History Of Indian Museum


In 1856, the members of the society decided to submit a memorial to the Government of India for the establishment of an Imperial Museum at Calcutta. Two years later a representation was submitted to the Government of India in which the society pressed for the foundation of an Imperial Museum at Calcutta. The Government of India recognized its duty to establish an Imperial Museum in the Metropolis for the collection and exposition of specimens of natural history, physical, economical and historical, etc.


In 1858, The Geological Museum was amalgamated with that of the Geological Survey of India.


In 1862, the Government of India announced the foundation of a Public Museum at Calcutta which might be taken into consideration with the practical realisation.


Negotiations between the Government of India and the Asiatic Society were protracted till the middle on the year 1865 and it was decided that the Society should make over to the Board of Trustees for the proposed Museum for the zoological, geological, and archaeological collections and in this connection Government of India would provide a suitable accommodation for the Society in the Museum building.


Afterwards it was realized that the building as planned could not possibly find accommodation for the Asiatic Society in addition to the Geological Survey of India and the Natural History Museum, the society also expressed its unwillingness to enter a building where accommodation was insufficient and freedom of action was liable to be cramped.


In 1867 the foundation of the present building of the Indian Museum was thus laid on the finest site of Chowringhee in front of small Cause Court. In 1875, the present Museum building on Chowringhee, designed by W. L. Grandville was completed. From 1814 to 1878 the museum was at the Asiatic Society of Park Street, Kolkata. After the completion of the construction of the new building at Chowringhee Road, the Society Museum was shifted from the Asiatic Society to the present building and it was thrown open to the public with two galleries on 1 April 1878. The Archaeology gallery and bird gallery of the Zoological Section had been declared open to public in the present building.