For Visitors to the City Archives

Before Visiting
Gather as much information as possible about the subject you are working on prior to your visit. Documents will be ready for your use, if you order beforehand. Our catalogs show which material is organized and accessible.
When Visiting the Reading Room
Guests must complete a reader registration form and have read our rules before given access to documents. A member of staff will guide you, regarding searches and use of our material.
Some of the archive’s documents are confidential, but, parties involved in individual cases and researchers may request access to these. Please be advised that access regarding patient journals, child welfare journals, educational and psychological counselling journals, etc. must be forwarded to the department in question.

We offer guidance and assistance by telephone, e-mails and letters. Simple searches may also be done by us on your behalf. In such cases, we prefer a written request (such as e-mail) containing details about what you are researching. Please include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address.

To protect the unique and irreplaceable documents in our care, there are rules regarding what is allowed into the reading room. This applies, as well, to the documents you wish to examine. Ask archive staff if in doubt.

You may bring a laptop or tablet with you. The reading room is equipped with a wireless network for visitors.

The city archives has fragile material in its possession. Therefore, our visitors must avoid copying documents. We do not make copies of records that easily damage.

Food and Refreshments
The nearby city hall center, “Fokuskvartalet”, has a café for visitors. Food and drink are not allowed in the reading room.


Family History Resources

Archived records are nearly always useful when searching for your family history. Numerous sources may be found on the Internet. Below you will find tips on how to start, Internet sources and guidance regarding what you may discover at Tromsø Library and City Archives.

1. Get Started
In order to find your family roots, you will need to know a little about them beforehand. What were their names? When and where were they born? Where did they live? You might want to talk with older relatives; often enough, they know more about your family history than you do. Look for photos and study written sources in your family, or check for names, birthdates and dates of death at cemeteries. Are you just starting? The National Archives of Norway have made a useful introduction to genealogical research at www.arkivverket.no

2. Publications and How to Start at the Library
You may find information of interest to your research by investigating published records such as newspapers, address books, family lineage books, farm and family books (gårds- og bygdebøker) and other works related to local history.

Your local library is on the Internet. Troms County Library too has produced a summary of family history resources, made available in the collection Tromsø Library and City Archives / Troms County Library. Visit us if you wish to borrow these resources or research them at the library. Additional material may be found in the database.

Libraries have limited space. In the National Library though you will find online records from their depository. The Norwegian Legal Deposit Act requires that all published content, in all media, must be deposited with the National Library of Norway. This is why their depository contains the greatest number of publications in the country.  Not everything has been digitized. Search therefore at your local library, especially in the Local History Collection of the main library. There you will find an interactive map showing the history of the city’s homes and their inhabitants. Welcome!

3. Searching the Archives
What may be found – and where? Public archives entail two levels of administration: the national archives and the municipal archives. The National Archives of Norway stores records from national institutions such as The Norwegian Tax Administration, universities and colleges, the police and the judiciary. National records are also located in regional archives. Municipal entities such as primary schools, child welfare, social services and building commissions all deliver their records to the municipal archives. This kind of archive will usually be the city archives or an inter-municipal archive. You will find the archives of private companies, individuals and organizations in national or municipal archives and, in some cases, private archives.

You can conduct searches on the Internet and in person at the archives. The website www.digitalarkivet.no consists of online records from national authorities; these may include censuses, church records and the sources of some municipal archives. Most local archives have their own websites. The archives once had physical catalogs showing the contents of the archives. These are still to be found, but many have been digitized and made available on the Internet. Now, the content of archives may be searched for in computer bases. “Arkivpotalen” is one of these. Not everyone uses computer bases, but it is useful to realize that these are updated frequently. The catalogs of Tromsø City Archives may be found on our website.

Family History Resources at the City Archive
The City of Tromsø consists of four municipalities that were joined together in 1964: Tromsø, Tromsøysund, Hillesøy and Ullsfjord. These municipalities once had their own archives; therefore, you are wise if you know which archive you should look at. Typical archived resources include the following:

Land registries
Tax returns
School records
Poor relief system records

Not all archives though will have been transferred to central depositories and cataloged there. Some archives will still be located at the institutions that created the records – or the records may have been forwarded to the central archives but simply not cataloged. Please ask one of the staff members if you have questions concerning the location of individual documents.

Over the Border
You will have the benefit of looking into these websites if you have Finnish roots: The National Archives of Finland, Finnish Church Records and Finland’s Family History Association.

Contact Us

The archived documents of the city archives are accessible in our reading room, which is located at the main library. Look for this on the ground floor (next to the cinema). The city archives share their premises with the municipality’s historical collections.
Visitor’s Address
Grønnegata 94, 9008 Tromsø
Reading Room Telephone: (+47) 452 30 794 (Available only in opening hours)
Opening Hours: Tuesday from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Post Address and Telephone
City Archives
The Municipality of Tromsø
Postbox 6900, 9299 Tromsø
E-mail: byarkivet@tromso.kommune.no
Telephone: (+47) 902 12 445, Head of City Archives: Ms. Johanne Lunga

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