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The collections

The Museum of Cultural History has the largest archaeological and ethnographic collections in Norway, including finds from prehistoric times to the reformation, and with ethnographic and numismatic objects from all parts of the world until modern times. Our archaeological finds and collected anthropological material form the basis for constantly new research.

The history of the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway's oldest university and has been of great importance for the development of the country's education, research, dissemination and innovation. The Museum of University History has collections of objects and photos about the university's history and its research.

Objects from the collection

The Museum of Cultural History has many interesting objects in the collections, and all have their history. The item calendar has been continued on Gjenstandsbloggen (

The museum's databases

The artefact collection of the Museum of Cultural History can be accessed digitally.

About the collections

  • The largest collections of the Museum of Cultural History are The collection of Norwegian antiquities, The ethnographic collection and The Coin cabinet. The collection of Norwegian antiquities includes archaeological material from the Stone Age to the reformation, including the Viking ship collection and the collection of medieval ecclesiastical art.
  • The ethnographic collection has objects from all continents, from different historical periods until today. The Coin cabinet administers the largest numismatic collection in the country, with coins from Classical Antiquity to those most recently coined in Norway.
  • The minor collections of the Museum of Cultural History consist of the Collection of classical antiquities, the Egyptian collection and the Runic archive, which all include unique objects.
  • The collections of the Museum of Cultural History hold Norway’s largest collection of ancient and medieval artefacts, church art, runic inscriptions, coins and other moneys, decorations and medals, antiquities and ethnographic objects, and are the result of almost 200 years of accumulation.
  • They are the core of the museum’s activities, and form the basis of the museum’s research, education and heritage protection policies. The collections consist of all the objects owned by the museum, the documentation connected to these objects, and other archive material. Only some of the objects are exhibited.
  • The remainder are kept in storage, undergoing a restoration process, being used for research purposes, or on loan to other museums or research institutions. The museum is working to describe and catalogue all of its objects so they can be listed in databases that will be made available to the public.
  • The collections that the Museum of University History works with are important for understanding the university and the history of science. Information about the things and the people who used them is a great resource of knowledge. Go to the Museum of University History to see their collections.