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Iron Age: The old iron works and the new sustainability goals

Project period: 2021-2024
Funding: Norwegian Cultural Council
Contact person at the Østfold Museums:
Kathrine Sandstrøm, curator, kathrine.sandstrom@ostfoldmuseene
Mattias Ekman, first curator manor houses, mattias.ekman@ostfoldmuseene.no 
Marianne Løken, research director, marianne.loken@ostfoldmuseene.no

About the project

The research project aims to develop collection, contemporary and socially relevant knowledge about the old Norwegian ironworks (1622-1909), which is an important part of the museums' professional portfolio. The project consists of a series of cases, which together actualize the history of the ironworks with a view to the sustainability goals. Six institutions are participating in the project led by Næs Ironworks Museum by Frank Meyer.


The aim is to carry out case studies, which in various ways address twelve of the sustainability goals, in order to develop knowledge and competence in participating institutions. It is also a goal to build and strengthen relationships within and across the museum networks - and to stimulate participating museums, networks and the public to reflect on the museums' contribution to achieving the sustainability goals.


  • Næs Ironworks Museum (Frank Meyer): «Social inequality in Baaseland and Næs Ironworks in the 18th century». Næs Ironworks Museum (Frank Meyer): «Ore, water, forest: The ironworks' environmental history in Agder».
  • Østfold Museums (Kathrine Sandstrøm, Mattias Ekman): «Iron women - Women at the ironworks».
  • Vestfold Museums (Hilde Woxen): «Technological innovation and« the brown revolution »at Eidsfoss works in the 19th century».
  • Vestfold Museums (Kasper Rogde Søyland): «Innovation in iron kiln technology and design at Eidsfoss works 1860-1960, illuminated in an environmental and sustainability perspective».
  • Kuben Arendal (Kristoffer Vadum and Håkon Haugland): «Import and export of goods in the Oksefjord illuminated by customs material from the 18th and 19th centuries».
  • The National Archives (Torkel Thime): «The ironworks families Deichman, Løvenskiold and Aall and their role in cultural and knowledge development in the 18th century».
  • Norwegian Mining Museum (Bjørn Ivar Berg): Guidance, advice and library services.

Iron women

The Østfold Museums' sub-project Iron Women will carry out a literature review of the literature that affects women and ironworks in Norway and Sweden. What has been done of research on women and ironworks in respectively Norway and Sweden? What sources and methods have been used to shed light on the women? Which time periods are prominent? Which aspects of the women are revealed and which are not revealed in this literature? The study addresses the UN's sustainability goal number 5.

Impacts and relevance

The project will contribute to competence development through research, development in general and research on the history and sustainability of the ironworks. Furthermore, it will work with the sustainability goals as part of the museum activity through research-based renewal of existing and development of new, lasting and temporary, analogue and digital exhibitions, teaching and dissemination concept. The collection management will also be stimulated by the research, for example with a view to registering metadata related to the sustainability goals.

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Publication and dissemination from the project

The project will culminate in eight peer-reviewed articles and at least as many popular science articles in journals, newspapers and digital museums. In order to reach colleagues in other museums, the participants will take the initiative for professional dissemination in trade magazines and on social media. The results will also be disseminated in analogue and digital exhibitions.

Museum24:Portal - 2024.06.11
Grunnstilsett-versjon: 1