The Sarawak Museum, straddling both sides of Jln Tun Abang Haji Openg, has one of the best collections in Southeast Asia. The old wing, opened in 1891, is designed in the style of a Normandy town-house. It houses an exceptional ethnographic collection, some good natural history displays and a section on the oil industry in Sarawak. The exhibition of traditional wood-carvings on the first floor is magnificent. The new wing across the footbridge is used for events and exhibitions In the Museum grounds there is an Aquarium, the Botanical Gardens and the Heroes’ Memorial.
Ethnology Museum (Old Building)
The Sarawak Museum Old Building was built in 1891 and was extended to its present form in 1911. The building was especially built to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts and collections of local animals as mainly encouraged by the famous naturalist, Alfred Wallace, who was then collecting specimens in the country.
Since its inception, the building has undergone several renovations and alterations. It is rectangular, 44′ x 160′ with walls and pillars of bricks and roof of belian and concrete. It has European architecture of imposing edifice in Queen Anne style (Victorian period). The galleries are lighted by dormer windows on the roof which thus allow a great area of wall space.
During the Japanese Occupation, the museum was put under the direction of a sympathetic Japanese Officer. As a result, the museum suffered very little damage and remarkably little looting.
Today, with carefully planned renovation and proper maintenance, this old building is used as the centre to exhibit collections on the natural history of Sarawak. The ground floor of the museum holds the natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna – reptiles, mammals, birds, etc, all expertly prepared and mounted for display.
The first floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artifacts such as models of longhouses of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, models of boats and others.
Monday to Friday: 9:00 am – 4:45 pm
Saturday, Sunday, Public Holidays: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
1st Day of Main Public Holiday, T.Y.T Birthday, Labour Day & Malaysia Day: Closed
*Notice of Construction of New Sarawak Museum
PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT OLD BUILDING (ETHNOLOGY MUSEUM) WILL BE CLOSED FOR REFURBISMENT FOR TWO AND HALF YEARS STARTING ON 23rd OCTOBER 2017.
Sarawak Museum’s Dewan Tun Abdul Razak, Ancillary Office Building and Exhibition Centre located at Tun Abang Haji Openg, Kuching will be demolished and to be replaced with a new museum – Sarawak Museum Campus and Heritage Trail.
The whole project projects, from Stage 1 of new building construction till the last stage of refurbishing and exhibitory works, are scheduled to be completed on 16 March 2020.
More information at: