Close relations between Denmark and Greenland have existed for several hundred years. After the second world war an intensive modernization of the Greenlandic society and its infrastructure started and consequently the homerule was introduced in 1979. Greenland and Denmark are still part of the same kingdom with joint queen, administration of justice and foreign policy, but all the other fields have been transferred to the Greenlandic Homerule Authorities Grønlands Hjemmestyre with the Landstinget as the lawmaking assembly. The administration of the raw materials in the subsurface is still though an affair to be agreed upon by Denmark and Greenland jointly.
Greenlandic taking over of the museum department
Before 1981 the Greenlandic museum department was administered under Danish legislation. The National Museum in Copenhagen handled the administration of these laws. But January 1, 1981 the responsibility was transferred to the Greenlandic homerule under the department of culture and education. The laws for museums decide the criteria under which the museums are working and which areas they cover. In practice it means attending the Greenlandic culture history and the main museum in Nuuk. The Greenlandic museum board has the right to decide which museums are to be financially supported and to specify the guidelines for the museums. The Preservation Act mainly aims at keeping the prehistoric finding places protected and it directs the Greenlandic museum department to attend and preserve these places. According to the museum law it's prohibited to export items from Greenland dating from before 1940.
When the homerule took over the museum department, it also caused a change in identity for the museums from Danish to Greenlandic. The responsibility and the control were also turned into a Greenlandic matter. Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfialu (NKA), the National Museum and Archives of Greenland, situated in the capital Nuuk on the west coast of Greenland, is regarded as equivalent to the Danish National Museum and as such the chief curator is the Greenlandic keeper of national antiquities.
In 1976 the question concerning ownership and location of Greenlandic cultural values was raised in what was then called 'Provincial Council of Greenland'. The Greenlandic collections in the Danish National Museum were mentioned in particular at this occasion. Discussions concerning the cultural material followed and in an intern memorandum to the management of the National Museum, the Department of Ethnography under the Danish National Museum expressed its attitude toward the matter. They believed that the collections and objects, which were kept in the museum, were the properties of the Greenlandic people.
The manifestation of the Department of Ethnography anticipated a Greenlandic request for the return of museum objects to Greenland. The efforts of the Department of Ethnography to prevail upon the Danish National Museum and similar authorities to acknowledge this attitude have been successful. There have been a general political understanding and acceptance of transferring considerable parts of the Greenlandic culture-historical collections to Greenland. A condition for the return was that the collections should be properly stored and curated, an obligation that has been fully redeemed.
A museum in Greenland was finally established in 1967 after years of intractable planning, and the museum became entitled to receive State-grant according to Danish law the proceeding year. It was based on collections donated by individuals with interest in cultural history. In 1972 the museum became a State Museum the first scientific leader (an archaeologist) was appointed in 1978. The museum moved into newly fitted buildings by Nuuk's former colonial harbor the same year. These buildings have been extended and renovated in the beginning of the 1990's so they meet the demands of a modern museum concerning storing and safety. At the same time a restructure and uniting with the archives were made, in that way the new museum contains the National Museum of Greenland and Archives, Nunatta Katersugaasivia Allagaateqarfia (NKA). The homerule authorities in Greenland have acknowledged the importance of maintaining the cultural inheritance for future generations and have therefore given the museums a high priority. There are now located local museums in all major cities in Greenland from Tasiilak (former Ammassalik) in East Greenland to most of the cities in West Greenland plus one in Thule, a total of 14 beside the National Museum in Nuuk.
The agreement on cooperation between the national museums in Greenland and Denmark
The cooperation between the museums was formalized in an agreement of January 1, 1984 and 'the Denmark-Greenland Museum Commission' (SU) was established. (See the Terms of Reference at the end of the article). Each country is represented by three members appointed respectively by the Danish Minister of Cultural Affairs and the home government member in charge of culture from Greenland. This committee meets twice a year in Greenland and Denmark alternately if possible and sets out guidelines for the task of transferring objects from the rich Danish collections to Greenland.
The discussions concerning matters of the museums and the transfers have been settled in unison between the parties.
