Museums are the negotiated result of several logics: science and politics; universalism and particularism; difference and unity; change and continuity; materiality and narrative. At some contexts and moments in history they also become vital arenas for negotiating and consolidating new answers to these. In Europe an intensive demand for national museums followed the Napoleonic wars and the creation of nation states. Regional differences below and above the nation were rearranged for new spaces of knowledge and politics. In the Scandinavian context the cultural construction of Norden was vital to creating a peaceful environment in the midst of possible feelings of revenge and emancipation. In Europe trajectories of parallel interactions give witness to the long standing relevance of museums as components of what here will be theoretically constructed as a ‚Äúcultural constitution‚ÄĚ balancing nations need for continuity with handling of old and new challenged to the unity. The paper is based on research done in two projects and will also contribute to the discussion on the possibilities and limits to comparative method in culture studies.