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Professor Gustafson´s diaries

The excavation of the Oseberg burial mound took place the summer 1904 and was chaired by Professor Gabriel Gustafson.

Excavation of the Oseberg ship

Professor Gustafson and crew from the excavation of the Oseberg ship in 1904. Photo: Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo/ Olaf Væring

Gustafson emphasized documentation of the excavation and hired artists and photographers as well as engineers. This body of documentation is still considered an essential source of information.

Gustafson’s diaries and sketchbooks include: 

  • Two diaries in A5 format, 131 pages each.
    - Book no. 1, dated 13 July to 31 July 1904.
    - Book no. 2 – dated 2 August to 22 September 1904.
  • A sketchbook in folio format, unsystematically dated.
  • A small sketchbook with a few drawings, also unsystematically dated.

In 2014, the diaries from the excavation of the Oseberg burial mound were incorporated into the registry of Norwegian documentary heritage – the Norwegian submission to UNESCO’s Memory of the World.

In 2017 these diaries, as well as the rest of the comprehensive documentation of the excavation, will compete for a place in UNESCO’s international register.

The Museum of Cultural History is proud to announce that our nomination of the original field documentation from the Oseberg excavations has been forwarded by the Norwegian UNESCO Commission as nominee to be listed in the international UNESCO Memory of the World register.

drawing of cart from Oseberg
A page from Gustafsons sketchbook.  Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.


Published Mar. 19, 2020 10:30 AM - Last modified Feb. 11, 2021 10:00 AM