The job is being done by a secretariat, the Greenland Secretariat, located at the National Museum in Copenhagen in connection with the Department of Ethnography (ES). An instruction for the secretariat specifying its tasks, was drawn up: The establishment of a preservation archive including buildings as well as fixed ancient monuments, and preparation for the transfer of objects, ethnographical material, paintings, photos and relevant information. Coordination of contacts between NKA, the departments of the National Museum and other Danish cultural institutions including museums.
The basic rules for the selection of objects to transfer
At one of the first meetings of the SU it was decided that the main rules for the return of objects should be: That the collections in both NKA and ES should be of a size and a standard allowing both museums to possess a valuable collection for exhibition and be able to function as center of the research of Greenland. The principles of selecting the finds and objects to be transferred make a point of maintaining natural collections and units if possible. In cases where this is impracticable, the solution will be an extensive use of lending and permanent loans. Finally a respect for Danish museum-historical interests is being stressed. SU also agreed on restoring the objects before returning them, in preparation for the storing in the dry climate of Greenland. This work makes great demands on the preservation department and it is very demanding in resources.
The first transfers
The preservation archive
The transfers started before a formal agreement between the museums in Denmark and Greenland had been established. The first cultural resource to be taken over by Greenland did not consist of objects, but of all the information collected in the Danish National Museum about the Greenlandic prehistorical monuments. It was drawn on cards and with the relevant information written on index cards. This information was to be used in Greenland after the homegovernment had taken over the physical planning (ordinance #1/1981 February 2, 1981 concerning town planning and buildings) and after a preservation law had been decided (law #5/1980 October 16, 1980 concerning protection of fixed ancient monuments and buildings).
The national art treasure of Greenland
In 1982 the Danish National Museum gave a national art treasure, which consisted of 204 watercolor paintings back to Greenland. The paintings were painted by two Greenlanders, 106 of them by Aron of Kangeq (1822-1869), and 44 by Jens Kreutzmann of Kangaamiut (1828-1899). Reproductions of the paintings were made in advance and seven cultural institutions in Greenland and Denmark each received a set. Based on the collection of legends in the Royal Library of Copenhagen a register was made to illustrate the connection between the legends and the water paintings.
Repatriations after the establishing of 'the Denmark-Greenland Museum commission''
Ethnografica from East Greenland
SU agreed on going through the objects to be returned geographically. First came East Greenland from which the museum in Nuuk in 1986 received a large collection of 750 ethnographical and almost 4000 archaeological objects. From East Greenland only a few but extensive collections existed from as early as the first European contact with the population at Ammassalik made by the Umiak expedition in 1883-1885 led by Gustav Holm. The parties agreed on dividing the collection from this expedition into two. 235 objects were transferred and 229 stayed in Denmark. The following objects were added to the transfer: clothing from an expedition made 10 years later by Carl Ryder, objects collected by the first colony manager in Ammassalik John Petersen, 65 amulets collected by the West Greenlandic priest, Christian Rosing, who was a missionary in Ammassalik from 1904 to 1922, and a single mask from the botanist Kristian Kruuse's collection. Furthermore the complete collection from the so-called ''Deadhouse'' at Nuuaalik north of Ammassalik, where an expedition led by C.C. Amdrup in 1899 found a partly collapsed communal dwelling. Several corpses and sets of domestic equipment were preserved in the house.
Almost one third of the collections of the National Museum from East Greenland were transferred to Greenland. The objects are dated to a period between 1883 and 1900 and they are all related to the traditional culture of Ammassalik.
The Greenland Secretariat made a catalogue of the Gustav Holm Collection with a specification of the present location of each object, including the objects that belong to museums in Denmark or other countries. The catalogue was published by the Greenlandic publishing firm, Pilersuiffik.
