Local initiatives

The Institute plays an active role in the steering group of the local “Heyerdahl Town” project in Larvik.

Heyerdahl Town project in Larvik

The Institute has played an active role in the steering group of the local “Heyerdahl Town” project in Larvik.


One of the aims of the project was to build up an identity for Larvik as “Heyerdahl’s home town” where core values such as innovation, a sense of adventure and an open attitude are central factors. The purchase and restoration work on Thor Heyerdahl’s childhood home marks a milestone in this work.

The Heyerdahl Town project was concluded in 2010.

Heyerdahl Library

The Institute’s library collection currently consists of approximately 350 books, videos and DVDs. The co-operative partner of the Institute in this work is Larvik Public Library.

The books that have been purchased reflect the development of the Institute from the year 2000 until today. It was only in 2003 that work was begun to acquire books in line with the overall aim of promoting and developing the research and development ideals of Thor Heyerdahl. Co-operation in connection with the Heyerdahl Town project has led to the establishment of a seperate Heyerdahl Room in Larvik Public Library, where anyone interested in Thor Heyerdahl is welcome to come and browse.

The purchased items correspond to two types of collections:

  • A basic collection covering the academic areas corresponding to or bordering on the Institute’s areas of specialisation
  • A collection by and about Thor Heyerdahl as seen in the context of the library’s local collection. The library has a good local collection that includes books and a unique collection covering several decades of newspaper articles. The local collection is built up on a continuous basis and is a valuable resource for the Institute.

A dialogue regarding where the books should be located in the long term will not become relevant until the Institute has new premises.

Thor Heyerdahl High School

Thor Heyerdahl High School is in Larvik, Norway. After previously being spread over many sites all over Norway, the school was finally united at one site in Larvik, Norway on August 17th 2009.  The Thor Heyerdahl High School houses the former local schools; Farris High School, Gloppe School, Kilden High School and Larvik High School. The new school is one of the largest schools in Norway with 1600 students and 300 employees. The school offers 11 of a total of 12 potential educational programs and the head master is Hallvard Larsen.

Official opening of the childhood home

The official opening of Thor Heyerdahl’s childhood home in Steingata 7, Larvik, took place in October 2011.

Thor Heyerdahl grew up in Steingata 7. From his childhood home he had a view over the town of Larvik, the Larvik Fjord and the open sea. Perhaps this was his source of inspiration and sparked his sense of adventure? He was interested in nature and animals and created a museum in his bedroom in Steingata 7.

The restoration of Thor Heyerdahl’s childhood home was part of the “Heyerdahl Town” project. Work started in 2007 and is now complete.  

Frigates in the Nansen-class

The fifth frigate in the Nansen-class is called the “KNM Thor Heyerdahl”. Larviks “adopted child” was ready for military service in January 2011, following delivery by the Spanish yard. Trond Ragnarsøn Karlsen, General Major and leader of Forsvaretslogistikkorganisasjon (FLO) – The Armed Forces Logistics Organisation – believes the five frigates will be in military service for 30 – 40 years.