Like all state-recognised museums, the Fisheries and Maritime Museum has an obligation to carry out research in its areas of responsibility, which include cultural as well as natural history.

With regard to research, the focus in recent years has been the history of business in Esbjerg harbour and the transformation of the town from an export harbour through fisheries to becoming a centre for the energy industry. In addition, work is being carried out to assemble documentation – in particular, related to the Tyra Field – to show the importance of the offshore sector for both Esbjerg and its business activities as well as for Denmark’s entire energy supply.

Read about our work

Forty years of research at the Fisheries and Maritime Museum
Article from the 2007 edition of the Fisheries and Maritime Museum annal, ‘The Shackle’.

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The museum’s cultural history research covers:

The museum is currently busy gathering objects from the decommissioned TYRA-field, Denmark’s largest subsea reservoir of natural gas. In relation to this undertaking, our researcher is currently investigating the history of the field and its role in developing a Danish understanding for the necessity of security of supply. TYRA opened in 1984 tasked with pushing the Danish energy supply to become independent of Arab oil imports, which—for years—had been dominant in securing energy to Danish industry and private consumers. Ever since the 80s, the role of natural gas has been discussed, which was again actualized with the recent decision by the government to end all extraction and production of oil and gas from Danish part of the North Sea by 2050. 

Mysteries of the Sea
In preparation for the coming exhibition, Mysteries of the Sea, the museum is interested in understanding what role mysteries, faith and superstition plays in relation to maritime culture and business through history. A special emphasis is placed on the notion of the »re-enchantment« that seems to occur around the beginning of the 19th century.

Previous research
Peer reviewed

Rathjen, Kasper (2022): ’Den maritime Grundtvig’, i Kølle, Lone Martinsen (red.), Den store mand – Nye historier om Grundtvig, København: Gads Forlag.

Rathjen, Kasper (2021): ’Den forsvindende fortid – den udeblivende fremtid. Museernes skiftende temporalitet 1789-2021’. Kulturstudier, nr. 1.: s. 1-30.

Rathjen, Kasper (2020): ’Museet i tidens tegn – Et tidsligt blik på museumsaktivismen’. Nordic Museology, 2: s. 4-18.

Rathjen, Kasper (2020): ’Mellem videnskab og folkelighed’, i I Krydsfeltet Oplysning Oplevelse – Dansk museumsformidling i 400 år, Odense: Syddansk Universitetsforlag, s. 97-129.

Read more about cultural history here

The museum’s natural history research covers:

  • The Danish marine environment and the interrelationship between marine organisms and human activities

  • The environment of the Wadden Sea

  • Marine mammals in Danish waters

Read more about natural history here


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