Archaeologica from East Greenland
An agreement was made to transfer the archaeological material as complete finds. Chosen for the transfer were: two settlement finds, excavated by the archaeologist Therkel Mathiassen in 1932, Kangaartik (FM 65Ø1-IV-055) and Suukersit (FM 66Ø2-III-001), two excavations from the Dødemandsbugten on the Clavering Island (FM 74Ø2-II-005) made respectively in 1931-1932 by Helge Larsen who later became the leader of the Department of Ethnography, and in 1948 by Jørgen Meldgaard and the Swiss H.G. Bandi. Also chosen was a richly equipped woman's grave from Kangerlussuaq (FM 68Ø3-III-004) excavated by zoologist Magnus Degerbøl in 1931 and a find from a grave at Kap Harry (FM 72Ø2-IV-003) including an ice chisel, which according to a carbon-14 dating dated to the year 1285 +- 50 years (c. 700 BP). Previously a copy was made and it was this copy that was transferred to Greenland. The find was excavated in 1931 by P.V. Glob who later became Keeper of National Antiquities. Another find from Dunholm (FM 69Ø1-I-001) contained among other things a delicately ornamented comb, found by the Amdrup expedition at the turn of the century, this find was also transferred.
The idea behind the decision was to transfer unprocessed material so prospective scientists in Greenland, at the museums or at the universities, can examine the material, identify and interpret it and draw their own conclusions.
At some of the early excavations the chronology and typology of the prehistoric periods of Greenland hadn't been determined, which means that the finds now need to be examined for such a classification.
The Thule District
Ethnografica from the Thule District
In 1990 a collection of 350 ethnographical and 6,500 archaeological artifacts from the Thule District was transferred back to Greenland (see cover illustration).
The population of the North-western Greenland immigrated from Canada, the last group as late as 1864. They are separated from the inhabitants of West Greenland by the Melville Bay. No one in the world live as far north as these people and the climate is arctic. The oldest objects come from den Literære Grønlandsekspedition ('the Literary Greenland expedition') that took place in 1903-1904, which was the first time a contact was made between Danes and this population. Knud Rasmussen took part in this expedition and thanks to his efforts a trading station was established in Thule in 1910. The trading station was also an opportunity for collecting ethnographical items systematically, articles for everyday use like tools, kitchen utensils, and clothes. Besides the collections made by Knud Rasmussen and the managers of the trading station Peter Freuchen and Hans Nielsen, objects acquired by Thomas Thomsen, a curator from the Danish National Museum, were transferred. Thomas Thomsen brought these objects, which included a kayak in full size, with him to Denmark in 1909. He visited Thule in connection with the establishment of a mission. Along with him came professor H.P. Steensby who donated his collection to the Danish National Museum. Erik Holtved, an archaeologist who became professor of Eskimology, collected a large quantity of ethnographical objects, of which three fifths have been transferred.
The population of Thule gradually changed their way of life under the influence of Denmark and West Greenland, but the transferred objects represent the traditional hunting culture before the Danish government took over the area in 1937.
Archaeologica from the Thule District
The archaeological material was chosen '...with a special consideration for the geographical location of the area by the old ''main entrance'' to Greenland, which means the area where the migrated Eskimos have stopped for shorter or longer periods through 5,000 years and where the scattering of the ''cultures'' was based', wrote the archaeologist Jørgen Meldgaard in his justification to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and proceeded, '...especially the archaeological Thule-culture is well represented. The culture, which is spread out from Alaska to Greenland, is named after finds from the Thule District. The objects from the numerous settlements, which were inhabited in a period from approximately 1000 to 1600 B.C., illuminate the classic culture pattern that was the basis for the traditional hunting cultures in East and West Greenland.' The selected location is a settlement find from Kap Tyson in Hall Land (FM 81V2-002), which contained Palaeo-eskimo stone objects more than 1000 years old and a kayak from Morris Bay in Washington Land (FM 80V1-006). The find included the remains of a kayak and 34 other items, and because of the fact that kayaks from before the year 1900 are quite exceptional at the museums in Greenland, it was obvious for transferring. The kayak was found by Lauge Koch from the 'Jubilee expedition' 1920-23. A few more extensive excavations were made in the Thule-district. In 1936-37 Erik Holted dug near Kap Kent in Inglefield Land (FM 79V1-001) and near Innuarfissuaq in Marshall Bay (FM 78V2-001), where a rich and varied material that illuminates many aspects of the Thule culture was found. Essentially is the selection of harpoons and the representation of sledge and kayak material. In 1946-1947 Erik Holtved dug out houses and dunghills in the old settlement Uummannaq (FM 76V1-I-003) - the first Thule settlement, later named Dundas - from where the population was removed after the Second World War because of the construction of the American military base at North Star Bay. He also dug further south at Nuullit (FM 76V1-IV-004), all the material from here has been transferred.
