PhD project: Basic exhibitions

PhD project: Basic exhibitions – in squeeze between the authorities’ museum policy guidelines, different user groups and the growth of research.

Alternate title: Basic Exhibitions – Caught Between the Governments Guidelines for Museum Policies, Different User Groups, and Growth of Research


Museums are constantly finding that basic exhibitions may have less relevance in relation to new research and political strategies from appropriating authorities. I want to investigate how basic exhibitions can become more contemporary by being supplemented or complemented with digital forms of dissemination. A user perspective will also be central here.

These are issues that are very relevant to a large part of the museum sector in Norway. The issue will be highlighted through a case study at the Lofotr Viking Museum at Borg in Lofoten.

A basic exhibition constitutes the core exhibition at a museum, often consists of a mount exhibition with objects and text. It is an exhibition that can be set up in connection with a museum opening. It is very expensive, therefore changes little and remains for decades.

The thesis will consist of a collection of articles and a cloak. With the first article I will investigate the current basic exhibition at the Lofotr Viking Museum. In addition, observations shall be made of guests, surveys and interviews with guides. In the second article I will give a status for the archaeological research on Vestvågøy. It is desirable to upgrade the dissemination with new knowledge. In the third article I will take a closer look at the relationship between recent research related to the Younger Iron Age/Early Middle Ages on Vestvågøy set against what we already convey in the basic exhibition at the Lofotr Viking Museum.

The focus will be on the type of digital dissemination that may be suitable for supplementing the disseminations in the archaeological basic exhibition. In the mantle I will discuss the possible discrepancy between the basic exhibition at the Lofotr Viking Museum and the current research front, museum policy guidelines, different user groups’ expectations of experience, and the museum’s dissemination and facilitation for the users. I will discuss how a digital adaptation can help solve some of the challenges facing the Lofotr Viking Museum and other museums.


Portrait of a woman

Elin Tinuviel Torbergsen