Norwegian database unlocked

The mystery of the lost password at a Norwegian library has been solved.

A Swedish IT pro found the missing database password for the Ivar Aasen Centre of Language and Culture in Oresta, Norway, in about five hours, Information Director Torgeir Dimmen said Monday morning.

Dimmen said Joakim Eriksson cracked the code and opened a database containing information on 14,000 books and magazines published in the New Norwegian language. The books and magazines were donated to the centre by Reidar Djupedal. The donation also included a dBase database created by Djupedal's son-in-law Wolf Djupedal that cataloged the collection. However, both men died without revealing the password that would open the database.

News of the library's dilemma spread around the Web via discussion boards and press reports. Soon, IT professionals from around the world began to offer assistance.

"It is just amazing how people in the whole world have engaged in this case," Dimmen said. "The people who work with these things love these kinds of mysteries, and they like to help each other if someone has a problem."

Dimmen said the database will be evaluated by Aasen Centre librarian Kirsti Langstoyl. The hope is that the database will contain a detailed description of the entire collection so that it can be searched and used as a research tool.

Attempts to contact Eriksson at his office in Sweden were unsuccessful Monday morning.

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