines for all kinds of analogue formats
  • Employees: 7
  • Catalogue covers approximately 25% of the holdings
  • Volume: About 95 cubic meters or 44 metric tonnes of music material.