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About the repository

Svalbard Museum’s object collections are extremely varied and illustrate the natural and cultural history of the archipelago. Collections include natural history items such as fossils, mounted animals, and animal skeletons. The cultural history items include such things as equipment used for mining, whaling, or everyday life in Svalbard. The repository also holds some artwork, currency notes, maps, and literature. The collections have come to the museum as gifts from institutions and private individuals.

The archaeological material consists mainly of artifacts retrieved over several years of excavations of whalers’ graves in Svalbard. Svalbard Museum works in close collaboration with the office of the Governor of Svalbard (Sysselmesteren). Objects retrieved during excavations done at the Governor’s request are deposited and put on exhibit at Svalbard Museum.

Much material had been excavated and then deposited at other museums in Norway and abroad. In 2005–2007, these objects were returned to Svalbard from (among others) Tromsø Museum, the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum, the Norwegian Polar Institute, the Norwegian Maritime Museum, and museums in Sweden. In addition, a collection of archaeological artifacts from Smeerenburg were returned from the Netherlands, and a collection from Barentsburg was moved to Svalbard Museum.

In addition to Svalbard Museum, there are three other collections of artifacts/museums in Svalbard, to which Svalbard Museum provides expert support:

  • The Pomor Museum in Barentburg
  • The Ny-Ålesund Town and Mine Museum
  • The collections on Bjørnøya
Museum24:Portal - 2024.04.15
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