Gambia National Museum has as its primary goal the collection and
preservation of artifacts documenting the material culture of The
Gambia, for use as tourist attractions and as important aids to
introducing the value of the heritage into information programmes for
the local population and in the country's school syllabus.
The exhibitions and
programmes therefore, focus on those contributions made by Gambians to
the arts, religion, politics, sports and technology. In so doing, the
National Museum and Historic Sites museums in the provinces will aid
in the recovery, understanding and appreciation of Gambian history and
culture and hence provide a continuous source of knowledge and
encouragement for future generations.
Interest in the collection of artifacts and the establishment of a
museum goes back to the sixties and early seventies. A purely
voluntary organization known as 'Friends of the National Museum
Association' (FNlJA) was set up in 1970 and started collecting objects
with the aim of establishing a museum. In 1971, it organized its first
temporary exhibition at the then Bathurst City Council Hall.
In 1974, the Monuments and Relics Act was enacted, which in turn
established the Monuments and Relics Commission (MRC) in 1976. The
Commission was entrusted with the responsibility to acquire and
maintain on behalf of Government Museums although it plays in reality
a purely advisory role.
In late 1983, a Museums and Antiquities Division was created out of
the Oral History and Antiquities Division, till then the arm of
Government responsible for museum development and monument affairs.
The new Museums and Antiquities Division was given responsibility for
safeguarding the material heritage in general, and for the Gambia
National Museum and for the country's National monuments in
9.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Thursday
9.00 am to 5.00 pm Friday to Sunday
Parking space is available within the museum premises for cars and
mini vans and along Independence Drive for coaches.
Free introductory gallery talks can be provided it requested in
advance of the visiting date.
Exhibition catalogues, posters and books published by the museum or by
individuals are available for visitors.
Photography is permitted using a hand-held camera
with flash, if required for souvenir and educational purposes only.
The use of any other equipment or for purposes other than stipulated
above, requires permission from the Curator.
Reference can be made to publications, slides and photographs,
at the Records Office. Reproductions, however, require permission from the
Lectures on the permanent collection and on major changing exhibitions
with audio-visual back-up facilities.
(Reservations for school/group tours must be made at least one week in
advance of the visiting date).
- Art classes, craft workshops and demonstrations for
children and adults conducted by working artists. (In preparation).
- National travelling exhibitions supported by lecture series and
audio-visual back-up facilities. (In preparation)
The National Museum has established a permanent collection of
cultural objects including artefacts and works of art. It also
historical documents and photographs relating to the
material culture of The Gambia and to the work of the Museum
generally. Donations of these items are welcomed by the National
The museum welcomes donations in any form to enable it to maintain its
facilities and services to the public. Contact the Curator directly if
you have any offers to make. Thank you.
On February 18, 1985 the Gambia National Museum was officially opened
to the public by His Excellency the President, Sir Dawda Kairaba
Jawara, as part of The Gambia's Twentieth Independence Anniversary
The National Museum's collections cover a range of topics, periods
and geographical locations. At present, the permanent displays
constitute the Museum's main public service. The space allotted to
them must comprise at least 50 per cent of the Museum's total
accommodation, the remainder being allocated to the Artefact Store,
Records Office, Educational Resource Hall, Workroom, Darkroom and four
The Permanent displays are divided into history and ethnography
sections, The main hall and lower floor house the ethnography
exhibition which displays indigenous industries and technology, music
and dance. Located on the upper floor are the history and archaeology
which together display human cultural development in the region from
the Paleolithic period to post-Independent Gambia.
New acquisitions of artefacts, books, historical documents, works of
art and photographs will be placed on display or in the Museum's
The museum is located on Independence Drive
in the countries capital.
Banjul is very well served by private
and public transport going into, out of, and around the city.
Mini-vans leave from Bakau and Serrekunda car park, opposite the
National Museum from early morning until late at night. In the city
you can join any of the yellow taxi cars with green stripes which
might be going you way.
Leaving Banjul for Bakau, join a
mini-van at Bakau Car Park, opposite the National Museum. You can grab
a seat on a Serrekunda mini-van bound from outside the Gamtel
headquarters or from anywhere along Independence Drive.