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Elevated and Ignored: The Manor House Museum in the Norwegian Topography of Memory

Project period: 2019-2021
Funding: Arts Council Norway
Contact people at Østfoldmuseene: Mattias Ekman, manor house curator and Gaute Jacobsen, department manager
Project website: http://herregaardsnettverket.no/

About the project

This research project investigates the role of, and practice at, manor house museums in Norway from around 1850 until the present, through their transition from a historical function to cultural heritage sites and museums.

Research questions: What expectations do we have in relation to manor house museums? What do we want to do with them? How do the museums deal with the manors’ antiquarian value? Which ideological issues are at stake? What are our difficult stories?


The project will take a self-reflective approach based on critical museology, as well as explore how immaterial and material traces of the past gain value and become a resource in the present as a result of socially and culturally dependent historical and memorial practices.

Impacts and relevance

The project is particularly relevant to:

  • the museum sector in Norway and the Nordic region
  • heritage conservation authorities and other stakeholders involved in cultural heritage
  • academia in the humanities
  • local and regional funding authorities
  • people with a general interest in cultural heritage and history

The project shall add to our knowledge about, and understanding of, manor houses in Norway. The research will give a boost to our museums’ research practice thanks to the supervision of Professor of Cultural History Arne Bugge Amundsen of the University of Oslo, who is the technical director for the project.

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Museum24:Portal - 2024.06.11
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