Norwegian Correspondences and Linked Open Data
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NorKorr – Norwegian Correspondences and Linked Open Data

About the Project

The National Library of Norway has a substantial amount of private historical correspondences in its holdings,1 many of which are scholarly edited and published, either in printed editions or in digital form. In addition, other Norwegian cultural heritage institutions, like the Munch Museum,2 but also the university libraries of the Arctic University of Norway3 and the University of Bergen4 and the Gunnerus Library at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology,5 hold significant collections of letters and are preparing digital editions of letters and correspondences of key figures of Norwegian public and academic life. Yet, all these correspondence projects lead a solitary existence – hidden either in editions of single authors or as digitized collections or individual pieces on institutional servers.

As a dialogical genre by nature, the full potential of letters and other correspondance material lies in the connection of the individuals writing and receiving letters, postcards, and telegrams – at a specific time and from and to a specific place. But because the collections of letters and individual pieces of a correspondence are historically distributed wide and far in regards to geography and institution, there rarely exist links between them. Thus research on correspondence networks that existed in Norway, the Nordic Countries - and beyond, to Europe and the rest of the world - as well as research on the letter as the main means of written communication for centuries is almost impossible.

The project Norwegian Correspondences (NorKorr, from Norwegian "Norske korrespondanser") aims to link these individual letters and similar materials not only to each other but to correspondences in entire Norway, Europe and beyond by use of the CorrespSearch infrastructure. CorrespSearch is both an infrastructure for connecting correspondences accross editions and collections and a web service that aggregates specific correspondence metadata from digital and printed scholarly editions.6 These data can be easily searched via the CorrespSearch web interface or queried via their open API. By integrating Norwegian correspondences in the corpus of letters that already exists on CorrespSearch, they will become for the first time visible as part of a greater international network of letters and allow for a macroscopic view on the correspondence networks that existed throughout the centuries.


The aim of the NorKorr project is to aggregate and provide correspondence metadata from Norwegian editions of correspondences from different projects, institutions and collections in a format that can be ingested by CorrespSearch. The final products are a large set of metadata for Norwegian correspondences under a Creative Commons licence in the CMIF (Correspondence Metadata Interchange Format) standard and an open workflow for (semi-)automatically creating and delivering CMIF-compliant correspondence metadata from future editions prepared by or hosted by the National Library of Norway (and other institutions) to the CorrespSearch web service.


Ellen Wiger (National Library of Norway)

Mette Witting (National Library of Norway)

Annika Rockenberger (National Library of Norway)

Hilde Bøe (The Munch Museum)

Philipp Conzett (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, University Library)

Marianne Paasche (University of Bergen, University Library)

Ola Søndenå (University of Bergen, University Library)

Ove Wolden (NTNU Gunnerus Library, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

Evelyn Thor (NTNU Gunnerus Library, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology)


If you want to contribute with your collection of Norwegian letters, telegrams, postcards etc. please create a GitHub profile and file an Issue with your request! We do our entire communication and project management via GitHub.

Please be especially AWARE of the fact that the material in this repository is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. Make yourself familiar with the license's content before you upload files with text, code or images to the repo.

The NorKorr Team welcomes all contributions from all people! If you see there's something off with a file here or the code needs improvement or we made mistakes – please feel free to push to the repo!

At the moment, we would especially welcome some help with the layout for our website. If you know of a minimalistic but aesthetically pleasing Jekyll theme, you may add it to our repo. A blog-like template would be best suited for our purposes.