The Thor Heyerdahl Archive provides a unique insight into the life and work of the most famous explorer, adventurer and writer of non-fiction in the 20th century. His expeditions and books were a source of inspiration for generations of adventurers, scientists, and people all around the globe.
The Kon-Tiki Expedition (1947) was an amazing adventure of six young men pitted against the greatest force on earth – the Pacific Ocean. The book manuscript, photos and film documentary of the Kon-Tiki Expedition in 1947 had tremendous impact on history and popular culture in the 1950s and 1960s, making Kon-Tiki synonymous with adventure.
Heyerdahl’s maritime expeditions (Ra, Ra II, Tigris) and his archaeological projects produced iconic photos of modern exploration. Documenting these projects also resulted in unique photo and film material being collected from places soon after affected by modernisation. The communities on Easter Island and Rapa Iti in the Pacific Ocean (1955-56) and the Marsh Arab-culture in Iraq (1976-77) are examples of the modern transformation of local peoples, cultures, and places.
The document archive contains Heyerdahl’s original book manuscripts, papers, and speeches from 1947 to the end of his life. Correspondence and notes associated with organizing his world-famous expeditions, his research into prehistoric voyaging and contacts between cultures, and his fight against pollution of the ocean and a world with less borders makes up the rest of the archive.