The beginnings of museum activities in Kumanovo date back to 1951 when a museum and archive center was founded in the city. On December 21,1964 the first autonomous institution was formed, then called the Historical Museum. In 1979 the name was changed to National Museum of Kumanovo. The museum building was the former villa of a wealthy industrialist from Peskovac, Zivko Stojiljkovic and was built in 1926 in the typical style of the old town architecture.
In its existence, the museum has promoted significant scientific, cultural and educational institutions. According to its organizational structure, the museum includes the following departments: archaeological, historical, ethnological, art records, documentation and protection. The museum includes a total of 7,000 exhibits from the collections of all the departments, as a result of the field research of scientific and processing of the museum. This heritage has been constantly presented through occasional thematic exhibitions, whose number exceeds 650, and today the museum material is subjected to a permanent exhibition at the museum building on the ground floor and the upper floor, an area of 250 square meters. For its research exhibition, publishing, cultural and educational activities, the museum has received several awards, including twice the November Award, in 1972 and 1986.
The Kumanovo region has registered over 250 archaeological sites, and only partially explored 14. The oldest materials confirmed by archaeological research originated from the Early Stone Age, Neolithic.
The archaeological items are in 4 sets: prehistory, antique, ages and numismatics.
The Ethnology Department contains additional collections consisting of costumes and fabrics, personal effects, house furniture, craft works, folk musical instruments and folk customs. The most numerous is the collection of costumes and fabrics.