BORNEO CULTURE MUSEUMS
Borneo culture museums
Sarawak Museum Old Building, opened in 1891, was originally designed in Queen Anne style but after renovations nowadays more closely resembles the French provincial style. It was built by Rajah Charles Brooke to house and display indigenous arts and crafts and collections of local animals, encouraged by the famous naturalist, Alfred Wallece, who was collecting specimens in the country. It formerly housed an exceptional ethnographic collection but is currently closed until mid-2020 for conservation work before the collection is relocation to the new Sarawak Museum Campus, a major exhibition and research centre currently under construction across footbridge.
BORNEO CULTURE MUSUEM
The Sarawak State Museum (Old Building) is the oldest museum in Borneo. Founded by Charles Brooke, the Second Rajah in the 1860’s, thanks to the great naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace for his influence. A temporary museum was set up at the Marketplace, along Gambier Street Kuching. The actual building was built in 1889 and opened to the public on 4th August 1891. The building was especially built to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts and collections of local animals. It is a keeper of the rich culture and history of Sarawak and the first class repository of Borneo culture with the world's largest collection of Borneo's flora and fauna. In appreciation of its existence, Sarawak Museum was established as a full-fledged department under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak. The museum was extended to its present form in 1911. Starting 23 October 2017, it was temporarily closed for an RM308-million refurbishment works. Only RM28M will be spent on the historic building itself, while the rest are to be spent on the Borneo Cultures Museum, located opposite the old building. With a combined total floor of approximately 31,000 square metres, it is the largest museum in Malaysia and the second-largest museum in South East Asia (SEA) after the National Museum in Singapore. It also aims to be one of the finest museums in ASEAN.
SARAWAK TEXTILE MUSUEM
The building was built in 1907 as a Medical Centre and later served as the Office of the Department of Education and was made the Sarawak Textile Museum in August 2000. The museum houses and exhibits local textiles and clothing woven and worn by Sarawakians. Among them are Pua Kumbu from the Iban community and Kain Songket Melayu Sarawak. The concept of the exhibition is that the textile process is produced starting from the provision of yarn so that it is ready to become a piece of fabric. The aim is to provide visitors with the opportunity to interact with exhibition materials other than the 'touch on' media provided.