The museum was founded in 1909 on the initiative of local social activists as the Museum of the Society of the Friends of Sciences in Przemyśl. The opening of the first exhibition took place on 10 April 1910. Its first collection was composed of the private collection of Kazimierz and Tadeusz Osiński as well as of numerous exhibits donated by the society. In 1921, after the accession to the Association of Historical and Artistic Museums in Poznań, it assumed the name the National Museum of the Przemyśl Land, reactivated in 1984. In the interwar period, the museum struggled with problems connected with funds and premises, changing it seat several times. From 1946, the seat of the Museum was the former palace of Greek Catholic bishops at Czackiego Square, which it lost by decision of the property commission in April 2000.
In September 2001, a new branch - The Museum of Bells and Pipes - was opened, which was located in the renovated Clock Tower at ul. Władycze. In 2005, the Branch of the History of the City of Przemyśl was opened, located in the late Renaissance house - Rynek 9. In 2006, the construction of the new main building in Berka Joselewicza Square began, funded by the European Union, the local government and the Ministry. The opening ceremony for the new seat of the museum took place on 16 December 2008.
The National Museum of the Przemyśl Land includes several branches. Its collections amount to more than 200 thousands exhibits from the area of archaeology, history, numismatics, art, ethnography and nature, more than 3,300 deposits and various auxiliary materials. The library, functioning at the museum, boasts a collection of 40 thousand volumes, including about 100 manuscripts, 400 old prints and 600 cartographic objects.
The Archaeological Section collects historical items from all eras and prehistoric periods, the Middle Ages and modern times. Among them, one should mention Neolithic items made of flint and stone, precious bronze findings as well as the items found in the graves from the Bronze Age cremation cemeteries, local iron items as well as those imported from the period of the Roman empire, early medieval historical monuments including, among others, graves from the old Magyar cemetery, which are unique in Poland, and items with the influences of the Byzantine and old Ruthenian culture.
The Ethnographic Section comprises the material culture of the rural areas of the Polish and Ruthenian borderland. The Section has a rich collection of usable items - tools, equipment and garments, items connected with various customs (nativity scenes, decorated Easter eggs, ritual bakery items) as well as folk and non-professional art, both past and contemporary.
The Historical Section documents all testimonies of the past concerning Przemyśl and the Przemyśl Land within its historical limits. The collections of this section contain numismats, iconographic materials, historical souvenirs (among others, from Professor R. Weigl and the composer A. Malawski) as well as archival materials (including the archive of the badge "Gwiazda Przemyśla", of the Osiński family, of Lieutenant Colonel Elek Molnar, ephemera from World War I and II).
The Art and Crafts Section collects past and contemporary art, particularly that of the artists connected with the area of the Eastern Lesser Poland. The collection includes, among others, Polish and foreign paintings, a valuable collection of icons (15th-20th century), graphics, drawings, sculptures, textiles, furniture, guild and artistic craft as well as military objects.
The Museum also has an interesting natural science collection, including paleontological and mineralogical exhibits, fossils, trophies, preparations.
The following permanent exhibitions are open: "Credo for two voices. The religious art from the collections of The National Museum of the Przemyśl Land". "The world past and finite. Judaica from the collections of The National Museum of the Przemyśl Land", "The Przemyśl Fortress", the exhibition of the four-part sketch to the panorama "The Battle of Somosierra", intarsia furniture as well as temporary exhibitions. Various educational activity is pursued. Materials concerning the collections of the museums and catalogues of exhibitions are published.
permanent exhibition: "The Przemyśl Fortress"
permanent exhibition "Judaica from the collections of The National Museum of the Przemyśl Land"
Byzantine gemma, heliotrope, intaglio - 10th-11th century - obverse and reverse