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Obituary: Jon Arild Olsen 1965–2024

Submitted by Karina Berger on

Written by colleagues at the National Library of Norway

It is with great sadness that we received the message that Jon Arild Olsen passed away on March 16, 2024, after long-term illness.

He was the coordinator of the Norwegian Language Bank at the National Library of Norway and involved in multiple international language technology research initiatives, among them CLARIN. Jon Arild was also the Norwegian national delegate to the CLARIN General Assembly for many years.

Jon Arild was a humanist at heart as a scholar of French philology. He earned his PhD in French literature studies at the University of Oslo in 2002, with a dissertation on the theory of the novel. He later worked in the research administration at the University of Oslo until he joined the National Library of Norway in 2009, where he became the head of the research department in 2011. He was in later years very inspired by the advances within digital humanities and language technology and he also published within these areas.

Jon Arild was a true European and believer in international cooperation, having lived in France for many years. He had friends everywhere and was surrounded by an aura of calmness, rationality and humour, which we will deeply miss.