For this week’s post I will be looking at the Museum of the North and the Arctic Museum of Norway. Two museums with a focus on northern cultures and natural history.

First things first, I note that both UAMN and the Arctic University Museum in Norway have a lot of similar topics, despite being several thousand miles away from each other. They both cover the aurora, and animals in the north as well as highlighting the indigenous peoples of their region. One difference is that the Norway museum does not have an art gallery whereas UAMN uses the Rose Berry gallery as a way of incorporating indigenous cultures into the museum as a whole. It does look like the museum in Norway has an interesting exhibition called UnNatural that focuses on the man-made changes and interaction with nature and wildlife in the region. Both museums have whale skeletons prominently displayed. They are also both research and teaching museums.

I know from my work at UAMN that the Education Department does a lot of work engaging local schools, libraries, and families. There are generally 3 or more programs every month to work with various age levels as well as family days, a one-week summer camp, and many field trips during the school year. From what I can see online, the Norway museum does school tours, and provide family programming every Sunday. They have an app called Bædi og Børdi that is a tool for families visiting the museum. The institution has a Center for Sami Studies, which is a resources center for indigenous research. I can gauge that both museums are very involved in their communities and offer opportunities for all types of visitors.

The Arctic University Museum of Norway

My question for the class is, why do you think it is important to have museums that represent the north?

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