The Viking Ship Museum’s mission, vision and values


The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde is Denmark’s museum for the study of Nordic shipbuilding and boatbuilding culture, especially during prehistoric times and in the medieval period (10,000 BC – 1500 AD).

The museum works in its field through collecting, registering, researching, restoring, exhibiting and other communication of relevant, archaeological, historical and ethnological material.

The museum safeguards the intangible cultural inheritance that is represented in the traditional maritime crafts. The museum is an arena for collective experience. Through relevant and committed research and communication, the museum contributes to promoting a common historical consciousness and cultural perception, which is also relevant for foreign guests.

The museum offers a professionally competent basis for the individual person to understand themselves and their surroundings as participants in an historical process, where interpreting the past, understanding the present and anticipating the future all interact.

The museum presents culture as a diversity of ways of life and value concepts.


A visible institution. The Viking Ship Museum should be a visible cultural institution, locally, nationally and internationally.

The museum must be a factor in the current cultural debate and it should use its present perspective to put current problems in perspective, wherever it is possible and natural.
A cornerstone in marine archaeology

The Viking Ship Museum must be a cornerstone in Danish marine archaeology and should, in cooperation with the National Museum of Denmark and the Cultural Heritage Authority, maintain a team that can efficiently, effectively and professionally undertake marine archaeology assignments anywhere in the country if required. The Viking Ship Museum shall also attend to a separate archaeological area of responsibility in the waters and regions east of the Great Belt.

The museum shall undertake initiatives that can increase public awareness of cultural heritage and the seabed.

An international research institution
The Viking Ship Museum must be an important, international research institution and as such it must participate in networks and research projects. The museum should have an active publication practice and should contribute to the training of future researchers. The museum shall ensure that the archives, library and other research material ate made available. The museum shall maintain and promote its special status within reconstruction and experimental archaeology.

A boatyard with specialist competency
The museum must possess a specialist competency within reconstruction and traditional maritime craftsmanship. The museum shall carry out boatbuilding and rope making itself, and shall also participate in networks with craftsmen from other relevant professions.

An inspiring teaching environment
The Viking Ship Museum shall provide inspiring and relevant tuition to Danish school children and secondary school pupils in cooperation with the Skoletjenesten (Schools Services).

A first-class, international communication institution
The museum shall work with an expanded museum concept that is simultaneously based on the museum's identity as a specialised, history of culture museum and is also conscious of the fact that people perceive and orientate themselves in the world through the use of their different senses.   The museum shall therefore combine the traditional museum’s mode of communication with offers of sailing in the fjord, activities on land and opportunities for personal contact with the staff at the museum. The museum must also cooperate with other cultural institutions and involve other cultural and artistic forms of expression that allow for composite experiences and acknowledgements that set the fantasy free.

A good experience
The museum must be friendly and welcoming and should provide a high level of service, good accessibility and modern public facilities. The museum must welcome its visitors with openness and trust and should try to support the experience of shared responsibility in the individual guest through clear information, accessibility and the facilitating of personal contact, rather than through warning signs and surveillance.

A healthy business
The goal of the Viking Ship Museum is not to generate a profit or run a commercial business. Nevertheless, the museum must be run as a healthy enterprise in order to create a feeling of security for the museum’s staff and a financial basis for the continuous development of the museum’s activities.

A good workplace
The Viking Ship Museum must be a good, inspiring and challenging workplace, both professionally and personally. The work relationship must be based on mutual trust, respect and responsibility.

Core values

The museum’s basis is the present; history is related to the present, not the other way around.

Things are what they appear to be.

The museum strives for accessibility, courtesy and transparency.

The museum creates coherence and cultural-historical perspective.

High competency levels
The museum possesses a specialised competency that should be continuously developed and made available. The museum always works at a high professional level and strives to constantly develop its competency.

Aesthetic awareness
The museum always works with an aesthetic awareness and meets the outside world with a coherent graphical profile. The visual and stenographic expression in the public areas shall form surprising and beautiful ‘images’ and shall simultaneously support the environment and the history that is being communicated.