Ethnographic Museum is located in the building of the former Stock Exchange. From the Ethnographic Department of the National museum in Belgrade in 1901 an independent institution – the Ethnographic Museum was separated.
The existence of ethnographic collections dates from much earlier. The year 1837 is important for the history of Serbian museums, because the word museum is then mentioned for the first time in Serbian.
On the return from his trip in Serbia, the German geologist Herder gave specimens of minerals he found, to Prince Milos Obrenovic, who placed them in the museum at Kragujevac. It is known that Prince Milos had in his collection old coins richly ornamented clothes, arms, metal and stone monuments. For the establishment of the Ethnographic museum and for the work on the study of the people the Ethnographic Exhibition and the All-Slavic Gathering in Moscow in 1867 played a great role. This exhibition induced cultural workers of Serbia to make, as soon as possible, the necessary preparations for the establishment of an historical-ethnographical museum.
Collection of the museum was damaged during the World Wars.
The museum possesses 20,000 exhibits of costume items, 4,000 exhibits of jewelry and 80 complete national costumes. There are also agricultural, hunting and fishing tools, textile in general, household items etc.