Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum

Link to Versterheim Norwegian-American Museum

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, located in Decorah, Iowa, was first established by Luther College as a repository for the material culture artifacts of Norwegian immigrants in America, but has since grown into an independent, not-for-profit organization. It is currently America’s most comprehensive museum devoted to a single immigrant group. Vesterheim houses over 24,000 artifacts representing the fine, decorative and folk arts as well as tools and machinery from various immigrant industries like lumbering and agriculture. The museum also boasts an outdoor exhibit consisting of 16 historic buildings and two properties just outside of town that are listed on the National Registry. In addition to these objects and examples of material culture, the museum is also home to hundreds of commercially recorded 78rpm records, LPs, and cassette tapes representing Scandinavian and Scandinavian-American musicians as well as several original recordings of Norwegian-American musicians from the Nordic Fest Folk Music Festivals. Beyond the museum’s commitment to preserving the material artifacts of the Norwegian-American immigrant experience, Vesterheim also promotes the continuation of these living traditions by offering courses in various Norwegian folk arts and hand crafts and hosts events, special exhibits and lectures there throughout the year.