The Museum of the University of Warsaw can trace its roots to a time when the University was just being established, between 1809 and 1817. 1809 marked the beginning of the process of purchasing artwork belonging to the collections of King Stanislaw August Poniatowski and in 1817 the Faculty of Science and Fine Arts was created, along with its Museum. For several years the museum was housed by the Kazimierz Palace but as early as 1820 it was moved to the building which currently is the seat of the Faculty of History and which until this day is called the post-museum building. Its most beautiful hall known as the Hall of Columns with its main adornment of plaster casts of the greatest sculptural works of antiquity and the renaissance, has regained its function as a museum exhibition hall. The Museum of the first University of Warsaw (1808/1816-1831) can be considered to be the earliest public Museum in the country and a model for the idea of the National Museum of Poland.
The University Museum was reactivated in 1980. Its main goal is to gather items connected to the history of the University and the initiation of activities which commemorate its past and present achievements. Initially the collected exhibits were displayed at the Kazimierz Palace but in 2000 they were moved to the neoclassical Tyszkiewicz-Potocki Palace located at 32 Krakowskie Przedmiescie Street. After the completion of Palace renovations conducted as part of the JESSICA initiative funded through the 2007-2013 Regional Operational Program of the Masovian Voivodeship, a new exhibition opened in January of 2015 and entitled “The Eagle and the five stars of the University. An exhibition commemorating the bicentennial of the Warsaw University devoted to the birth of the school.” has been available in the Dining Hall.
The Museum of the University of Warsaw also has a rich program full of temporary exhibits which are presented regularly at the hall of the Old Library building as well as at the abovementioned Hall of Columns.