The history of the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo was founded in 1811. Until 1946 it was the only university in Norway. The university had a central role in the building of the nation. The history about the University of Oslo is also the history about Norway.

Read more about the institution, the people, the buildings and the research at the University of Oslo.

The making of the university of Oslo

The University of Oslo was founded in 1811. However, the campaign for a separate Norwegian university started some 150 years earlier. Read more

Slideshow: Professor Holtedahl’s expedition to Novaya Zemlya 1921.

In 1919, Olaf Holtedahl, professor of geology... Read more

The Physics Cabinet

The University of Oslo’s Physics Cabinet is something of an Aladdin’s cave... Read more

The Pharmacy Building – colourful functionalist gem

When it opened in 1932, the University School of Pharmacy at Blindern was one of Norway’s most radical buildings. Read more

Art history becomes a university subject

A new, modern university subject was created with the 1875 appointment of Lorentz Dietrichson.. Read more

The University’s academic employees 1813–1984

In the nineteenth century, each individual faculty had only a handful of professors. This is a register of all the academic employees at the University of Oslo from 1813 to 1984. Read more

Odd Hassel: Nobel laureate in chemistry

When Odd Hassel was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1969, he dominated the front pages... Read more

Trygve Haavelmo: Nobel Prize winner and keen angler

Trygve Haavelmo, professor of economics at the University of Oslo was awarded the world’s most prestigious prize in 1989. Read more

University recognition for rural doctors

Being a doctor out in rural areas is the most common form of medical practice. Read more

Establishing the zero meridian in the Observatory

The University’s Astronomical Observatory from 1833 is one of the oldest buildings... Read more

Ragnar Frisch: from apprentice goldsmith to Nobel laureate

Professor Ragnar Frisch (1895–1973) founded the Department of Economics in 1932. Read more

Niels Henrik Abel

Despite only living to the age 26, he published works that have earned him a place among the world’s foremost mathematicians. Read more

The Historical Museum: A pig in a top hat and tails?

In 1902, the University’s three museums dedicated to cultural history moved into a brand new museum building. Read more

Grosch: the architect behind the neoclassical university buildings

Grosch (1801–1865) designed the Observatory, the Palm House in the Botanical Garden and the university complex... Read more

Busy days and cold nights: Christopher Hansteen

Can one professor really be expected to head the Norwegian Geographic Survey, the Meteorological Institute.. Read more

Brief history of the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest university. Read more

200 years of university students

The road to becoming a university for the masses was neither straight nor clearly signposted. Read more

The Observatory’s meridian circle: determining the zero meridian and the coordinates of the heavenly bodies

The inscription on the Observatory’s foundation stone.. Read more

Respiratory gas analysis in Alaska, Panama and at UiO

How to measure the metabolism of a seal, or a bird, or a human? The University of Oslo’s first... Read more

The centennial addresses

Hidden away in a barn in Hønefoss, half an hour’s drive from Oslo, three large crates contained forgotten mementos... Read more

Measure the past!

In the 1960s, the University’s Department of Ethnology initiated an ambitious project... Read more

Tristan da Cunha 1937–1938

In 1937, a multi-disciplinary team of scientists went ashore on Tristan da Cunha... Read more

Christopher Hansteen’s Norwegian measures and weights

Professor Christopher Hansteen is a central name in Norwegian history of science, but... read more

An occupied university’s moral dilemma

While some University people were unwilling to compromise and sought direct confrontation... Read more

The academic discipline post-war Norway needed

Ragnar Frisch started out as a silversmith, but ended up building up a university department... Read more

Geology for society: NGU 1858–2008

The Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) introduced the slogan “Geology for society” in 1986, but... Read more 

Medical education in Norway: an academic or a political initiative?

When Norway’s first ever university was founded, it comprised four faculties, one of which was medicine. Read more

The great crop testing project

In the second half of the nineteenth century, teachers, vicar’s wives, farmers and doctors...Read more

Pedagogy at the University of Oslo

As an academic discipline, pedagogy relates to the very foundations... Read more

The new Faculty of Social Sciences complex – a masterpiece of modernist architecture

The new buildings for the Faculty of Social Sciences were completed in 1967. Read more

Expedition on stamps

A multi-disciplinary expedition to Tristan da Cunha 1937-1938 is now a stamp issue. Read more

“Norwegian” sea lion at the Galápagos Island

Zalophus wollebaeki is a sea lion only occurring at the Galápagos Island. What was then the reason for naming the species after a Norwegian zoologist? Read more