The History of Tanum


The bookshop was founded I 1832 by Papen (Johan) Dahl in the name of J.W. Cappelen, and it was Oslo’s first bookshop. In 1879 Hieronimus and Halvard Aschehoug took over the running of the shop, and in 1880 they moved the shop to Oslo’s main street, Karl Johansgate 43. The Tanum shop has been located here ever since, only interrupted by a larger renovation from 1982 to 1984, when the shop was temporarily moved to a pavilion between the National Theatre and the University.
The shop on Karl Johansgate has always been Tanum’s flagship store. Gradually new Tanum shops were opened. Today the company consists of Tanum Karl Johan with Bookbinders Paleet, Tanum Bogstadveien, Tanum Kolbotn Torg, Tanum Rignes Park, Tanum CC Vest, Tanum Oslo City, Tanum Storo, Tanum Litteraturhuset, Tanum Colosseum, Tanum Bryn, Tanum Flesland Airport, Tanum Værnes Airport, Tanum Torp Airport and Tanum Byporten with Bookbinders Byporten. In April 2001 Tanum’s online bookshop,, was launched.
The company was owned by the Tanum family from 1928, when Johan Grundt Tanum bought the bookshop. In 1931 he also founded a publishing house. It was sold in the 1980s and was from then on known as Tano forlag/Tano Publishing House. Today it is included in Aschehoug Publishing House. In 1964 the bookshop Cammermeyer, previously co-owned by Sigurd Pedersen, Johan Grundt Tanum’s father, was merged into Tanum. Ingar Tanum entered the company in 1956. He was initiator of the establishment of Sentral Bokhandel A/S, later renamed Libris, and he also initiated the bookstudies at Telemark University College. Anne Carine Tanum took charge over Tanum in 1991, and thus becoming fourth generation bookseller.
In 1994 Tanum left the Libris chain. Anne Carine Tanum was one of the initiators of the book chain Nexus Bokforum AS, a coalition Tanum was a part of until 1999. Anne Carine Tanum was chairman of the Norwegian Booksellers Association from spring 1994 to spring 1996.   
In 2006 Tanum was sold to the publishing house N.W. Damm & Søn AS, which is owned by Danish publisher Egmont. Anne-Regine Bakstad entered the position as managing director of Tanum in January 2007.
In 2007 the two publishing houses Damm and Cappelen (owned by the Swedish company Bonnier) merged. The new constellation Cappelen Damm AS is the second biggest publishing house in Norway. Tanum AS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cappelen Damm AS.