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Biomedicine in museums

An 'unknown' Norwegian dentistry collection celebrates its 125th birthday

By November 20, 2009No Comments

I’m probably not the only person who has a soft spot for unknown collections, especially if they turn out to be rich and reasonably well-curated.

Today I became aware of the odontological collection at the University of Oslo, which goes back to the 1880’s when the Norwegian Dentists Association began acquiring objects; it was handed over to the Norwegian State Institute of Dentistry in 1915 and was later taken over by the Odontological Faculty of the University of Oslo. Parts of the collection is displayed in a hallway in the faculty headquarters (above).

For the last 12 years, parts of the collection has been registered by a group of retired Norwegian dentists — and so far they have put 2266 objects online. See all the objects here. The search function of the database is not without problems and the quality of the descriptions and images is variable at best — but what a great artefact material!

Reminds me that we need to do something about our own in-house odontological collection — so many things to do, so many holes to fill out (pun intended).

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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