Sierra Leone National Museum
Sierra Leone’s National Museum is located at the centre of Freetown under the branches of the city’s famous Cotton Tree. It is the hub of many cultural activities in Freetown and holds an important collection of Sierra Leonean artefacts and artworks.
The museum was opened in 1957 as the museum of the Sierra Leone Society, a ‘learned society’ whose members included colonial officials and prominent members of Freetown’s Krio community. With the demise of the Sierra Leone Society in the mid-1960s, the museum came under the control of Sierra Leone’s Monuments and Relics Commission and Ministry of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, and thus became the Sierra Leone National Museum.
The museum has rarely benefitted from significant financial resources and has survived largely due to the commitment of its dedicated staff. It still occupies what was originally intended to be temporary accommodation in the old Cotton Tree railway station at the junction of Siaka Stevens Street and Pademba Road. The German Embassy funded an extension to the museum, which was opened in 1987 to mark the bicentenary of the founding of Freetown.