Libricide plans on ice at University of Oslo

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

The library at the University of Oslo.
Image: Dagny.

The plan to incinerate over 200 years' worth of archived newspapers at the University of Oslo was paused this week, following an article by the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten publicising the intended destruction.

The unwanted archives take up 3 kilometres of shelf space, and neither the University nor the National Library are interested in retaining and storing the years of history any more.

The collection consists of both Nordic and non-Nordic newspapers, including Manchester Guardian, New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Le Figaro.

A planned incineration of them in 2002 was avoided by moving them into a warehouse owned by Nils Christian Bang at Follum Grend, near Ringerike. Edgar Learn Borg, retired supervisor of the collection, continues to be involved in the preservation of the collection which hasn't been accessed by researchers since its move.

The order came again to clean up the store. Frode Meinich, technical director of the University, says that the collection is not unique, and indicated that the University needs temporary storage for some antiquarian furniture during renovation of a music facility of the University.

In 2007, Frode Meinich told Aftenposten that a national program of infrastructure modernization was desperately needed. "For the time being we are managing to keep the ship afloat, but if something serious isn't done in the next few years we have a major problem".


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