SilvermuseetSilvermuseet in Arjeplog

World-class research

During the autumn of 2016, a review of research was conducted at Silvermuseet/INSARC (Institute for Arctic Landscape Research). This review concluded that the research being carried out is unique and exceptional.

  • © Silvermuseet
  • © Silvermuseet
  • © Silvermuseet

The evaluation was conducted by Sverker Sörlin (Royal Institute of Technology), Gunilla Almered Olsson (University of Gothenburg) and Bjørnar Olsen (University of Tromsø) and states:

The research findings have been surprising and impressive as new knowledge, changes in accepted scientific understandings of colonial history, exploitation of nature, and social organisation where cooperation instead of permanent competition among different groups have been revealed as an essential feature of antiquity in northern Sweden. The same conclusion applies to a large extent to the museum’s significant scientific production and publications. Extensive international scientific articles have been published in highly respected journals in fields such as archaeology, ecology, cultural history and environmental history. Over a 20-year period, the research environment has produced an average of about 2-3 articles per year for publication in international media.

They also write:

Other characteristics of the research should also be highlighted. One is the consistent approach in the research projects that have been carried out. The museum’s research contributions are impressive, especially with respect to the sustained hypotheses pursued through long series of studies. The work has strong local and regional ties, but ranges at the same time over several ecosystems in the Arctic landscape: mountains, forests, lakes and, more recently, seas and the coast. This has allowed broad synthetic analyses that in several ways have been particularly significant for the position Scandinavian natural resource research has attained. It has provided new insights into social ecosystem adaptations in Arctic and sub-Arctic environments and has made regular contributions to discussions of natural resource use and rights.

At the same time, this research and its results have been very significant and relevant for other parts of the world, even those with completely different natural conditions. In cultures and ecosystems where exploitation of nature, time dimensions and conflicts over resources and rights occur, the insights and results from INSARC’s work are proving valuable and providing inspiration and opportunities for comparisons and new studies. As an example, the most cited article has been used in the historical studies of vegetation history in the United States, Spain, Tibet, Chile, France, Peru, Russia/Siberia, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden as well as in more general and comprehensive studies. 

The evaluation also concludes that it is exceptional for a Swedish museum to have a research environment like that present at Silvermuseet (INSARC).