Norsk Folkemuseum has long traditions as a research institution. Today, there is an interdisciplinary research staff at the museum, with scholars trained as ethnologists, folklorists, cultural historians, anthropologists and art historians.
Norsk Folkemuseum is the largest museum on cultural history in Norway. Its collections are extensive, and contain a variety of items, both from rural. urban and bourgeois environments. The museum thus has a particular responsibility to produce new knowledge about cultural heritage and traditions in Norway, and the development of Norwegian society from the reformation until the present.
The research at the museum is based on themes in the collections, and one purpose is to develop new theoretical and methodical approaches, to ask new question and help to develop the collections further.
The main research theme is Norway in the world and the world in Norway. This implies showing how shifting impulses from the world outside has transformed daily life, and drawing the lines to cultural variety and complexity in present day Norway. The superior aim is to enhance our understanding of the historical processes that have shaped Norwegian culture and society from past to present. The museum imparts its research results both to the general public and to academia.