Ethnographica from West Greenland
Next on the geographical list came West Greenland, from where 21 pieces of clothes and parts of clothes have been transferred. A single garment remains at the National Museum in Copenhagen, because it is a part of the museum's new exhibition which was opened in 1992. The Greenland Secretariat has made a catalogue with information and descriptions of the clothes.
The ethnographical items from West Greenland were regarded as isolated objects except a few minor collections and a single larger one collected by the botanist Morten Porsilds in the Disco Bay area in the beginning of this century. The oldest ethnographical objects were a part of 'The Royal Kunstkammer' established by king Frederik III around 1659, and later on moved to the Ethnographical Museum when it was established in 1849. The old items from the cabinet remain in Denmark because of their importance to Danish museum history. This also applies to the collection brought to the museum by curator Kaj Birket-Smith dating from his visit to the Aasiaat/Egedesminde area in 1918. Instead most of the tools from the contemporary Porsild collection were transferred.
NKA is especially interested in the earlier objects which the Greenlandic museums don't possess. Naturally, the oldest museum collections of ethnographical objects, aren't as rich but include more specimens. The negotiations concerning the moving of material from West Greenland haven't been brought to an end yet, but SU has agreed on recommending approximately 125 ethnographical (+ the Porsild Collection) and 8,500 archaeological objects for transfer. The objects chosen are mainly from Upernavik, Uummannaq, Ilulisat/Jakobshavn, the Disco Bay, North Greenland without specification, Sisimiut/Holsteinsborg, Nuuk/Godthåb, Nanortalik and South Greenland without specification.
The oldest objects to be transferred to Greenland were things bought by the antiquity museum at an auction in 1839. The more recent objects wanted for transferred are from 1939. The aquisition of ethnographical objects at the ES has practically stopped since then, only a few gifts usually left by will, have been received. Ethnographers cooperating with the ES who are interested in the change of the material culture have brought other things to the museum from Greenland, but they are stored as unrecorded material, which means that they don't have an inventory number or a description but often a note saying: 'Collection for exchange'. Instead the ES aimed at collecting information about the traditional culture by interviewing older people about former times, when the hunting and self-sufficient subsistance economy existed. Ethnological questions concerning hunting, fishing, skin processing etc. were asked, therefore a large material that can be used in various connections is available. The answers have been translated, copied, and transferred to Greenland.
Among the objects recommended for transfer are about 10 items collected by naval officer Gustav Holm in Sisimiut (two pieces) and in Nuuk. He was a member of a survey expedition for the west coast in 1892 and the museum in Copenhagen asked him to collect representative items for the museum knowing of his collections from the east coast 1884/85. When the collections were examined with a view to selecting for transfer, it was noticed that the things collected by Gustav Holm were recognizable because of their beauty and simplicity.
An eight metres long umiak from Upernavik was sent back to Greenland as a temporary deposit. The fact that the umiak also has been used for fishing can be seen by the deep wearing marks on the gunwale, where the line used for jigging has moved up and down. Seeing the trouble it caused sending the umiak back to Greenland, makes it impressive that it got to Denmark in the first place. But it wasn't a museum object then and didn't need the same cautious handling. It is followed by a sledge sent to Denmark by the colony manager in Upernavik, Lemcke-Otto. Approximately 10 items are already located at the NKA, because they were lent to the museum at its opening in 1978. Now they become valid Greenlandic property.
