The Museum of Archaeology at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is almost coeval with the University itself. It has one of the oldest collections of exhibits not only by standards of Kharkiv region. The Museum traces its history back to 1807 when a collection room of rarities was opened. In the same year it received artifacts and antiquities brought from Olvia and Voronezh Province. About the same time Doctor Landbad donated an ethnographic collection, acquired during the first Russian expedition to circumnavigate the world of 1803-06 headed by I.F. Krusenstern.
In 1837 the collections from all the collection rooms of the University were moved to the newly-opened Museum of Fine Arts and Antiquities.
The XII Archeological Assembly (1902) in Kharkiv, encouraged large-scale research activities in the region. Major excavations were carried out by Kharkiv Professors D.I. Bahaliy and V.O. Babenko and by scholars from other cities. Findings of those expeditions as well as antiquities from private collections were displayed at the XII Archeological Assembly. many of those exhibits were given to the Museum of Fine Arts and Antiquities. This collection together with artifacts from further excavations, carried out by archeologists from Kharkiv University, laid a foundation for the Archeological Museum opened at the University in 1919. From its opening to 1936 the Museum was headed by a prominent Ukrainian archeologist of the 1920-30s O.S.Fedorovskyi.
In 1920, when Kharkiv University was closed, the Archeological Museum acquired a municipal status.
In 1933, with the reopening of Kharkiv University, the Archeological Museum was incorporated into the School of History. Regular archeological explorations and excavations by Kharkiv researchers in the 1920-30s enriched the collection of the Archeological Museum up to 200 000 exhibits. The Museum also boasted a numismatic collection of about 40 000 coins and medals.
The Museum has amassed some of the largest, even by national and international stanards, collections of items of the Bronze Age, Scythian Age, antique times, Chernyakhovska and Saltivska Cultures.
In 1998 the Museum acquired its new name: the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography of Slobidska Ukraine at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University.