First Sakhalin Museum was opened on December 6, 1896 in the town of Alexandrovsk in Northern Sakhalin. Museum was created due to efforts of several intelligent officers. Political convicts Lev Shternberg and Bronislav Pilsudski also participated in setting up the museum. Unique collections on natural history, geology, aboriginal cultures were made and exhibited there till 1905.
The Sakhalin Regional Museum was opened for visitors on May 11, 1946 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, after South Sakhalin was regained by the Soviet Union. It was housed in the former Karafuto museum. The building was created in the "Emperor's crown" style by Japanese architecture Yoshio Kaizuka in 1937 especially for the museum.
Museum researches have made valuable collections of 190000 objects, based on natural history, archaeology, cultures of the indigenous peoples, history and economy of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands. The most interesting of them are displayed in exhibition halls. Unique exhibits characterize land and marine flora and fauna of the islands, depict mysteries of ancient cultures and peoples, and tell about exploration history of Sakhalin and Kurils by Russian, European and Japanese investigators. Display on the 2-nd floor of the Museum depicts history of the island's region at the end of XIX - XX centuries.
About 80000 visitors come to the Museum every year. Museum staff suggests different excursion and educational programs, lectures and consultations