Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound started with the record and music collection of Arne Dørumsgaard, but has gradually grown through several large and small donations. For each of the largest subcollections we present the background of the collection and material relating to the collections and their origin.

The collection of recorded music and associated items is one of the largest private collections of its kind in the world. The collection currently contains more than 120,000 LP vinyl records, 50,000 78 rpm records, 10,000 audio reel tapes, 5,000 video and music cassettes, 5,000 books on music, record catalogs and periodicals, as well as extensive equipment for playing and copying of recordings.

The main objective of the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound is to document the performance practice of the 20th century European music culture trough sound recordings, therefore the collection’s recordings are organized alphabetically by performer. The archive emphasizes vocal music from the first half of the 20th century, and the collection also has a significant amount of Norwegian music and recordings of Norwegian musicians previously unpublished in Norway.

Our collection


The Dørumsgaard-Valenza collection is the core of the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound Collections, and consists of about 50 000 records, 10 000 reel tapes, 78 CDs and analog playback and recording equipment.


Rolf Davidson’s database of Nordic orchestra repertoire from 1920 to about 2000, is currently at the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound.



This is a collection of Christian Krogh. Included in the collection are also records given by Kurt Narvesen, who was married to Christian Krogh’s sister, Birgit Krogh-Nielsen. The collection came to the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound in December 2006 after it was given to Barratt Due Music Institute in Oslo by Inger B. Krogh in 2002. It consists mainly of symphonic music and chamber music.


The collection from the store Musikvariatet in Oslo was given to the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound in December 2006. Total collection contains approximately 17,000 records and about 500 78-records. The main emphasis is on classical orchestral and chamber music repertoire, as well as opera..



The Sanders collection comes from John Sanders, who ran the record store Elysium in Oslo. The collection consists of about 50-60 000 records.


At the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound, parts of the collection of the psychologist and record collector Boris Semeonoff can be found. Semeonoff’s main interest was opera, and several of the records are purchased in the Soviet Union.


Tape enthusiast and audio artist Odd-Jan Jonassen donated his private collection, consisting of Tandberg reel tape equipment with supplementary materials, to the Norwegian Institute of Recorded Sound on the 20th June 2004.


The Valen collection consists of sheet music and copies of many of Valens manuscripts, in addition to a recording of an interview with Valen in 1952. The collection also includes several paintings and pictures of Valen.


The Østby collection is a record collection by Rolf Østbye, consisting of about 350 LPs, and some sheet music and books. It was given to the Institute in March 2007 by Cecilia Elizabeth Jensen and Arne Jensen. The collection consists mainly of opera and choir records, thus bearing the character of the collector’s vocational work, but it also includes some instrumental music.


Many people have donated smaller collections of sound recordings such as LP (vinyl), singles (45-records), 78-records, reel to reel tapes, cassettes, play-back machines, etc. We want to express our gratitude to all donors for their help to build our collection.

If you have items to donate, we would like to hear from you.