As opposed to most other Jewish museums in Europe, the Jewish Museum in Oslo holds no large collection of Judaica (Jewish ceremonial objects). The reasons for this are twofold: firstly, because most of the Jewish immigrants to Norway from the 1880s and onward came from poor conditions in eastern Europe (meaning they travelled light, insofar as material goods are concerned); secondly because of the Norwegian Shoah. Many objects of cultural value were lost during the war, stolen and/or confiscated by the Quisling regime and their Nazi-friendly collaborators.
Our collections consist therefore generally of artefacts, documents, photographs, audio-visual materials, books and pamphlets. The material is either donated to the museum or collected by our museum staff. As of September 2016, nearly 2,230 objects – covering about 780 units or artefact numbers – are documented, recorded and stored.
The Oslo Jewish Museum is also the keeper of the Mosaic Congregation’s correspondence archives. In addition, we hold private archives from several Jewish organizations and individuals.