Archaeologica from West Greenland
The archaeological material from West Greenland is extensive, and an even larger quantity is expected to be found well-preserved in Greenland. It is now up to the Greenlandic museums to decide when and if they should be excavated. Lately the Greenlandic local museums have made large and important archaeological excavations, which have thrown light on the age of the paleoeskimoes.
Most of the older objects are grave finds or things picked up in old houses, ruins or from the ground. For that reason they are placed in the category: Archaeology, and they are being transferred with the archaeologically excavated material. The chronology of the prehistory wasn't known until the 1950's, but an effort was made to represent the different prehistoric periods in the selection. In number the amount of the archaeological finds to be transferred is relatively small. On the other hand the number of Danish excavations will decline and the archaeological objects will be handed over to the museums in Greenland. It is now possible to do more excavations in Greenland according to the newest scientific methods, which provide far more information than the former excavation practice. Starting in the north, the interest in the Upernavik area is concentrated especially on the locality of Inussuk (FM 72V1-IV-22). In 1916 the priest and the doctor at Upernavik found some artifacts on this island which made them believe that it must to be a former Norse habitation (from the Viking age). They sent the finds to the National Museum in Copenhagen with a remark saying that it would probably be worth the efforts to dig out the old ruins. Later another doctor collected and dug on the location and he also sent his finds to Copenhagen, with the result that the archaeologist Th. Mathiassen went to Greenland where he started his work on the Inussuk Island. He found an Eskimo culture influenced by the Norsemen, and named it after the locality: the Inussuk Culture. (It is no more considered an independent culture, but a late part of the Thule culture). The material from the excavation will stay at the ES, but finds from two ruins and a grave plus stay finds collected on the shore will be transferred to Greenland along with the finds from the first excavation on the location. Three minor gravefinds found by the inspectors Chr. Olrik and S. T. Krarup-Smith and colony manager O.V.Kielsen will also be sent to Greenland. Finally there is a stay find intensely wished for by Greenland, the so-called 'Dorset-block'. It is a wood block approximately 8x10 cm with carved faces all around, utterly unique and very beautiful. Before the shipment to Greenland it will be dated by the carbon-14 acceleration method, which won't aquire more than a piece of material at the size of a pinhead, which means the work of art won't be destroyed. Besides, exact copies of it will be made.
From the Uummannaq area minor finds, which are already located at the museum in Nuuk, are being transferred.
From the Disko Bay area a collection collected and dug out by the botanist and leader of the University's biological laboratory in Qeqertarsuaq/Godhavn Morten P. Porsild is being transferred. In the years 1916-18 he excavated systematically at the ''classic'' settlement Sermermiut (FM 69V2-II-006), but didn't get the material published. Most of it was deposited at the National Museum in Copenhagen after his death. A major part of the objects was dug out or collected by Greenlanders and later given to him. Large numbers of the artifacts at the museum in Copenhagen have been obtained in this way.
The horticultural adviser Hans Mosegaard's finds from the settlement Saqqaq (FM 70V2-III-010) are also being transferred to Greenland. The Greenlandic stone age culture from 2,300 - 900 B.C. is named after this find. The collection was stored in the basement of the ES unnoticed until the young archaeologist Jørgen Meldgaard saw it and realized the importance of the find. In 1952 he published the material in the magazine American Antiquity and identified it as belonging to the stone age of Greenland, which wasn't known until then. Later J. Meldgaard excavated at Sermermiut and confirmed his theories concerning the chronology of the prehistory. A kitchen midden shows a distinct stratification with the oldest layer at the bottom.
Furthermore finds, which include Saqqaq, Dorset and Neo-Eskimo objects, from the settlement Illorsuit will be transferred (FM 69V2-IV-015). Illorsuit means large houses and it has the largest ruins next to Sermermiut. Therkel Mathiassen excavated there in 1933 and 20 years later Helge Larsen and P.V.Glob dug the same place. They took a sample from the fireplace which was carbon-14 dated to be 3250 '' 110 years old, which means from the palaeo-Eskimo Saqqaq period. A sample of the ashes from the fireplace in a house near by showed the age of 920 '' 120 years, which means from the late Dorset period. The place has obviously been inhabited in both periods.
