A Museum of Ordinary Things (Museums in Strange Places S01 E14)

Tucked away in a narrow valley just below the town of Akureyri in North Iceland, Sverrir Hermansson’s Museum of Sundry Objects is one eccentric man’s spectacular collection of ordinary things. The moment you walk into the main gallery, there are rows and rows of beautiful displays filled with meticulously arranged nails, saws, doorknobs, keys, matchboxes, lightbulbs, pencil nubs, and every other kind of ordinary household thing you wouldn’t image in a museum. In this episode, I visit this beautiful little museum, get to know Sverrir, and have an experience that changes the way I think about museums.

Music in this episode is by the Bagdad Brothers. At the end of the episode, I recommend listeners also check out the Museum Archipelago podcast.

How to Listen to Museums in Strange Places

Welcome to Museums in Strange Places. I’m your host, Hannah Hethmon, and this is a podcast for people who love museums, stories, culture, and exploring the world.

This year, I’m living in Iceland, and in each episode, I visit a different Icelandic museum to discover what stories they hold and how they reflect and shape Iceland’s unique cultural identity.

The podcast is hosted by me, Hannah Hethmon, an American Fulbright Fellow living in Reykjavík. You can find and follow me on Twitter and Instagram @hannah_rfh.

The Museums in Strange Places podcast is available on your favorite podcast listening platforms (Did I miss one you like? Let me know!):

Photos of the Smámunasafn Sverris Hermanssonar

The main room of the museum

Historic nails in front of old driftwood

Picture frames filled with various things, including Sverrir’s hair from when he was in his 60’s

Picture frames filled with various things, including Sverrir’s hair from when he was in his 60’s

Keys and nails


Old nails!

Carpentry tools

A quote from Sverrir

A quote from Sverrir

A quote from Sverrir

Razor blades and covers

A doorknob from the oldest house in Akureyri, Laxdalhús

A quote from Sverrir

The Smámunasafn

Museum signage

View from the museum

Farm buildings behind the museum

A historic turf church behind the museum

About the turf church

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