Sergej Sergel’s travels in Finnmark, 1907-08.

The Russian ethnographer Sergej Sergel was sent in 1907 to the northern parts of Scandinavia to study Sami culture and collect artifacts for the collections at the Russian ethnographic museum in St Petersburg. With his background from the Department of Ethnography at his home city’s university and earlier field work, he was able to give new insights on Sami social life and their adaptation to nature and resources in the region. His varied research methods, in close contact with both Sea-Sami and reindeer herding Sami, resulted in a collection of artifacts, photographs, a report and a book. This article combines his writings and photographs with Norwegian sources both to contextualise his reports and to facilitate source criticism. We also attempt to assess whether or not Sergel was really a Russian spy.