The museum was started from an Exposition of Arts and Antiquity for the All-Russia Archeological Congress in 1899. Thanks to enthusiasm and persistency of a group of three Ukrainian ethnographers, art historians and archeologists - Bilyashivsky, Khvoika, Scherbakivsky - the museum was solemnly opened and consecrated in 1904. The fathers founder’s great interest in archeology was strongly supported by Maecenas who financed excavations and enriched the museum collection with precious gifts. Big contributions of numismatics, jewelry and porcelain were made by private collectors. Numismatic collector Bodilevsky has passed 1384 coins including a rare and unique sample – zlatnyk of Volodymyr. Kiev metropolitan donated the Empress Elisabeth’s gorgeous coupe made in the beginning of the 18th century. The Kiev City Council contributed more than 20 paintings from the Vyshnyvetsky’s Castle in Volyn. Ongoing exhibition activity has been advancing the museum sufficiently. In 1909 an annual subsidy was allocated while the museum has gained All-Ukrainian popularity.
Roller-coaster of the Soviet museum policy was either enriching or robbing the museum collection. During WWII the major museum funds were transferred to Ufa via Moscow and were safely turned back after the war. Less happy fate overtook the funds remaining in Kiev. In 1944 the museum has moved to nowadays location on the Vladimirskaya Street. Throughout the Soviet time the museum has been one of the most significant ones. As a separate branch, there was opened the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine in Lavra in 1969. It occupies the former monastery bakery building of the 17th-18th centuries.
Abundance and rarity of the collection drives many visitors to the National Historical Museum of Ukraine. Each of 800000 showpieces highlights the history of the Ukrainian land from the Stone Age to the Independence decades. More than 15 museum exhibitions display collections of archeological artifacts, cold weapons and firearms, ethnography, award tokens, numismatics, bonistique, unique books, glassware and porcelain. Paintings, drawings and sculptures are another sufficient part of the museum collection. The Museum of Historical Treasure of Ukraine gathers a marvelous collection of precious metals and stones artworks.