The permanent exhibition at the Folk Life Museum, which reopened under the motto Back - with a difference in autumn 2008 with a new entry charge and numerous changes to the displays, focuses thematically on three areas – The Home, Dress and Beliefs. These themes cover the core areas of the Folk Life Museum’s collection, represented by everyday things (particularly of the pre-industrial period) that document the diversity of our views of life, the ways we cope and also forms of human creativity. The personally precious box carved in bark, the seemingly “real folk hat”, the small pilgrimage memento for a handbag or treasured confirmation gift – many things go with us through life. Many of these can be shown in the new permanent exhibition with the web of relationships it reveals, but alas much had to be left in the seclusion of the depository.
The Folk Life Museum also has an extensive specialist folklore library in the building, with 14,000 individual volumes and subscriptions to 80 specialist periodicals and magazines. Attached it are the archives with a substantial collection of source material about Styrian folk culture and multi-faceted picture archives with around 20,000 colour slides and many historic photos.
The Folk Life Museum acts as a platform for a living, critical exploration of issues to do with the past and present of folk culture, and its activities are therefore geared to people of all ages.