The first archaeological Museum of Lefkosia was housed in a building on Victoria St. in old Lefkosia, in the occupied part of the town. It was founded in 1888 as a privately run institution to protect the finds that started to come to light during the first legal excavations undertaken during the British rule of the island.
The first law concerning archaeology was voted in 1905 and was the first essential step towards the establishment of archaeology in Cyprus. A committee, chaired by the British governor, undertook the direction of the museum. The continuously growing number of finds from systematic excavations which were mainly undertaken by foreign missions, such as the Swedish Archaeological School mission directed by professor Einar Gjerstad, forced the museum’s committee to look for new premises for the exhibition and the storage of the finds.