Founded in 1946, it is opened in the castle of Caen in 1963, initially dedicated to ethnography, the museum extends to the archeology, with an open room in 1968, and collections that are enriched with numerous archaeological excavations in the department until the 1980s the Museum of Fine arts in Caen moved into the castle and opened in June 1970.
The museum presents the history of Normandy illustrated by archeology and ethnology. The space of the future Normandy has been occupied for several hundred thousand years.
Are thus traced the steps in the history of Normandy to the most recent discoveries. In addition, the museum presents the lives of men and women from the Paleolithic to the installation of the Vikings in the lower valley of the Seine following the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte in 911 Archaeological rooms the ground floor contain weapons, jewelry, objects of daily life that are placed in context. The first floor contains ethnological collections that evoke the life of Norman eighteenth century to the present. These collections, which were gleaned from the entire Normandy contain everyday objects but also masterpieces of blacksmiths, potters, candle makers and also Norman wardrobes.