About IKEA Museum Digital

IKEA Museum Digital is open to anyone who is curious about IKEA and life at home, anywhere and anytime. Get new perspectives from digital exhibitions and access to IKEA catalogues through the ages. Find more information below about our main exhibition The Story of IKEA, and the digitised catalogues.

Main exhibition – The Story of IKEA

We believe that The Story of IKEA should be told by telling the many smaller stories, forming a mosaic of people and places, ideas and events, failures and successes. The stories are told through historical documents and artefacts, and from different perspectives by the people who were there. Each story adds a piece to the puzzle of The Story of IKEA. A story that continues to grow every day.

Browse the stories on a timeline running from the Ice Age in Småland, Sweden, and up to today. You decide where to start and where to go next on your journey through the decades. Let your curiosity and special interests lead the way. Don’t be surprised if a story set in the 1990s suddenly takes you back to events in a different decade, or the other way around.

Each story reflects the winding road that has led up to a particular point in time, an event, a new agenda or a smart solution for life at home. Some things have taken a lifetime or more from start to finish, while other things happened very quickly.

In addition to stories about life at home and IKEA products, a multitude of stories reveal the inner workings of IKEA. And whether it’s about a triumph or a great mistake, a dangerous adventure or a revolutionary collapse, we do our best to tell it like it was.

The Story of IKEA cannot be told without listening to all the people who’ve been part of it. Thousands of people have shared their memories from a personal perspective. Their narratives add lived experiences to other historical records such as protocols, drawings, video and sound recordings from the vast IKEA Museum Archive & Collection going back more than 70 years. As with all historical inquiry, we employ sourcing, contextualisation, confirmation and evaluation of all our sources, and ensure multiple perspectives. Our ambition is always to get as close to the truth as possible.

Thanks to all the wonderful people at IKEA and all the wonderful people working together with IKEA for sharing your memories and perspectives. Thank you for giving your views on IKEA, its culture and identity and its many, many stories. Thank you all for being brutally honest about failures and successes, missteps and big leaps forward. Thank you for your enthusiasm and engagement in creating a better everyday life for the many people. And to everybody else who’s eager to learn about The Story of IKEA to learn and be inspired, thank you for being curious about IKEA and life at home.

Please note that we have made great efforts to find any rightsholders for e.g. images and videos used in The Story of IKEA. If we have missed anyone, please contact IKEA Museum.

Hundreds of IKEA products are shown and talked about in The Story of IKEA. Some of them are still available in IKEA stores and online, while many others have been discontinued. Some of the products are available at some stores but are no longer part of the IKEA global product range. To find out about a particular product, explore ikea.com.

Please note that when a price is shown for a particular product in The Story of IKEA, it refers to the recommended retail price of the product at the time of its release. All prices are given in euros (pre-euro prices have been converted at an exchange rate of SEK 10 = EUR 1).

70 years of IKEA catalogues

Travel through time with the IKEA catalogues. The IKEA catalogue has always reflected views on life at home at a particular point in time. The printed catalogue was retired in 2021, after a 70-year run. However, all the catalogues from 1950 to 2021 have been digitised and are available online (in Swedish). Browse for inspiration and nostalgia.

Good question! We know that a lot of people are curious about what the IKEA catalogue has looked like through the ages. The catalogue has always reflected the age and its views on interior design and everyday living, especially in Sweden, but in recent decades also internationally. The catalogue was in print for 70 years, and by digitising all the catalogues we could make them available to everybody. Making the story of IKEA available to as many people as possible is our main task at IKEA Museum. So we hope that the catalogues will bring some joy and nostalgia, and maybe even a few surprises.

Just like the perception of the home, the catalogue has changed dramatically since 1951, when it was first published. Look in the older catalogues and you’ll be amazed at what you find. In fact, you’ll probably even have a giggle or two. In the 1950s and 1960s, there are rarely any people in the pictures, and never any children. But in the 1970s there are children playing all over the home, you can see adults smoking and even the occasional political poster on the wall. Browse on to the 1980s IKEA catalogues and the trends have changed again, with shiny fabrics and other fancy materials. In the 1990s homes become more scaled-down and clearly inspired by a Scandinavian tradition. In this way, the IKEA catalogues are a kind of time capsule for you to travel in. And who knows? When we look back at the most recent catalogues in 10 or 20 years’ time, we’ll probably shake our heads and give a sigh.

