The Norwegian Emigrant Museum is the only museum and research center in Norway which, in its entirety, focuses on Norwegian emigrant history. Since 1825, over one million Norwegians have emigrated from Norway. Of those who emigrated, about 80 % traveled to the United States, 5 % to Canada, and the other 15 % to almost every other country in the world.
The museum consists of an open-air park with eight antiquarian buildings which were moved from the US states Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota in the upper midwest. In addition, several exhibits are housed in the main building (the Norwegian American Line, Norwegians in Latin America, and Seppala and Togo).
The museum building houses various archives and a large research library. Among other things, there are photographs, America letters, newspaper clippings, audio track interviews, emigrant archives, og microfilms of Norwegian America church books. The library contains over 14,000 books and, additionally, a number of yearbooks, newspapers, journals, and magazines from different Norwegian groups and organizations abroad. There are around 7,000 America letters that are found either in original or copy form. The letters are ordered by sender, date, and destination. The museums photo collection comprises around 6,800 photographs from the 1870s and forward. The motiffs are from the US and relates to the exodus from Norway to the US.
The museum is responsible for different types of activities year round. Church services, weddings, concerts, and other cultural activities are held at the Emigrant Church.