Arbeiderbevegelsens Arkiv og Bibliotek

(The Labour Movement Archives and Library)

Folkets Hus, Youngsgt. 11C
N-0181 Oslo
Tel 47 23061758
Fax 47 23061763

The Labour Movement Archives and Library in Oslo (AAB) is a documentation centre with historical and current material on the Norwegian and international labour movements. It was founded in 1909 by the Norwegian Labour Party (DNA) and the Norwegian Federation of Trade Unions (LO), and is still owned jointly by the two organisations. As of 1972 AAB has received Government subventions, but the labour movement continues to provide the largest share of its financing. AAB is a member of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI).

Archives Collections

The archive collections include 2000 archives covering about 6000 meters of shelf space. The most important are the historical records of the major left-wing parties, including The Norwegian Labour Party (DNA), The Norwegian Communist Party (NKP) and the more recent Socialist Left Party. The pre-war records of DNA and NKP disappeared during the German occupation. AAB also has the records of the German Socialist Workers' Party (SAP) for the years 1933-37, which were brought to Norway by German socialists seeking exile in the 1930s.

Another, equally important, part is the records of trade unions. The records of the LO go back to its founding year, 1899. AAB also holds the records of most of the national trade unions, as well as local unions located in and around Oslo. Material from local labour organisations outside the Oslo-area is usually kept with regional labour archives.

The collections also include the records of organisations which in some way are affiliated to the labour movement, as the small farmers' union, cultural organisations of the political left and organisations for international solidarity.

A particularly valuable part of the collection is the personal documents and correspondance of politicians, trade union leaders and other labour activists. This includes the personal records of former prime ministers and other cabinet members, and constitutes a material which is widely used by reseachers and students.

The archives include a large collection of about 90,000 photographs, as well as a collection of banners and posters.

The Library

The library holds some 80,000 titles, mainly on the history of the Norwegian and international labour movements. The library also has literature on the life of workers and working conditions, women's history, social history, environment policy and ecology, labour legislation, as well as economics and current political debate. Futhermore, the library has a large collection of brochures, 400 current periodicals and most of the Norwegian labour movement newspapers.


The AAB is open to the public. The library has an alphabetical and systematical card index. From 1990 on, new acquisitions and recatalogued material are catalogued in ADP. For the archive collections a card index is available. The collections are presently being registred in a national data system for private archives in Norway.

AAB has for many years taken an active part in labour history research. Since 1987 AAB publishes a yearbook called Arbeiderhistorie (Labour History) with articles on Norwegian and international labour history.

Days and hours of service
Mon, Fri: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tue,Wed,Thu: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
15 June-15 Sept: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


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Last updated 20 April 2000