The National Archives was established in 1817, but the name had already been used for a long time about the archival material that was preserved at Akershus. What was new in 1817 was that the National Archives also was given the responsibility to preserve the archives of the newly established central authorities from 1814, the government and the ministries. Since then, this has been an important task for the National Archives. Consequently, the amount of archival material has steadily increased, and thus also the need for space to preserve it.

The archival facilities at Akershus were small, and there was a danger of both fire and humidity damage. In 1866 the National Archives moved to the newly erected parliament house, where the archive had plenty of space until the Parliament needed to take over the whole building. In 1914, the National Archives had premises in Bank of Norway's first building at Bankplassen, now the Museum of Architecture.

After several decades of insufficient space conditions and provisional solutions, the National Archives could finally move to a new, spacious building at Kringsjå, close to Sognsvann metro station, in 1978. The location was chosen because the archival material could have the best possible security in large halls that were built into the rocks. This has proved to be a solution for the future. The construction under the ground has been expanded several times, and there is still space left.