WIT Press

Dora I: From Submarine Pen To Cultural Bunker


Free (open access)





Page Range

219 - 229




311 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. Carstens


Dora I is originally a German U-boat bunker constructed during World War II in the harbour of Trondheim, Norway. In 1961 Dora I was sold to private investors who put it to use as a warehouse. During the 1990s it became evident that postwar construction and adaptation had contributed to establishing a unique microclimate within Dora I. Without any use of artificial ventilation or heating systems, the temperature inside the building changes slowly from summer to winter and varies less than 10°C over the year. The relative humidity stays pretty much stable the year around. This fact, combined with the lack of any natural light inside the massive building, makes it very well suited for long time storage of any type of organic material collected by museums, archives and libraries. In 2006, a new archival centre opened next to Dora I, collocating four in principle independent archival institutions. This archive centre uses the former submarine pens as depositories, storing currently approximately 130 000 shelf meters of documents. In addition, a number of regional museums and art collections have established themselves with depositories in Dora I. At present Dora I is slowly turning into a multicultural regional centre hosting concerts, theatre plays and art exhibitions. Keywords: World War II, archive, climate measurement, archive, museum, library storage, environment. 1 Introduction On April 9, 1940, Norway was invaded by Nazi Germany. By the evening that day, the German forces had taken control of Oslo, the Norwegian capital, and the main coastal cities, Trondheim included. On April 25, Gauleiter in Essen and Oberpräsident der Rheinprovinz, Joseph Terboven (1898-1945), was appointed Reichskommissar for the Norwegian occupied areas [1].


World War II, archive, climate measurement, archive, museum, library storage, environment.