Mangystau Regional Museum of Local History is one of the largest museums in Kazakhstan. The museum was founded in 1975; collections are about the history, archeology, ethnography, nature and culture of the region. There are more than 52 thousand exhibits, the best of which are represented in halls, consist of departments of nature, archeology, history and ethnography, and contemporary history.
Exhibition area of the museum is more than 700 square meters. The entire exhibition is located in the nine thematic rooms. Unique Hall of flora and fauna of the Caspian Sea has rich and different exhibits, and does not have analogues in Kazakhstan. The collection of the museum has considerable herbarium characteristic peninsula of Mangyshlak and Ustyurt.
The museum has rich paleontological collections, which gives a picture of the geological past the edge.
Exposition of nature begins with an introduction of geomorphology and geography of Mangystau region. Geology hall has colorful mini-dioramas, display cases, maps, charts, which tell about the geological picture, minerals, paleontology of Mangystau. Nature hall gives rich information about the fauna, especially avifauna edge, flora and other natural objects.
Hall of archeology covers the history of Mangystau from Paleolithic times to the eighteenth century BC. The stone sculptures of Ustiurt from sanctuaries of early nomads are unique monuments of the early Iron Age. The heyday of the economy and trade in the middle ages was connected with one of the branches of the Great Silk Road, passing through the Ustyurt to marine wharves of Mangystau. All the unique history of the region is reflected in the exhibits, which are presented in the museum.
The expositions of ethnography hall are reflected the life and basic employment of regional population until the early of the 20th century. The distinctive arts and crafts of Kazakhs in Mangystau present national handicrafts of artisans, yurt with all furniture and masterpieces of art masters of bone carving, wood and stone. A rich collection of national jewelry is made of precious metals and stones, which is the pride of the museum.
Historical Hall of Mangystau reflects the socio-economic and political life of the Mangystau in the XIX century and has the historical data of the first fortresses of the first Russian settlers, the peasant uprising which led by Dosan Tazhiev and other events.
Exposition of historical hall of Mangystau is devoted to the most important historical events of the first half of the twentieth century, which directly affected to the region. The rapid development of the regional economics, from the 50s of the twentieth century, and development of oil deposits, the development of nuclear and chemical industries have defined a new era in the life of the peninsula.
Special room in the museum is devoted to the 100th anniversary of the oil industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Here is given full information about the first geological expeditions, scientists of geology, honored oil and gas companies, industrial oil and gas fields of Mangyshlak.
Hall "Kazakhstan - in the years of independence" was opened in 2004. The exhibition hall covers the establishment of a new sovereign state, and the events which were in the Mangystau region in recent years, the development prospects of the region. All this is reflected in numerous documents and photographs, which exhibited in the hall.
Room, which is devoted to the work of the national writer A.Kekilbayev, tells about the life and creative achievements and socio-political activities of the national writer, master of words of international familiarity.
The Museum has two permanent branches in Zhanaozen and the Shetpe district.
Museum staff is constantly engaged in scientific work and the completion of the funds. Museum has functioning departments of nature, history, archeology and ethnography department, excursion mass work and department funds.
Currently, the center "Heritage of Mangystau" is attached to the building of the museum under the program "Cultural heritage". It is planned to use rich collections of ethnographic objects from the museum, deeper and from different angles in order to show the history, ethnography, traditions and life of Mangystau population in the center. The visitor will be able to understand deeper poetry, songs, spiritual, historical, cultural and literary heritage of the Mangystau Kazakhs. The center will not only show exposition, but also be a place, where artisans can show their works, hear audio and sound of dombra, and other associated heritage of Mangystau.