Therkel Mathiassen did more archaeological excavations in the Kangaamiut area. The material from the location Utorqait (FM 65V-IV-23) will be transferred plus a couple of objects found at an excavation in the town itself. The priest V.C.Frederiksen made some archaeological excavations in Sisimiut and Maniitsoq and wrote about his find of the 'clover leaf houses'. He has also collected archaeological and ethnographical objects for the museum in Svendborg in Funen. This collection and the objects from the ES are already located in the museum in Sisimiut and have been shown as a traveling exhibition in most Greenlandic museums. The archaological objects from the ES will now formally be transferred to Greenland.
In the Nuuk/Godthåb area NKA was in charge of the excavation of a Dorset settlement in the fiord. To be transferred is the material from the settlement Tuapassuit by Qornoq in the fiord excavated by Hans Berg and Jens Rosing in 1963 (FM 64V1-I-010). In 1976-1977 a big project was initiated: 'Inuit-Norseman'. It aimed at establishing a close teamwork between the Europeans and the Inuits and at the building of a proper museum in Greenland. The artifacts which were excavated at this occasion are already in Greenland, but will now officially be Greenland's property. Material from historical time will be transferred; which means the finds from the excavations at Håbets Koloni ('Hope Colony') approximately 25 km west of Nuuk, where the missionary Hans Egede settled in 1721 (FM 64V1-III-028). The finds from Illorpait, a neighboring and contemporary (the Thule period) Eskimo settlement, will also be transferred. Both settlements were excavated in the beginning of the 1970's by H.C.Gulløv, Hans Kapel and others (FM 64V1-III-029). Finally, the three child mummies found by Eigil Knuth in 1945 in a cave at Pississarfik and the ones found by Jørgen Meldgaard in 1952 nearby are to be transferred. Before the actual shipment can take place a major restoration needs to be done, which will delay the arrival in Greenland for quite a while.
In South Greenland it is once more Therkel Mathiassen who in the 1930's was in charge of the archaeological excavations. To be transferred are finds from two of his excavations; the settlement finds from Tuttutup Isua (FM 60V1-I-060) and from Uunnartoq (FM 60V2-I-001), and a collection of earth find made by doctor Gustav Meldorph and bought by the museum from his widow in 1912.
Registration on computer
Before returning to Greenland each collection must be well documented and registrated. This is done in the database of the Danish National Museum GENREG (an abbreviation for the registration of objects). Simultaneously each object is photographed in such a way that a number of the photo automatically is being added to the database. The pictures are color diapositives and they are put on a video disc to which a search system has been developed. This means that information and a picture of the object is easily accessible. Plans have been made for digitizing the pictures so they can be stored in the database making the video disc unnecessary.
At the Greenlandic National Museum it has been decided to use DMI which is the abbreviation of 'the Danish Museum Index'. It is an electronic registration system specially designed for and used by the local museums in Denmark. The information in the Danish National Museum's database is therefore put in DMI so it can be used in Greenland. The Greenlandic National Museum prefers not to get the photos until they are accessible in a digitized form and can be stored directly in the database.
The agreements of cooperation only include the national museums of Denmark and Greenland. For that reason all the transferred objects and collections are located in the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. It is now up to the Greenlandic museum authorities to decide whether the objects shall go to the location from where they originally came to Denmark which means a local museum in Greenland.
The objects and collections from the Norsemen, who lived in the southern West Greenland in the years 800-1500, are of special concern. For number of years the Danish archaeologists interest in Greenland was concentrated on these settlements. The objects are naturally of European origin, but have been located in Greenland since the Middle Ages. This means that they are placed under the provision of the Museum Act which states that no objects from before 1940 are allowed to be exported from Greenland. The final negotiations concerning the objects have not yet taken place, but there is reason to believe that the negotiations will be carried out in the same positive atmosphere as the previous ones and that the decisions will be made in complete agreement.
1986 Greenland's Museum Laws: An Introduction to Greenland's Museums under Home Rule. In: Arctic Anthropology 23 (1-2).
Bahnson, A. et al.