IKEA Museum decided to start with the Swedish catalogue as it has been around the longest. In the future, we hope to be able to digitise catalogues from more countries in more languages.

No. The IKEA catalogue has always only shown a selection of what’s available in the stores. The catalogues from the 1970s and onwards show around 30–50 per cent of the entire range. The products that are not featured are generally smaller ones in textiles, decorations and lighting. Temporary collections are rarely included either. But the farther back you go, the higher a percentage of the range can be found in the catalogue.

Yes, but the older a product is, the harder it may be to find information about it. If you have a specific question about a product, we’re happy to help you out if we can. But 70 years is a long time, so we can’t promise anything. While you’re waiting for our response you can always browse through the catalogues – the product texts that are there are quite detailed. You can search in the catalogues by product name and product type. There are also various stories about different products on IKEA Museum Digital, and more are constantly being added.

The first catalogue, IKEA catalogue 1951, was published in Sweden in the fall of 1950. Before that, IKEA was a mail order company that didn’t sell furniture, but pens, clocks, electric razors, wallets and bags. At that time, the range was only presented in a small mail order brochure called ikéa-nytt (literally ikéa news). Sometimes it was distributed as a supplement in farming paper <em>Jordbrukarnas Föreningsblad</em>, which reached hundreds of thousands of people in the Swedish countryside. From autumn 1948 Ingvar Kamprad started including furniture in the range, and things quickly grew from there. In the 1950 <em>ikéa-nytt</em>, as many as six of the 18 pages featured furniture. And when you look at the 1951 catalogue, you’ll see that there are no more pens and wallets. Ingvar Kamprad was now truly focusing on home furnishing, and shelving the rest.

Not really. We do have a few copies of each year’s IKEA catalogue in our archives, which we’re saving for posterity. They should be handled as little as possible to keep them in good condition, so we’ve made the catalogues available digitally, both online and on monitors at IKEA Museum. You can browse through those as much as you like!

Yes you can. The easiest way to share the catalogues is to click on the arrow at the bottom left corner for each catalogue, or in the left-hand menu once you’ve started browsing through. This will copy a link which you can share on a website or social media. If you would like to download and publish on your own digital platform, you can share a maximum of three complete digital catalogues. Don’t forget to state the copyright details, ©Inter IKEA Systems B.V, the catalogue year, and the link https://ikeamuseum.com/en/catalogues/ikea-catalogues-through-the-ages/ so that anyone interested can find out more. You may not publish the digital catalogues for commercial purposes.

Absolutely! You can share up to 30 images from the catalogues on your own digital platform, such as a blog, on Instagram or similar (as long as it’s not for commercial purposes). Don’t forget to state the copyright details, ©Inter IKEA Systems B.V, the catalogue year, and the link https://ikeamuseum.com/en/catalogues/ikea-catalogues-through-the-ages/ so that anyone interested can find out more.

Yes! You can find all press material, including images, information about current exhibitions and much more, in the IKEA Museum press room.

IKEA press room

At the moment we have a good amount of catalogues in all languages at the museum, and do not need any more. Having said that, please contact us anyway if you’ve been collecting catalogues for several decades, or if you have any other material you think might be of interest to IKEA Museum.

Unfortunately not. We sometimes wish we did, as we handle quite a lot of old products that may need putting together and taking apart.

The 2021 IKEA catalogue, published in autumn 2020, was the very last catalogue to be published in print. The decision was not taken lightly, and everything from environmental factors to people’s altered behaviour in a digital world was considered. Instead you can access the many other ways IKEA uses to tell people about its products, provide inspiration for life at home, and tips and tricks that create a better everyday life for the many people. And of course, there are 70 years of digital catalogues that are just a click away.

We hope this has answered most of your questions! You can reach us at IKEA Museum via Archive.Collection@inter.ikea.com