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Its lineage can be traced back another eighty-eight years to 1842 and to the work of Dr. The New Brunswick Museum was opened on Douglas Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick in 1934, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the province. The Douglas Avenue facility now houses collections, laboratories, administration and the archives and research library.
On 5 April 1842 Abraham Gesner opened the Museum of Natural History, the precursor of the New Brunswick Museum, in one room of the Mechanics' Institute on Carleton Street, in Saint John.
Unfortunately, income from his newly founded museum was not enough to solve Gesner's financial problems dating from 1863 described it as, "a large and valuable collection of minerals, a great variety of zoological specimens, and many Chinese, Indian and other curiosities [that] frequently receives additions from foreign sea captains and others who get into their possession foreign articles of an attractive description." When the Mechanics' Institute closed in 1890, the Natural History Society of New Brunswick acquired the collection and the museum was moved, first to the then new Market Building then, in 1906, to 72 Union Street.
Under the care of its curator and later director, the entomologist Dr.
William Mc Intosh, the museum's collections and activities expanded until a new building was essential. As of 1942, the collections, building and properties of the museum officially became the property of the people of New Brunswick.
In 1934 a new Provincial museum facility on Douglas Avenue was officially opened by Prime Minister R. Today a Provincial institution funded by the Province of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Museum continues to collect, preserve, study and exhibit the Province's natural and cultural heritage.
As well as having a remarkable natural sciences collection, the museum has expanded to include one of the largest collections of 19th century decorative arts and Canadiana in the Atlantic Provinces.
By 1992, the museum had outgrown its Douglas Avenue location, and plans were made to develop new exhibition galleries in a central Saint John location.
In April 1996, the New Brunswick Museum officially opened at Market Square in leased space in uptown Saint John ) of exhibition spaces and a wide range of public programs.