The new museum and its modern setting during the 1940s. RAÄ©

We have now published the last and also the main publication from the project and can by that close the project.

We want to thank all of you that in one way or another have participated during the years that have passed.

Ett historiskt museum och hur det har format Sverige

A historical museum and how it shaped Sweden was a three-year project that started in January 2009 and ended Mars 2012. A group of researchers have been engaged in the project financed by The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and Swedish Arts Council. The project was placed at the museum, which gave the researchers access to the museum, the storerooms, archives, staff and every day work. The new museology has been the theoretical point of departure and the project focused on the museum’s part in a social, historical and political context and its production of meaning in the Swedish society.

The Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm (from 2010 The National Historical Museum) was established in 1866. Bror Emil Hildebrand was one of the main characters behind the museum. Hildebrand was a close friend to Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, the founder of the three-age system, a system that Hildebrand used at the museum to order the objects but also in his plan over the exhibitions. The museum was placed on the ground floor of the National museum in Stockholm, a museum that opened the same year. In the end of 1930 the museum moved to its current position on Narvavägen. A large archaeological and medieval exhibition opened in 1943. The exhibition was framed in a new modern and functionalistic setting. Modernism and functionalism became important in post-war Swedish society. The employees at the museum played an important part in the modern Swedish heritage management from the beginning and the museum has through its exhibitions shaped the idea of Swedishness during a major part of the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Participants and contact:

Johan Hegardt, associate professor in archeology, project leader and contact: johan.hegardt[at]bredband.net

Patrik Nordström, master of arts in archaeology, archive specialist

Malin Grundberg, phd in history, gender studies

Fredrik Svanberg, associate professor in archaeology and museology, head of research at the museum

Eva Jacobsson, phd in history of economics, archive specialist (October-December 2010)

Ian Wiséhn, National Museum of Economy

Board of expertise:

Sir David Wilson and professor emeritus Bo Gräslund


Hegardt, Johan. 2011. ”Historien om ett museum. Om forskning utanför universitetet.” I: Forskning vid museer. Red. Fredrik Svanberg. The Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm. Studies 19.

– 2011.”Walking Through History. Archaeology and Ethnography in Museum Narration.” In: Rethinking Time. Essays on History, Memory, and Representation.

Eds. Hans Ruin & Andrus Ers. Södertörn Philosophical Studies 10. Open access.

– 2012. ”Att vandra genom historien – Om Historiska Museets rumsliga disposition.” I: Att återupptäcka det glömda. Aktuell forskning om forntidens förflutna i Norden. Red. Påvel Nicklasson och Bodil Pettersson. Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series Prima in 4, No. 32.

– 2012. ”’Ett museum skall irritera’. Historiska museet satt i dess politiska sammanhang.” Särtryck ur: Årsbok 2012 KVHAA Stockholm Open access.

– 2012. ”Narrating a (New) Nation? Temporary exhibitions at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, Sweden between 1990 and 2009.” In: Great Narratives of the Past. Traditions and Revisions in National Museums Conference proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Paris 29 June – 1 July & 25-26 November 2011. Dominique Poulot, Felicity Bodenstein & José María Lanzarote Guiral (eds) EuNaMus Report No 4. Published by Linköping University Electronic Press: http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=078

– 2012. ”Introduction.” In: The museum beyond the nation. Ed. Johan Hegardt. The National Historical Museum, Stockholm, Studies 21.

Nordström, Patrik. 2014. Arkeologin och livet. Ett dubbelporträtt av Agda och Oscar Montelius genom deras brevväxling 1870-1907. Stockholm. Atlantis.

Grundberg, Malin. 2012. ”Oh woman of the Past. The National Historical Museum in Sweden from a Gender Perspective.” In: The museum beyond the nation. Ed. Johan Hegardt. The National Historical Museum, Stockholm, Studies 21

Svanberg, Fredrik. 2012. ”The Nation Collected.” In: The museum beyond the nation. Ed. Johan Hegardt. The National Historical Museum, Stockholm, Studies 21

– 2012.”Samlingar och samlande på Historiska museet.” Särtryck ur: Årsbok 2012 KVHAA Stockholm Open access

Ett museum måste irritera: Fyra röster om ett museum (2015). Stockholm. Historiska. The Swedish History Museum. Studies 24.