Department of Special Collections Resources
The Special Collections

Rare Book Collection

Tegning fra den franske håndskrevne bønneboken MS 504 fra ca 1350.
Page from the handwritten french book of prayers dated ca. 1350. Ms 504.
Manuskript- og librarsamlingen

The Rare Book Collection has its roots back to the establishment of the Museum of Bergen and its library in 1825. Assembling material for the new library was one of the central parts of the museum’s activities. When the University Library was founded in 1948, all the different parts of the collection, i.e. manuscripts, letters on parchment, maps, rare and antiquarian books, also moved to the new institution and today constitute the core of the Rare Book Collection.

We are curating a wide spectrum of material: diplomas, fragments of medieval manuscripts, maps, charts, letters, photographs, rare and large antiquarian book collections, and collections of manuscripts, e.g. the archives of the Nordland’s trade; the guild-archives of Bergen; the bulk of the archive of the founder of the museum, W.F.K. Christie. We also have large collections of local, regional, and national newspapers, both in their original and in microfilm form.

In addition to receiving archival material from private donors, the Rare Book Collection assembles and preserves research material from different academic milieus of the University of Bergen. We collaborate with researchers and academic communities, authors, publishers, newspapers; in addition, we make presentations for the public through books, films, lectures and articles.

Our collections are currently being digitized and made accessible online through the platform marcus.uib.no. We frequently produce web-exhibitions, which are complementary to exhibitions taking place in our own premises on the first floor of HF-bygget, at Sydnesplass 7.

Material from our collections can be consulted at our reading room, and material accessible in Marcus is used as a digital resource for teaching, dissemination, and networking through social media.