Museum of Antigua and Barbuda

International visitors have compared the quality of the museum’s exhibits to that of museums they visit back home.

Interested in brushing up on the early geology of Antigua and Barbuda, or the history of slavery or shipwrecks around the island? You’ll find it all at the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, where thousands of tourists and island residents visit each year to view exhibits and attend lectures and performances, historical game nights, and other special events that bring the history of the island to life.

In 1965, a group of Mill Reef Club members who were interested in archeology started what would become the Historical and Archaeological Society of Antigua and Barbuda. Its mission was to preserve artifacts, conserve documents, provide support for researchers, and develop interesting exhibits on the history and heritage of the island. Of course, the exhibits needed a home, and the museum was established in 1985 in the Courthouse building, which was built in 1750. It remains there today.

The museum’s recent accomplishments include creating a Heritage Education program that attracts more than 40 student groups to the museum every year, digitalization of archival materials, and development of tablet-based slideshows to accompany some of the exhibits. In 2023, the museum introduced its innovative “Unlock the Museum”, which invites the public to meet at a historical site for a talk by an expert. The events are very well received by attendees.

“The Mill Reef Fund has played an integral role in the ongoing preservation and restoration of our 300-year-old building, including repairing the stairwell and the ceilings in the balcony area. MRF donations have also helped us invest in new technology, including digital exhibits, and develop a comprehensive heritage program for school children. We are indeed grateful to MRF for working with us all these years to keep the museum alive.”

– Michele Henry, Curator