The Regional State Archives in Trondheim was established in November 1850 as the first regional archival institution in Scandinavia. According to a Royal Decree of 1837, all archival material created by the local and regional public administration should be sent to the National Archives in Oslo for safe keeping. However, this was not fully implemented since the National Archives had a limited space and since the public administrators in central and northern Norway were reluctant to send their archives all the way to Oslo. A local initiative to establish an archive for central and northern Norway was therefore successful. Centralarchive for Trondhjems og Tromsø stifter opened on 22 November 1850 with premises in the Kristiansten fortress in the building originally built as a residence for the fortress’ commander. Dominicus Nagel Bech, an archivist at the National Archives, was chosen as the first director of the new archival institution.
The commander’s residence was small, dark and cold and it was inconvenient for the public to get from the city and to the archive. After persistent lobbying to the regional administration and to the government, the archive was moved in 1865 to a new building in Bispegata 7. The building was designed by the architect Eilert Christian Brodtkorb and was very modern for its time.
However, within few years, the building was full. Archival material was stored in the attic in wait for new premises. This was the start of a long negotiation process for a new building, and in 1927 the archive finally moved to new dwellings in Høgskolevegen 12. The old archive in Bispegata was torn down.
The archive in Høgskolevegen 12 was designed by the architect Schytte-Berg. It was large and spacious, but after a few decades it started to fill up. By the 1980s the archive had to rent additional facilities, first on Moholt, and then at Dora. The Regional State Archives remained at Høgskolevegen until 2006 when it moved to Dora 1 on Nyhavna. The archival material is kept inside the bunker, while the public facilities and the offices are situated in a new building on the front side of the bunker. Two other archives and a library also rent rooms at Dora and together we have created an Archival centreArkivet i Høgskolevegen 12 var tegnet av arkitekt Schytte-Berg. Det var stort og romslig, men avleveringene fra de lokale myndighetene økte og snart var det dårlig med plass også her. Fra og med 1980-tallet måtte statsarkivet leie tilleggslokaler, først på Moholt og deretter på Dora.
Dora was built as a submarine base and bunker during World War II and is now owned by private interests. In addition to archival institutions, several museums rent storage facilities for their collections at Dora. Additional space is regularly rented to artists and rock bands etc, thus transforming Dora 1 into a new Cultural bunker (Kulturbunker ).