The museum was established in 1906 by the Superior of Obdorsky religion mission Father Superior Irinarkh (in the world - Ivan Semyonovich Shemanovsky), and was known as "Storage of Collections Devoted to Ethnography of Inorodtsy (non-ethnic Russians) of the Tobolsk North. In 1996 Yamalo-Nenets Regional museum was named after its founder, I.S.Shemanovsky.
Modern "The Yamal-Nenets Regional Museum Complex of I.S.Shemanovsky", created in 2002, represents the cultural establishment of new type combining preservation of traditions, studying and preservations of a historical and cultural heritage and innovative approaches to their popularization. In its actives - display areas and funds, the scientific library numbering more of 13 thousand of books and rare hand-written editions, a museum-apartment of Nenets writer Leonid Laptsuja.
Museum Funds make more than 60 thousand paleontologic, archaeological, historical and ethnographic exhibits, products of modern painting and applied art, collections of minerals and fauna of the north of Western Siberia. Unique exhibit of a museum is an archaeological collection of baby mammoth Lyuba.
At present time the basic lines of activity the Yamalo-Nenets Regional Museum Complex of I.S.Shemanovsky are research, educational, representative, cultural, scientifically-methodical, publishing and to preserve the unique stocks.
In 2010 Yamalo-Nenets Regional Museum Complex of I.S.Shemanovsky has been awarded a high state award - a commemorative medal of Russian organizing committee "Victory" for project realization "Towards to the Victory"