History at Odense City Museums
The unit consists of around 15 employees (2009) who deal with a broad range of jobs in research, collection, presentation and administration.
As far as research is concerned, interests are primarily in the area of the history of Odense and of the Funen region, but the unit also works with, for example, industrial ports from a Danish perspective and with research in migration from an international perspective.
Traditionally the history of settlement, of agriculture and of Odense’s earlier period have played a major role, but in recent years topics such as industrial culture, modern urban development and the history of the landscape have been of increasing interest. In addition to these principal lines of activity employees possess their own particular expertise and qualifications that mean that by and large no subject is left uncovered.
You can learn more about our research here.
The History unit is responsible for collecting objects from recent centuries. The stock room is full up and few further items are being collected.
A prime task at the present time is to acquire an overview of the items held by Danish museums. Odense City Museums have about 55,000 objects, 20,000 coins and 40,000 scanned pictures. All objects and coins are being electronically registered at the moment to make it possible to search and find them.
Come the time that we have a complete overview of the collections housed by Danish museums, the next step will be to assess whether it is reasonable to keep it all. In Odense City Museums this assessment is almost as important as the collection of items, partly because it provides valuable information about the quality each object has and which objects the collection might still be missing. Surveying the collections is, therefore, a high priority over the years ahead.
You can learn more abour our collections here.
Communication of history takes place in three ways: in the museums, on the internet and in urban spaces. To date most of this has been done through our museums – The Funen Village and Møntergaarden and through the internet, but there will shortly be developments here as regards Odense urban spaces.
At the museums we work with exhibitions but also with Living History and with facilitating learning. In addition to this we carry out innumerable daytime and evening tours of the city, lectures and so on, and that we are constantly working on books and articles.
Preservation of the cultural heritage
Since 2001 the local authorities have been obliged to collaborate with authorized museums on the preservation of cultural heritage. As a result historians and architects look through thousands of planning applications and a large number of district plans every year. In a special dispensation the History unit works alongside North Funen municipality, since they do not contain an authorized museum. Since Odense City Museums is authorized to safeguard Funen’s building traditions, we also work to some extent on cases from the other eight municipalities.
In addition Odense City Museums are responsible for inspecting listed ancient monuments and pursuing unlawful alterations to preserved stone and earth works in the Funen region.