Kilden's history

Kilden has its roots in the European women's libraries from the 1920s and 30s, as well as the feminist movement's fight for archives and documentation of women's history in the 1970s.

The Nordic countries were relatively late in establishing achives and women's libraries. When we finally started, Sweden came first. Kvinnohistoriskt Arkiv (Women’s History Archive) was established in Gothenburg in 1958. The Danes followed in 1964, with the establishment of Kvindehistorisk Samling (Women’s History Collection), which was linked to the State Library in Århus.

The effort to establish an information and documentation centre in Norway goes back to 1970, but the activists and the researchers would struggle for decades before their efforts bore fruits. Norway never got the equivalent of what was established in Sweden and Denmark, though. A European report from 1992 clearly demonstrated Norway's outdated position in the field.

Finally, the arguments came through, and in 1994 the Research Council of Norway decided to support the work with the establishment of a national information and documentation service for women’s research.

The new institution was called KILDEN, an acronym for “Kvinne- og kjønnsforskningens InformasjonsLinje og Dokumentasjonsenhet i Norge” (“Information Line and Documentation Unit for Women’s and Gender Research in Norway”).

1 September 1998 KILDEN was formally established by the Research Council of Norway, with Nina Kristiansen as its first director, and on 2 March 1999, KILDEN’s website was launched.

An English version of the website was launched in 2007.

In 2015, KILDEN changed its name to Kilden kjø


If you want to know more about Kilden's background, or the tradition of women's libraries, achives and documentation projects we are a result of, we proudly present a thorough article written by Kilden's first chairwoman, professor, gender researcher and political scientist Beatrice Halsaa:

From women's libraries to World Wide Web: the story behind Kilden

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