The historical population register for Norway (HBR) will link all public information on people in Norway and where they lived. It is to be constructed in the main from church records and population censuses, but will in due time include other sources. The construction of the database has begun, in the first instance for the period 1801 to 1815. The aim is to reconstitute Norway’s population around 17th May 1814 and to construct a nominative census to supplement the statistical census of 30th April 1815. At completion in time for the bicentenary of the Constitution in 2014, it will be the world’s first publically accessible and country-wide population register and cover the years 1801–1815. This sub-project has been called «The Norwegian people in 1814» (DNF1814). The reason why Norway can lie so far ahead in this field is that we, together with the other Nordic countries, have complete church records that fill the gaps between the censuses. The aim of the HBR is to cover the entire Norwegian population until 1930. Also planned is a restricted-access register for the period 1930 to 1963 linked to the national population register that was established in 1964. The article discusses in particular how information about individuals and groups in different sources can be linked together using automatic and manual methods. It will be possible to use DNF 1814 and later extensions of the HBR in a range of local, regional and national studies and provide a basis for international comparison, particularly with longitudinal registers in Sweden, Iceland and the Netherlands.