21 museums – 1000 stories

Come and visit us in the North of Norway! Meet those who work at sea, in the fields, the mountains and in the mines.

Our coast line has always been our life line. It has shaped our communities here in the North, and it has offered great wealth to those who were skilled to navigate it – Vikings, landowners, traders and industrialists.

Throughout history our people have always been connected. Our culture depends on the strong links to Europe and to the world – whether this is the Hurtigruten line, the Coastal Highway One or the fishing industry exporting dried cod as far as Nigeria or South America.

Life in the North is about extraordinary people. Over the centuries people have lived from the rich harvests of the sea and the barren lands. They have been working in the mines and in the navy during peace times and during war. In these harsh, northern conditions fisher-farmers have become outstanding entrepreneurs. A folk of resilient men and women; and they know how to have a good time, and how to tell a story…

Museum Nord brings you close to the past, the present and the future of Northern Norway. Listen to the stories and be inspired and amazed by 21 museums.

About Museum Nord

Museum Nord is a non-profit, government-supported organisation within the national museum network, operating 21 different museum units in northern Nordland. Museum Nord contributes to the collection and documentation of historic sites and objects, carrying out research, and disseminating and promoting the cultural and natural history of Ofoten, Vesterålen and Lofoten. In this context the museum works towards the preservation of archaeological and architectural buildings and monuments, physical environments of cultural significance, and the region’s intangible cultural heritage.

Museum Nord was established in 2002 by recommendation of the Ministry of Culture with the aim to consolidate and professionalise all the public museums in these three regions, and to communicate heritage knowledge to a wider audience. There are three regional museums like Museum Nord in Nordland County today: Helgeland Museum (South), Nordland Museum (Middle) and Museum Nord (North).

The work of Museum Nord concentrates on four central themes

  • Fisher-farmer society, fishing industry and marine resources
  • Mining industry
  • Arctic Vikings
  • Seafaring, expeditions and trade by sea and land

Museum Nord is a centre of expertise and professionalism for the region, and it is an active part of the national museum network. Museum Nord is involved in the development of museum offerings and functions; it supports networks and collaboration on a local, regional, national and international level. Museum Nord participates in international networks (EU projects).


The organisation’s administration is divided in two locations: The personnel and archiving departments are located in Melbu (Hadsel), while the economy and marketing departments are based in Borg (Vestvågøy). The main office is in Melbu.

There are on average 53 permanent employees working for the Museum Nord Foundation. Lofotr Næringsdrift AS, a company wholly owned by Museum Nord employs on average 13 full time equivalent posts per annum.

See a list of all our staff here.


The Museum Nord Foundation had revenues in 2013 of NOK 39 million, and the trading subsidiary Lofotr Næringsdrift AS had a turnover of 
16.5 million NOK.
In 2013 Museum Nord received 14 million in state funding (Ministry of Culture), 1.1 million from Cultural Heritage (the Norwegian Fishing Industry) and 1.4 million from NCA (Norwegian Coastal Administration Museum), 6.5 million from the counties, and 6.5 million from municipalities.

Museums operated by the Museum Nord Foundation receive operating grants from the government, 60% National, 20% County, 20% Municipality. Several museums have very high visitor numbers and hence a substantial economic turnover.


Board of Directors
Museum Nord’s governmental body is the Board of Directors, consisting of nine individuals who represent the three regions, academic institutions and the county. Their expertise and background is varied; among others, Board Members are academics, politicians, policy makers and professionals in both, the museum sector and in the travel industry.

See a list of our board members here

Museum Nord – Board of Directors 2016/17
Museum Nord’s board comprises of nine members and their deputies:

Chair: Randi Melgaard, Narvik
Deputy: Oddny T. Olsen, Vestvågøy

Acting Chair: Søren Fredrik Voie, Vestvågøy
Deputy: Lars Stenvik, Trondheim

Board Member: Svein Roar Jacobsen, Sortland
Deputy: Hilde Hansen, Øksnes

Board Member: Anne-Rita Nicklasson, Ballangen
Deputy: Stig Eriksen, Tysfjord

Board Member: Hugo Bjørnstad, Vågan
Deputy: Aino Ellingsen, Vågan

Board Member: Stephen Wickler, Tromsø
Deputy: Keth Lind, Tromsø

Board Member: Svein Spjelkavik, Andøy
Deputy: Jørun Drevland, Sortland

Board Member: Kristine Moltu (staff representative)
Deputy: Julie Sæther

Board Member: Stian Fleines (staff representative)
Deputy: Terje Bøe

For further information, please contact the administration at Museum Nord.

The Committee of the Museum Nord Foundation, consisting of the region’s municipalities representative, meets once a year to elect the Museum Nord Board of Directors, and to appoint the external auditor for the organisation’s annual accounts. The Committee consists of one person from each of the municipalities, and one person from each of the three regions, Ofoten, Vesterålen and Lofoten.

As part of this meeting the Board of Directors organise an annual conference relevant to the development of Museum Nord. This conference is open to the public.

If you would like to receive more information about Museum Nord, please contact us.

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