Join us for a journey through the history of Svalbard, from the discovery that happened almost coincidentally up til todays modern Svalbard with scientific activities and vibrant societies. The permanent exhibition consist of artifacts/objects and models. It is texted in English and Norwegian language and presents knowledge on life in Svalbard in a tranquille atmosphere. A visit in the museum will give you a great knowledge for understanding life in Svalbard, both the past and presence.
Svalbard's discovery in 1596 marked the start of centuries with human activities in this archipelago far, far north. The development in continental Europe generated a need for resources that could be found in Svalbard. Whaling, for the sake of the whale oil, was of importance for several nations. Russian Pomors established in Svalbard for hunting for furs, followed by the Norwegians. How did the trappers live? What did they hunt? Were there any female trappers? The museum exhibit presents answers to this – and more.
Great expeditions with the main mission to explore this part of the world became of big importance. The explorers were hunting for records, for the North Pole – and later, the expeditions shifted to scientific expeditions. It was recognized that gaining knowledge on Svalbard and the Arctic was vital to understand many aspects of science. Among this was understanding the weather, which amongst other became very important during World War II.
The geology of Svalbard is particular and valuable in many ways. Geology reveals to us that what today is Svalbard once was located far further south in the world than today. Learn about where the thick layers of coal came from, what secrets they may reveal, how the coal mining industry was established and how societies where formed around it. You will also be introduced to information about modern science. The flora and fauna of Svalbard is presented as you walk through the exhibition hall. You will encounter all the animals of Svalbard and some of the birds and plant life.
The exhitibions are family friendly with several activities for children
Children may dig for the plesiosaur – a marine reptile – and crawl through the entrance of a mine. Many of the models and artifacts are mounted so that also children get a good impression. In «Inner Arctic» children and adults may rest, read a book or simply enjoy the light and the view of the tundra.
The atmosphere of the museum is tranquil and leads you through information given through objects/artifacts and models, as well as text in English and Norwegian language. Our hope is that the museum creates room and moments for reflection and knowledge.
Museum gift shop
The museum gift shop offers a wide selection of maps from Svalbard, books/polar history (many of them in several languages). Also childrens books and a fine selection of useful and beautiful items suchs as knitwear, scarves, hats and jewelry (locally sourced), postcards and souvenirs.
Svalbard Museum is a museum of natural and cultural history
Svalbard Museum aims to collect, preserve and dissiminate knowledge on topics related to Svalbard's nature and culture. The activity of the museum is recognized by numerous collaborations, from local to international where the common aim is to contribute to the knowledge on Svalbard.
Want to know more? The museum has an extensive collection of objects and historical photographies
At www.digitaltmuseum.no many of the objects at the museum are presented. A large part of the photo collection is digitized and can be found in our database.
Awards and certifications
European Council Award for best European Museum (2008)
Eco certification: Eco-lighthouse
The museum is open all year round. Located in the «Forskningsparken» (Science park). Welcome!