The Museum’s collections can be divided roughly into two main groups; objects, photographs and archivalia from Tromsø Town Museum and Troms Folk Museum which are the museum’s older material (1750-1950). Later additions based on activities since 2000 reflect the museum’s focus on the contemporary and recent past. The older collections were in poor condition and little had been catalogued. Perspektivet Museum faces great challenges in professionally conserving the collections.
The strategic plan for the next few years prioritizes the photographic collections. Since 2000 particularly sensitive and interesting photographic material has been dispatched to the National Library in Mo i Rana for digitalization and storage.
Perspektivet Museum’s activities include documenting, researching and collecting in accordance with the museum’s dissemination plans and its profile as an arena for dialogue in a multicultural society. Questions about what ought to be collected are not considered in isolation, but are interwoven with the museum’s dissemination strategies. Simultaneously the collections reflect the unique problems of the documentation project, knowledge production and goal setting. The classical questions museums face gravitating around the representivity or relevance of the objects to future researchers are thus of little relevance. On the contrary, objects, photographs, films and documents describing the practice of this museum are considered to be a museologically interesting collection. The museums’s collection plan in other words incorporates documentation of the museum’s own main exhibitions and dissemination, based on the museum’s fundamental activities guided by the projects.
Perspektivet Museum’s collection plans are undergoing constant revision, while the fundamental idea of the plans which links the collections to the museum as a medium (exhibition projects) via documentation/research/knowledge development, remain. External circumstances may cause changes in collection policy, for example when PEM came into possession of Storgata 95, which was the residence of the novelist Cora Sandel in her youth.