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Our Permanent Collections for Public Display, Reference, Research & Preservation

Since the early years of emigration from the Nordic countries to the United States and Canada, individuals and groups have brought treasures from their homeland.

The heart of the National Nordic Museum’s collections illustrates the everyday practice and accomplishments of this large and influential immigrant community.

The National Nordic Museum’s collection includes household and occupational objects, furniture, clothing and textiles, fine and decorative art, ephemera and other archival materials, photographs and negatives, oral histories, digital collections, and the Gordon Ekvall Tracie Music Collection.

The permanent collection of more than 80,000 items represents the material culture brought or produced by Nordic immigrants from 1840 to the present, and it also includes contemporary objects from descendants of these immigrants. Although the majority of the objects have Pacific Northwest provenance, and many of them were brought to this country from overseas, the collection includes items from the Midwest and the East Coast as well. The bulk of the collection reflects the secondary migration pattern when many Nordics moved from the Midwest to the West Coast in the 1920s.

NEW: Interwoven: The Blended Heritage of Nordics and Native Peoples oral history project

This oral history initiative has been developed by the National Nordic Museum as a multifaceted project to record, preserve, and present personal stories and histories of individuals with blended Nordic and Indigenous cultural identity in the Puget Sound region through a cooperative oral history program. For a deeper look into the interviews, click here.

If you have an object you think would make a good addition to our collections, please contact our department via email.

Collections Highlights

Selections from the NM Permanent Collection of more than 77,000 items.

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Gordon Ekvall Tracie devoted more than four decades to the study and promotion of Nordic traditional music and dance. 

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The Nordic Museum has actively collected archival and printed materials on the Nordic immigrant experience since the Museum opened its doors in 1980.

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Open to everyone from researchers and students to hobbyists and enthusiasts, our Cultural Resource Center is a great place to find Nordic information and inspiration.

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One of several ongoing oral history initiatives with a specific focus on Nordic immigrants and their descendants.

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The Nordic Genealogy Program is a monthly, by-appointment program which includes a 45-minute, one-on-one consultation with Kathi McGinnis of the Seattle Genealogical Society.

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