Nordfjord Museum of Cultural History

About the museum

Our history

Photo: Espen Mills

History of the museum

Nordfjord Museum of Cultural History opened in 1920, but efforts to establish a museum for the Gloppen region began in 1907. The youth association in Firda raised the question of a possible Nordfjord regional museum around the same time. The result was the establishment of a joint history society with the goal of raising support and funds for a new cultural history museum which could gather and preserve objects pertaining to Nordfjord cultural traditions.


Following heated debates about locations, it was decided in 1910 that a museum should be established at Sandane. A plot of land in Åsen was made available by the Gloppen authorities, along with some land at Øyrane, where Holvikejekta was located. In 1915, a board was appointed for the Nordfjord Museum of Cultural History, and the history society subsequently transferred control of their assets and collected material, including the boat.

The museum opened 25 July 1920, as a small open-air museum with residential buildings from Sæta, Otnheim and Dispa, storehouses from Heggdal, and the old Austrheim schoolhouse. In the following years, additional houses arrived from Ramnestad, along with a Bergset storehouse. By 1950, the museum had ten buildings and 2000 objects. An updated museum plan was needed, and a request was submitted to the Gloppen authorities for a larger plot of land.


Following recommendations from the Norwegian Museum Association and architect Arne Berg, the museum was moved to Jølet – a more spacious location. Arne Berg also designed the new museum plans. The first buildings were relocated in 1960, and six years later all ten Åsen buildings had been moved to Jølet. From 1967 onwards, considerable efforts were made to procure building types not already present at the museum. It was decided to only relocate buildings that would not be suitably maintained by their current owners.

Today, the open-air museum has 44 historical buildings. The main administration building, with its storage area, exhibition rooms, café and offices, was built in 1995.

Museums in Sogn og Fjordane (MISF)

In 2009, Nordfjord Museum of Cultural History became part of the consolidated Museums in Sogn og Fjordane (MISF) foundation. The Nordfjord Cultural History Museum Board has transferred their professional, administrative and economic responsibilities to MISF. The museum still receives its funding from state, county municipality and municipality grants, in addition to commercial income.