Norsk Folkemuseum acquired its first Sami object shortly after the museum was founded in 1894, but it was not until the years after the Second World War that Sami culture was clearly defined as part of the museum’s work. In 1951 a Sami Department was established and the Sami collection in the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Oslo was transferred to Norsk Folkemuseum. It has since been extended and now counts some 4300 objects, making it the largest Sami collection in the country.
The Image Collection
The Museum has a collection of some 4500 Sami photos. Some of these are unique documentations made by the museum staff during fieldwork in Sami areas. Others are historical pictures collected from various sources. At digitaltmuseum.no you will find photos in the Sami collection.
The Sami Collection has a library of some 2000 volumes. You may contact the library, or search the library catalogue.
The Audio Tape Collection
The museum has a collection of about 100 digitized audio tapes containing linguistic material, joik (Sami folk-song) and other material. Most of this was recorded in the 1950s and 1960s by Dr. Asbjørn Nesheim, the first curator of the Sami Collection, and is today of great interest to linguists and other scholars.