The Norwegian Institute of Local history (NLI): Norgesbrev and Kleiven-Prestgard correspondance

The latest additions to the NorKorr corpus are letters from The Norwegian Institute of Local history (NLI). The Institute’s main purpose is to promote local and regional historical activity in Norway. NLI is responsible for the websites lokalhistorie.no, lokalhistoriewiki.no and historieblogg.no, and publishes sources and handbooks, as well as other aids for historians. NLI also organises seminars and conferences related to local history topics.

Norgesbrev

Lokalhistoriewiki has a large collection of so-called “Norgesbrev”, that is letters sent from Norway to friends and family who had emigrated to North America. 85 of these letters have been transcribed, (the transcriptions are available – in Norwegian – at the Lokalhistoriewiki website), and metadata from these transkriptions is now intergrated in the CorrespSearch interface.

Correspondance: Ivar Kleiven and Kristian Prestgard

The letters between Ivar Kleiven (1854-1934) and Kristian Prestgard (1866-1946) have also been added to the NorKorr corpus and metadata is now searchable at correspsearch.net.

The  Norwegian politician, historian and poet Ivar Kleiven (1854-1934) from Vågå and the journalist Kristian Prestgard (1866-1946) from Heidal met at Telemark Folkehøgskule in 1885–86. Kleiven lived in Vågå all his live, but Prestgard emigrated, first to Denmark and in 1893 to America. They met only once after Prestgard left, in the summer of 1927, but they wrote to each other – about work, culture, home life, politics and more.

From XML to CMIF

The aim of the NorKorr project is to aggregate and provide correspondence metadata from Norwegian editions of correspondences from different projects, institutions and collections in a format that can be ingested by CorrespSearch.

So far we have included metadata from 12 digital editions (approximately 400 letters) in CorrespSearch . Among them are letters from National Library in Norway’s source edition series NB kilder and letters from other e-books published at bokselskap.no.

All of the letters are encoded in TEI P5 XML. To get the letters registered and integrated into the CorrespSearch web service we create a CMIF file based on the metadata already recorded in the correspDesc element in our XML files. The CMI format used by CorrespSearch is developed by the TEI Correspondence SIG and is a reduced subset of the TEI Guidelines and the TEI element correspDesc.

Digital edition, bokselskap.no
Example from the CMIF file

Two New Correspondences


The latest addition to the NorKorr corpus are the letters between the painters Kitty L. Kielland and the Eilif Peterssen and between Kitty L. Kielland and her sister Dagmar Skavlan.

The Norwegian painters Kitty L. Kielland (1843–1914) and Eilif Peterssen (1852–1928) first met in Germany in 1873. They were colleagues, but also close friends. They wrote letters to each other regularly, at least until Kielland late in life became too ill. Unfortunately, many are not preserved. The exchange of letters presented in the digital edition (Kitty L. Kielland og Eilif Peterssen. Brevveksling 1874–1908. Edited by Anne Melgård, National Library of Norway, 2019) is from the years 1874–1908, a total of 42 fragments/letters/drafts.

Kitty and her sister Dagmar were close. The wrote to each other regularly, but unfortunately, many of the letters have been lost. The new digital edition (Kitty L. Kielland og Dagmar Skavlan. Brevveksling 1879–1905. Edited by Anne Melgård, National Library of Norway, 2019) includes the 20 letters/fragments still preserved.

The digital editions are available (in Norwegian) at bokselskap.no and metadata from both have been included in the CorrespSearch web service.

Eilif Peterssen and Kitty L. Kielland (The National Library of Norway)
The Kielland siblings with partners, ca. 1885 (Stavanger byarkiv)

Kitty L. Kielland’s Correspondence in CorrespSearch


The latest addition to the NorKorr corpus is the correspondence of Kitty L. Kielland and Arne Garborg.

The Norwegian painter Kitty L. Kielland (1843–1914) and the Norwegian writer Arne Garborg (1851–1924) first met in Paris in 1885. The letters between them give a unique insight into a lifelong friendship. They wrote letters to each other regularly, at least until Kielland late in life became too ill. Unfortunately, many are not preserved, especially in the case of Kielland’s letters from the 1890s. The exchange of letters presented in the digital edition (Kitty L. Kielland og Arne Garborg. Brevveksling 1885–1906. Edited by Anne Melgård, National Library of Norway, 2018) is from the years 1885–1906, a total of 48 fragments/letters/drafts.

The correspondence has been included in the CorrespSearch web service. The CMIF file we sent to CorrespSearch was made using metadata already stored in the XML file (TEI P5) containing the digital edition.

Arne Garborg to Kitty L. Kielland, 14. mars 1888, Brevs. 12
Kitty L. Kielland to Arne Garborg, undated, Ms.4° 4318:A