The core of the museum’s collections consists of objects collected for the 1914 Jubilee Exhibition in Kristiania (Oslo), which marked the 100th anniversary of the Norwegian constitution. The exhibition intended to highlight Norwegian technological and economic development at the time where shipping played an important role. The seafaring and fishing pavilion was located at Skarpsno Park until the fall of 1914. When the exhibition was dismantled, many of the objects were given to the Norwegian Maritime Museum, which was officially founded on 2 December of the same year.
Today, 100 years after the founding of the museum, the Norwegian Maritime Museum collections reflects the technological and cultural development through the past 150 years. In addition to collections of historical and archaeological artefacts, works of art, models, navigational instruments, tools and souvenirs, the museum also has important collections documenting Norwegian boatbuilding traditions. These collections include a boat collection, floating vessels such as the schooner Svanen, the lifeboat Colin Archer, and the yacht Venus, as well as survey drawings of Norwegian traditional boats by Bernhard Færøyvik and Arne Emil Christensen and construction drawings of pilot-, rescue- and leisure-ships by Colin Archer, Johan Anker and Bjarne Aas.
Collection Management at the Norwegian Maritime Museum includes collecting, preserving, documenting, registering, and analysing the collections' significance, as well as its cultural and educational value. It is our goal as a museum to make all our collections accessible to the public. Parts of these collections are available at DigitalMuseum and Europeana.