The formation of the Museum’s first collections began during World War II, particularly while under the auspices of the Partisan Scientific Institute. In the immediate post-war years, a field team was employed by the Museum to collect museum material related to Slovenian history. Later on, the task of collecting and documenting museum objects was taken over by the Museum’s professional staff. The Museum’s collections grew steadily through its efforts to collect more materials during the preparation of permanent and temporary exhibitions, and by systematically keeping track of important events and exchanging materials with related institutions.
The Museum’s collections were initially related primarily to military and wartime materials, but eventually more and more civilian items from the 20th century were added to the Museum’s depot and exhibitions. The ratio of the two has changed significantly over the years, mainly for the benefit of the civilian collections (particularly in the Collection of Photographs and Negatives, the Numismatic Collection, the Textile Collection and the Collection of Medals and Decorations). It is the Museum’s collecting policy to acquire museum objects related to World War I and to the period from 1991 (when Slovenia gained its independence) to the present day. The Museum is currently creating several new collections such as the Oral History Collection, which includes audio and video testimonials from the 20th century. The National Museum of Contemporary History holds the largest collection of photographic material from the 20th century in Slovenia as its Collection of Photographs and Negatives includes approx. 2,000,000 original photographs. Today, the Museum maintains a large number of items, without which it would be impossible to explore and learn about the history of Slovenia in the previous century.
Collection of Weapons and Military Equipment
Collection of Postcards
Collection of Medals and Decorations
Collection of Badges, Signs and Plaques
Collection of Personal Items and Documents
Oral History Collection
World War II Collection