1991 Rævepelse og andre polareskimoiske dragter (Eng. summary). In: Nationalmuseets Arbejds-mark, pp. 75-84.
Bahnson, A. and B. Haagen (eds.)
1994 Vestgrønlandske dragter / artisat kalaallit nunaata kitaaneersut. Copenhagen: Nationalmuseet, Etnografisk Samling.
1995 Skin Clothing in Greenland. Paper read at the seminar 'Braving the Cold: Continuity and Change in Arctic Clothing'. Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde, Leiden, March 10-11, 1994. About to be published.
1994 Recovering the past: The Greenland National Museum and Archives. In: Museum International, 182.
Haagen, B. and E. Rosing
1982 Fortegnelse over Signe Rinks samling af Arons og Jens Kreutzmanns akvareller. Aalup Jens Kreutzmann-illu assilialiaasa Signe Rink-ip katersugaasa nalunaarsorlugit allattorsimaffiat. Stencil. Etnografisk Samling, Nationalmuseet & Grønlands Nationalmuseum.
1986 Aron and the Dano-Greenlandic Museumcooperation. In: Arctic Anthropology 23(1-2), pp. 247-258.
Meldgaard, J. 1952 A Paleo-Eskimo Culture in West Greenland. In: American Antiquity 17.
Schultz-Lorentzen, H. 1988a Tilbage til Grønland - det dansk-grønlandske museumssamarbejde. In: Grønland 2-3. 1988b Return of Cultural Property by Denmark to Greenland: From Dream to Reality. In: Museum International 160. 1990 Nye overførsler fra Nationalmuseet til Grønland. In: Grønland 4.
Birte Haagen (1947) studeerde in 1974 af als antropologe aan de Universiteit van Kopenhagen. Ze deed in Groenland onderzoek naar de rol die vakbonden spelen in het verstedelijkingsproces en naar de maatschappelijke gevolgen van de sluiting van de kolenmijn in Qullissat in 1974.
Ze was als docente verbonden aan de universiteit en werkt sinds 1984 als conservatrice bij het Grønlandssekretariatet van het Nationalmuseet in Kopenhagen. Haar hoofdtaak daar is de registratie van de collecties uit Groenland, die ze bovendien prepareert om uiteindelijk aan diverse instituten in Groenland over te kunnen dragen. Samen met Anne Bahnson stelde ze een catalogus over de Gustav Holm-collectie en een over de kleding van west Groenland samen.
Groenlandse kunst is een van haar andere favoriete onderwerpen. Zo heeft ze een aantal artikelen gepubliceerd over de Groenlandse kunstenaar Aron uit Kangeq (1822-1869) en binnenkort verschijnt van haar hand een boek met aquarellen uit het begin van de 19e eeuw, gemaakt door Jacob Arøe.
Terms of Reference of the Commission on the Danish-Greenlandic Museum Co-operation
The purpose of the commission is:
- to prepare recommendations to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs concerning which Greenlandic cultural values should be transferred from the National Museum to Kalaallit Nunaata Katersugaas-ivia (KNK), the Greenlandic National Museum.
- to obtain a culture-historical material at the Greenlandic National Museum (KNK), which will enable this institution to perform the tasks mentioned in the Museum and Preservation Act independently.
- to make sure that a continuous registration in the Greenlandic language will be made of the Greenlandic objects in the custody of the National Museum as the new registration of the collection from Greenland takes place.
- to coordinate and organize supplementary education mainly of Greenlanders studying in Denmark, with reference to antiquarian and ethnographical assignments, communication, preservation and museology.
- to establish a cooperation between the Greenlandic and Danish museums and contacts to other Greenlandic and Danish institutions.
- to coordinate the National Museum's and KNK/the Greenlandic National Museum's culture-historical research and to consider and assess external research projects according to current regulation. The projects must deal with culture-historical themes important to Greenland; this includes ethnographical and archaeological themes.
The above terms of reference have been approved by the Greenlandic Homerule's Department of Culture and Education and by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.