First collections of the museum were accumulated by the teacher J. Šiaučiūnas prior to the official establishment in 1930 (founder – J. Šiaučiūnas). Till 1940 the museum displayed about 630 exhibits. Almost all of them were collected in Kernavė or its nearest environs. Though the collection of archaeological articles (ca 250 pieces) was almost the most abundant one, its specimens often appeared to be incidental minor articles and fragments thereof without their origin and age determined explicitly. The rest part of the collection was constituted of ethnographical, historical and numismatic (ca 180 pieces) material.
The collections of the museum were insignificantly enriched after the World War II but till the very beginning of the systematic archaeological researches in 1979 almost all of them had enough room in the exposition.
Presently the situation has radically changed. Archaeological, ethnographical, historical and numismatic exhibits are preserved in the museum the specialisation of which is archaeology. Ethnographical and historical exhibits were collected in environs of Kernavė and in Kernavė itself and reflect only the near past of this locality.
In the museum collection are preserved 20 579 pieces in total, including 15 213 pieces in the main collection and 5366 in the auxiliary collection (data of January 2013)
In the archaeological collection is accumulated the material of scientific research since the beginning of them in 1979.
Unique monuments of Kernavė cover all archaeological periods of Lithuania from the Lower Paleolithic till the XVIII century. The Stone Age is represented by individual flint finds ascribed to the darnel culture of the IX millennium BC and rich collection of Mesolithic and Neolithic period flint articles from the settlements of the Pajauta Valley. The collections include clay urns and bronze articles from the unique burial ground ascribed to the incised pottery culture of the I millennium BC.
The museum presents abundant material from the mounds and settlements of the first centuries AD, local articles are displayed along with the import from the Roman Empire. The basis of the archaeological collections is constituted from the material ascribed to the XIII - XIV centuries from the mounds, town in the Pajauta Valley and the burial ground of Kriveikiškės. The finds got in the museum from the individual farmsteads of artisans represent the certain handicrafts. The exposition is rich in the articles made of organic materials (wood, bark, birch-bark, leather). Ornamented articles from birch-bark have no analogues not only in the Lithuanian museums but in museums of neighbouring countries too.
The museum has a rich collection of import material ascribed to the XIII - XIV centuries represented by oriental glass, silver adornments. Together with the articles collected in Kernavė itself the exhibits from the neighbouring Karmazinai, Varliškiai, Popai - Vingeliai burial mounds and the settlements of Grabijolai and Karmazinai are preserved in the funds of the museum.
The numismatic collection of the museum is not very rich but all coins from this collection were found in Kernavė and its environs. The oldest coin is the silver denarius of Marcus Aurelius, the years 161-162. Lithuanian silver alloys from Kernavė Castle Hill and Mitkiškiai treasures, fragments of alloys and the falsification from the territories of mounds, town and the burial ground, as well as the all type first Lithuanian coins make the most significant part of the numismatic collections.
Since 2010 we are participating in Lithuanian integral museum information system (LIMIS) project. Soon most of our collections will be available in digital format at www.limis.lt. Please feel free to visit and see out first exhibits there.