History and museums
Nordland Museum is a museum located in the center of Bodø, a town in Norway. The museum is a central part of a larger consortium of 18 museum units in nine municipalities in Nordland County. The museum was established in 1888, although the building where the museum is situated is from 1904.
The majority of the museum's collections were destroyed during World War 2, as the museum was hit by two bombs. Furthermore, the museum building was stripped of its function as a museum during the war, when it housed Nasjonal Samling (Norwegian pronunciation: nɑʃuˈnɑːl ˈsɑmlɪŋ, National Gathering), abbreviated NS, a Norwegian fascist party active from 1933 to 1945. The museum since regained its function as a museum, and houses today several exhibitions that cover North-Norwegian culture and history.
The museum building has been preserved by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. The museum houses an interactive dry fish aquarium exhibition from the mid1950s, which has also been persevered by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage.
On the first floor the museum has two exhibits: one about the old traditional North-Norwegian fisheries and the international stockfish trade with the Hanseatic League, and a second covering the local Sami people (Lapps). Most of the Sami material on display is from Tysfjord, north of Bodø.
The exhibition on the second floor shows a silver treasure from the Viking age. This treasure was found in Bodø in 1919 and is one of the biggest that has been found in Northern Norway. The treasure consists of silver jewellery and silver pieces, among them Anglo-Saxon and Arabic coins. The largest silver piece, a silver decorative needle for fastening capes, was part of a larger international exhibition on Vikings (Vikings: Life and Legend) which was a collaboration between the British Museum, the National Museum of Denmark and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) which focused on the core period of the Viking Age from the late 8th century to the early 11th century.
The third floor shows an exhibit about the history of Bodø from the founding in 1816 to the present. Central to the exhibit is the German destruction of the old town during World War II, a dramatic highpoint in the town history. The exhibition also contains a 25 minute documentary with English subtitles about the town's older history (1816-1940).