Fields of work



In the collections at the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound, there are many recordings that you cannot find in any other library or archive in Norway. This rings especially true when it comes to the Norvegica material; recordings of Norwegian music and/or with Norwegian performers, published abroad. In addition, comes the recordings that haven't been published, but which have been released on sample records or just used as private recordings. Because these recordings aren't preserved anywhere else, it is especially important to save them for posterity. The older part of the collection, the shellacs and tapes, is therefore kept in climate controlled stacks.


Part of the preservation strategy is to digitise the collection. At the moment the priority is to digitise 78-records with Norwegian music and/or Norwegian performers. The digitised recordings are saved both as high quality files and as mp3-files to use online and for everyday use. Digitised recordings that are no longer under copyright protection, will eventually be made available through our website, and our catalog.



One of our most important tasks, is making the collection accessible to the public. Our premises are open to visitors in our regular opening hours. We hold new exhibitions using material from the collections regularly, as well as showing a permanent exhibition of Tandberg sound recording equipment. At the premises, we are happy to give tours, relate the history of the institute, or just help you find your way around the shelves.


We are working hard on improving our online catalog, as well as facilitating use of the collection at our premises. Most of the LPs are easily available for listening, with all the equipment needed accessible for all users. We will facilitate for listening to older records on request. We have available space and equipment for researchers and students who need to work on different project related to our material. Our catalog is available online. If you cannot find what you are looking for, it does not necessarily mean that it doesn't exist in our collections, as only 25% of the material is cataloged. Please contact us if you are looking for something you cannot find, and we will do our best to assist you in your search. If you have questions regarding the collections or recordings in the collections, we are happy to help. In addition to the recordings, our collections include a number of record catalogs, discographies and reference works that we can use in our work, and that are available to the public. We also keep an up-to-date link list of useful websites in music and sound.


We are constantly working on digitising our collections and are posting available music clips online. Our goal is to make every part of the collection that are no longer under copyright protection, available on line. Our first priority is the Norwegian material, as well as music connected to any of our exhibitions, online or at our premises.

If you have any questions about our services, please contact us!


The Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound attracts researchers from home and abroad to come to Stavanger and make use of the huge archival sound collection. We have facilities to accommodate researcher who wishes to use our collection for their projects. The collection’s focus makes it of particular interest researchers who study interpretation and the history of interpretation. More about former and current research that have made use of our collections will be published on these pages.


An important task for the Institute is to convey the treasures of the collection, and we offer courses and lectures on classical music and sound recordings for all ages. Read more about courses for school classes, for groups, and for individuals. We are flexible concerning the specifics of the lectures if you have wishes outside our standard arrangements. Please contact our lecturer Per Dahl for more information.


Through active participation in national and international forums and networks, we have access to great colleagues, knowledge and experience. For more on which networks the Institute is affiliated with, see of which organizations we are a member, and which conferences we will have representatives attending.