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Taru Spiegel, Reference Specialist, Latin American, Caribbean and European Division
Note: This guide is adapted from an earlier version, which first appeared on the European Reading Room website in 2010.
Created: December 17, 2021
Last Updated: December 17, 2021
The Library of Congress maintains a large collection of foreign and domestic directories. Most of the foreign telephone directories held by the Library of Congress are uncataloged, we have therefore compiled this list of Norwegian directories as a finding aid for our staff and researchers. These directories cover Norway between the years 1937-2007. In addition to the uncataloged directories listed below, the Library also holds a handful that are cataloged and may be requested using the Library of Congress Online Catalog. To locate these directories, search the online catalog using subject keywords such as "Norway" and "directories," or the name of a city plus "directories." In addition to telephone directories, this kind of search also yields business/address directories from Norway.
The uncataloged directories for Norway featured in this guide are located on Deck 5S of the closed stacks in the Adams Building. Readers must request the items in the Main Reading Room by completing a call slip or asking a reference librarian in the European Reading Room to retrieve the volumes. For more information about requesting items at the Library, please see the "Using the Library of Congress" section in this guide.
The first Norwegian telephone directory appeared in 1882, and by 1900 there were already about 200 private telephone companies in Norway, many of them publishing their own telephone directories. The first copy of the government-issued directory Rigstelefonkatalogen was released in 1897, listing telephones serviced by the State Telegraph "Telegrafvæsenet," as well as the private phone companies. In 1913, the directories were assembled into three volumes: Kristiania (now Oslo); Utenfor (outside) Kristiania, and De Nordlige Amter (northern counties).
An organizational telephone directory was first released in 1920, but discontinued after 1924. It re-appeared in a nationwide version in 1951. In 1970, the government-issued directory changed its name from Rikstelefonkatalogen to Telefonkatalogen. Through the years, the directory changed in design and size, but remained a major publication in Norway until superseded by digital directories in 2009.