The Mission and Diakonia Archives continues the work of two previous units: Mission Archives and the Diakonia Archives.
The history of the Mission Archives
The Mission Archives has its origin in the records management of the Norwegian Mission Society (NMS), previously named Norwegian Missionary Society. This organization was founded in Stavanger in 1842. From the mid 1960s NMS initiated systematic efforts with the records from the head office in Stavanger, and NMS Archives was later located in the new campus center at the School of Mission and Theology in 1983. This was the foundation for the establishment of an open access research archive for users from Norway and abroad.
The collection was gradually extended to include material from regional offices and institutions of the NMS, as well as material from individuals and families related to NMS. Material from organizations which had supported NMS was also added, as well as from organizations related to the teaching and research at the School of Mission and Theology.
The expansion of the collection was the main reason for the change of name to Mission Archives in 2008. The Mission Archives began managing the Mission Museum in 2011. This museum was the first of its kind in Stavanger, with showroom in the first campus building in 1864.
The Mission Archives has received an annual grant from the national budget of Norway since 2005.
The history of the Diakonia Archives
The Diakonia Archives is the result of a joint initiative by the foundation Det norske Diakonhjem and Diakonhjemmet Høgskole in Oslo. The foundation has provided substantial grants and storage facilities, as well as assisting the classification and cataloging of the material. Some grants have also been received from the Arts Council and the National Archives of Norway. From 2018 the collection includes material from the diakonal foundations Haraldsplass and Betanien Bergen.