Today the museum has more than a million exhibits. It holds annual sessions of fieldwork for researchers of ethnic culture and historians, and organises archaeological excavations. More than a half of all exhibits restored in Lithuanian museums are being conserved and restored at the Museum’s Restoration Centre. The Museum also has a specialised library, archive and photo laboratory.

The archaeology collection of the National Museum of Lithuania is one of the oldest and richest in the museum and the largest in Lithuania. It contains more than 600 thousand archaeological finds dating from the 11th millennium B.C. to the 19th century. The collection consists of separate groups of exhibits distinguished according to periods and themes.

The earliest archaeological exhibits reached the museum from the collections of various benefactors of the Museum of Antiquities, as well as from scientific or amateur excavations conducted in the 19th and early 20th century. Since the post-war years the archaeology collection is constantly supplemented with finds from excavations that are being conducted each year in Lithuania by various institutions and groups of researchers, as well as the museum’s archaeologists.

With the change in the understanding of the object of archaeological heritage, the Department of Mediaeval and Early Modern Archaeology was established under the Archaeology Department.

On the basis of the archaeology collection, a large archaeological exhibition reflecting the prehistory of Lithuania from the earliest times until the 13th century, i.e. the formation of the Lithuanian state, was opened at the National Museum of Lithuania in 2000. The exhibitions of the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the museum’s historical exhibition have been supplemented with archaeological exhibits. The rich collections allow the museum to hold specialised exhibitions both in the museum itself and abroad. Scientific catalogues of exhibits have been published. The academic and scientific communities are active users of the studies of the archaeology collection.

The collections of the History Department have almost 300 thousand exhibits covering the period from the formation of the Lithuanian state until today. The bulk of these collections consists of exhibits of the Museum of Antiquities founded in 1855, which reflect the political, social, economic and cultural history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The collections of the Lithuanian State Museum and the Museum of the History of Religions, which were affiliated to the National Museum in the late 20th century, were a valuable contribution to the collections of the History Department. The accumulated material is shown in thematic exhibitions and presented in the publications of the National Museum of Lithuania.

The Ethnic Culture Department of the National Museum of Lithuania boasts the largest collections in the country reflecting the ethnic features of Lithuanian folk culture, peasants’ crafts, trades and daily life. At the present time the collection consists of circa 80 thousand exhibits: objects of traditional culture, wooden sculptures of saints, iron tops of memorial monuments, household utensils, vehicles, furniture, work tools, peasants’ clothes and homemade textiles from the late 18th to the first half of the 20th century. The collections are supplemented with iconographic material, drawings, schemes, photographs and ethnographic inventories.

The earliest exhibits were taken over from the Ethnographic Museum of Stephen Báthory University and the Lithuanian Scientific Society. A great number of exhibits were collected during ethnographic field trips organised since 1949, and quite many were acquired from private individuals. From the mid-20th century, the department began to accumulate the finest works by folk artists characterised by strong links to the tradition and creative interpretation of traditional ornamentation and colours – national costumes, sashes, wedding decorations, wickerwork baskets, amber and iron works, wood carving and works of fine art.

The ethnographic collection is divided into thematic groups and presented to society by various means – scientific research is conducted, exhibitions are held, catalogues are published, and since 1991 the annual chronicle „Ethnography“ is published.

The storage rooms of the Iconography Department hold more than 550 thousand exhibits. It is the largest department of Lithuanian collections in the museum, which was established in 1993 while systemising the iconographic material accumulated by the Ethnography and History Departments.

The iconographic collections are formed on the basis of the collections of the Vilnius Museum of Antiquities, the Lithuanian Scientific Society, the Wróblewski Library, the Vilnius Society of Lovers of Science, and the Belarusian Museum. Upon the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the department’s holdings were supplemented by the collections of the restructured Museum of the History of Religions and the Lithuanian State History Museum, and later – the exhibits of the House of the Signatories, the Museum of Architecture, and the Kazys Varnelis House – Museum.

The collection consists of the following main groups of exhibits: graphic arts, painting, sculpture, photography and negatives, deltiology, philately, posters, and architectural drawings.

The numismatic collections contain more than 195 thousand exhibits: numismatics (coins, ingots), complexes of hidden and lost money (hacked silver, ingots, hoards of coins and paper money, contents of purses), medals, phaleristics (orders, award medals and badges), philophaleristics (badges) and other kind of badges, notaphily, tokens and counters, telephone, bank, discount and other cards, lead seals, as well as exhibits reflecting the production of the aforementioned objects (sketches, draft designs, models, seals etc.). It is the largest numismatic collection in Lithuania covering the period from Classical Antiquity until our days.

Objects related with Lithuania are purposefully collected. The material is presented in the museum’s thematic exhibitions, published in the museum’s chronicle Numismatics, Lithuanian and international publications, and presented in scientific conferences. Two conferences dedicated to numismatics were held at the National Museum of Lithuania in 2006 and 2012.

On the basis of the numismatic collections, virtual exhibitions of numismatics of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL), coin finds, the symbol of the Knight on the coins of the GDL, symbols of Christianity on the earliest coins of the GLD, contemporary state awards of Lithuania, religious medals with images of Jesuit saints, badges of Lithuanian sports from the 1920s and 1930s, and badges of Lithuanian organisations from 1918–1940 from Algimantas Astikas’s collection have been staged.

Eksponatu Rinkiniai Etnine Kultura Cokolis Scaled