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Norwegian Lutheran Mission Archives

The main tasks of NLM Archives are to collect, order and register information from all national and international ministries and projects of NLM.

The Norwegian Lutheran Mission to China (from 1950 Norwegian Lutheran Mission, i.e. NLM) was started in Bergen in 1891 primarily to engage in missions in China, but also in order to do evangelistic work in Norway. Until 1948-49 the organization had workers in the provinces of Hubei and Henan and from 1932 also in Manchuria. During this 60-year period of work in China NLM commissioned about 240 missionaries.

After the communist take-over in 1949 the missionaries had to leave the country. NLM had by then already started work in Ethiopia. As events unfolded, NLM was to be involved in Ethiopia more than any other area. Around 1950 the organization also opened up work in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and Tanzania. Later NLM has supported churches and various ministries in Peru, Bolivia, Kenya, Ivory Coast, Mongolia and Mali. Many of these countries now have national churches. Accordingly, NLM’s support and engagement in some of these countries are now significantly reduced.

NLM has in Norway been engaged in various evangelistic ministries. In addition to inviting to traditional spiritual meetings in churches and prayer houses around the country, the organization started a number of schools, e.g. lower and upper primary and secondary schools, vocational training schools, bible schools, a college of journalism and a theological seminary. Several of these schools are joint ventures with other Christian mission organizations. Youth and children’s ministry based at about 30 Christian youth centers have also been an important part of NLM’s work for the last 50 years.

NLM has then for the past 120 years been engaged in various evangelistic and diaconal ministries on three continents in addition to working in Norway. The archives of this wide ranging activity are for the most part stored in the NLM Archives on the campus of Fjellhaug International University College in Oslo. Roughly 900 running meters of shelves of documentation is ordered and registered. In addition we have a large collection of pictures which at present are, unfortunately, not yet properly registered.

These archival materials are documents from the various offices and institutions of NLM in Norway and overseas. Community development work is an important part of this documentation. Many persons who have been connected with NLM over the years have also donated important material to NLM. Thus you will find personal archival material from e.g. Johannes Brandtzæg, Ludvig Hope, Tormod Vågen, Gabriel Eikli, Oscar Handeland, Nils Belland, Carl Fr. Wisløff, Helge Mæhlum, Johannes Sandved, Arne Lundeby, Erik Grasmo, Olav Uglem, and Johannes Thorvaldsen. The personal archives of theologian, editor and hymn writer Trygve Bjerkrheim fill a considerable 30 meters of shelves. Hymnologist Lars Aanestad donated to NLM Archives and FIUC Library his large collection (about 1200) hymnals and songbooks – the largest in Scandinavia.

NLM Archives has a lot of material that can be available to persons who do research on master or doctoral level in the wide field of mission and culture, or for general historical research. Its general policies of access are in line with Norwegian laws on personal archives and the protection of sensitive data etc. In order to obtain permission to search the archives researchers are encouraged to fill in relevant forms, e.g. outlining the research project, forms that can be obtained through email. This will give the staff an opportunity to consider whether or not we can be of help to you.

Contact details:

NLM Archives

Sinsenveien 15

0572 Oslo



Telephone: +47 46540035

Email: nlmarkivet@nlm.no

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