The archaeological displays show findings from the stone, bronze, iron and viking age. In addition the museum has a separate display about the development of Trondheim as a city in the middle ages, a display on Sami culture and a display about church art and church inventory until ca. 1700. The natural science sections show birds, fish, mammals, insects, minerals and Northern European nature types nature-environment display.
The museum dates back to 1767 when Det Kongelige Norske Videnskabers Selskab (DKNVS) was officially founded. They created their own collections, and soon the museum became their main task. DKNVS Museum was official created in 1926 as a separate unit. In 1968 the museum became part of the new University of Trondheim (UNIT) that is now NTNU.