Historisk infrastruktur - projects and databases in english

About the project

The group Historisk infrastruktur makes accessible data on historic economic and social conditions in Norway. So far the group has focused making data related to trade and ship traffic in pre-industrial Norway avaulable in searchable databases. The data and databases provide new insights into what kind of goods, their quantities, and occasionally the value and country where they were led to / came from, as well as details about the ships arriving and departing, as well as the price of the goods most traded.

The group has transcribed, modernized and standardized summary lists of goods and ships entering and departing by sea all Norwegian customs ports for 1686, 1731, 1733, 1756, 1764, 1772, 1786, 1794 and 1835. Additional years for Finnmark, Bergen, Trøndelag and the Oslo fjord region are also accessible. This data is now accessible in two specially designed and searchable databases. The lists detailing goods provide information concerning amounts, origins, destinations and sometimes values. The ship traffic lists detail ports of call, names of captains and size of ships. This data was collected by local customs officials and submitted to the authorities in 18th century. The intention was to gain an overview of Denmark-Norways foreign trade, but trade with Denmark, the Duchies and Norway was also noted, albeit less detailed.

Additional databases are

Two databases covering different aspects of Trondheims copper exports from 1753 to 1793 have also been transcribed and made available online.

A database base containing prices from a selection of Norwegian trading places though parts of the 18th century have also been made available. The price data has been collected in part from price currents, as well as from the Provision house at Røros copper works.

The analytical tools

The analytical tools available are primarily sorting tools. These enable presenting the data in ways which were impossible in the paper version. The analytical tools are continuously being improved in response to user feed back. Users can also download the data as Excel or CSV files to do their own analysis.

More information

More information about the project, as well as additional historical background has been made part of lokalhistoriewiki.no. The original data for the databases is stored in customs protocols at the National Archives, but links to scans or pictures of the originals are available from the database.

To read more: Ragnhild Hutchison: Norway 1731-1795, in Loic Charles and Guillaume Daudin "Eighteenth-century International Trade statistics. Sources and methods", Revue de l'OFCE, 140, Paris, 2015.

The databases

List of goods

Lists of goods for Norwegian customs ports

All goods noted in the lists

Goods traded in Norwegian custom ports

Foreign places of trade

Ship traffic

Ship traffic lists

Past and future destinations

Home ports


Traffic statistics- Norwegian ports

Traffic statistics - Countries

Copper exports

Liquidation records


Destination records




Price database

Prices in customs ports and trading places

Commodity prices


[1] It has not been possible to transcribe Trondheim copper exports before 1753, but the total amount of copper exports in the years that have been transcribed, as a provisional solution, therefore listed in the note field.