Norway:Land records online
Land Records Online
Beginning in March 2008 Arkivverket will launch land and property records on the internet. The patrons will in effect be removed from the reading rooms at the regional archives to the internet. At first this will only involve three archives, but in the course of a year’s time, it will include the whole country.
The first records to be put online are those from the archives in Bergen, Hamar and Kongsberg. Those records placed on the internet will be based on digital copies. Scanning of microfilm to create digital images is being accomplished with the support of the Høykem Program. Eventually these digital images will be available at www.digitalarkivet.no.
Effort has been made through many decades to find a good solution to allow patrons use of these records. They have had several generations of hard use and having them available online will be a better situation for the user.
At first the user may have to search through the records page-by-page similar to the way they must search through the church books at the present time. This may involve a good deal of searching. Even though the property is listed numerically by farm and parcel number, the numbers which the property has today may be different than those in the older land records.Many of the land records have an index in the front and this can help make the search easier.
They are working to enhance the search so that the user can search for a property and choose it directly from a list and bring up relevant pages from the records. As a basis for this the regional archives are working on a comprehensive contents or inventory list to the land records. There is a huge number of properties and this is a huge indexing project. It can be very difficult to follow a property through its various numbers in different time periods especially in the older records and in the towns.
Now, however, the best approach is to search through the index panteregister), which is organized by farm number to find the page numbers and years that are wanted in the records themselves (pantebøker). They will, rather quickly improve this service to give the user the opportunity to choose from a list of properties in the actual community where the property lies today.
In the case that the user already has the date, protocol number, and page for a document, it can be found directly in the record (pantebok). Overall the quality of the digitized images looks good. In most cases one can easily read what is written as far as the user is able to decipher the handwriting.
Over the years difficult to read real estate documents have been copied by the regional archives for a fee. As a further enhancement the website will eventually lay the digitized record and the transcription in the same frame.
Use of these records is free. The user can copy the records for his own use. Arkivverket will make all the property books and indexes which have been delivered to them available. In some areas these books go back to the 1600's and forward to 1936 and even later in some areas.
There is a fee for use of the land records after 1936. They are in custody of "Statens Kartverk og Norsk Eiendoms Informasjonen", which takes care of them as a paid service.
1. Gausdal, Ole, ”Tinglyste Dokumenter ut på Nettet”. Arkivmagasinet 1/08, (a publication of Arkivverket).