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The Sabah Museum

A Museum in Sabah has existed in some shape or form with some lapses in time since 1886. The first location was at Sandakan in a room in the Chartered Company's Secretariat where the present divisional administration is centered. By 1905 it had disappeared, part of the collection was returned to the donors while the rest was shipped to London.

In 1923 the museum was again revived in Sandakan but its again disappeared with the Japanese invasion; its collection was lost.

In 1947, George Cathcart Woolley, a Chartered Company Administrator bequeathed his collection of ethnographic and other material such as photographs, diaries and books and known and as the Woolley Collection. The Woolley Collection has formed the basic materials of the existing Museum. The new Museum was opened to the public on July 15, 1965. It was then housed on the second floor of a shophouse on Gaya Street and was run by a staff of eight.

From January 1, 1966 the Museum operated as a joint department with the Library until January 1, 1972 when both became separate department under the Ministry of Social Welfare.

Due to the rapid increase of the collection over the years the Museum moved to a much larger premises of 9500 square feet on the third floor in Nosmal Court situated opposite the General Post Office in Gaya Streeet. Ten years later (1979) the second floor of Nosmal Court was acquired by the Museum as storage area thus freeing space on the third floor for office and display and greatly increasing the storage area.

In 1971 a site along Penampang Road was selected as a permanent location for a new museum. The Complex will consist of a main block housing the central exhibition hall and six galleries, offices and meeting rooms; a Science and Development Centre Exhibition and Education with a specially designed theatre adjacent to house eventually an Omnimax Projection system and a Consevation Block containing the workshops and laboratories where the collection could be stored and conserved. The new Museum Complex was completed in 1984 and it was officially opened by His Excellency Sultan Ahmad Shah the King Malaysia on April 11, 1984.

In the sprawling grounds of the Sabah Museum is the Heritage Village with the concept of Man and His Environment comprising 12 life-sized traditional houses and The Islamic Civilization Museum located along Jalan Menteri.

The Sabah Museum's vision is to save Sabah cultural, historical and natural heritage.

The Sabah Museum's mission is to serve the public as an educator towards creating a well-informed, vibrant and culture-caring society.

The Sabah Museum's objective is to collect, preserve, conserve, document, exhibit and interpret material evidence and associated information on history, culture and natural history of Sabah.

Website: http://www.museum.sabah.gov.my