The Sarawak State Museum is the oldest museum in Borneo. It was founded in 1888 and opened in 1891 in a purpose-built building in Kuching, Sarawak. Naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace encouraged Charles Brooke, the second White Rajah of Sarawak, to establish the museum.
The building has undergone several renovations and alterations since its construction. It is rectangular, 44’ × 160’ with walls and pillars of bricks, and roof of belian and concrete. It was designed in the Queen Anne style of the Victorian period, modeled on a town hall of Normandy, France
. The galleries are lighted by dormer windows on the roof, making wall space available for exhibit displays and collections.
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 west wing of the museum houses the Shell exhibition on the petroleum industries of Sarawak.
The first floor has exhibits of ethnographic artifacts of the indigenous peoples, such as models of the various types of longhouses, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, models of boats and others.