The idea of establishing a museum organization of Sivas goes back to the old years. In the Republic Period (1922), the collection of the distributed works in a school at the province centre and establishment of a museum have been requested. We see that in the school, converted into a high school, a small museum has been established and valuable works have been included in the museum collections. This museum was roughly arranged and opened for visit in 1923.
When it is understood that the development of the museum was impossible in the high school building, a suitable place had been looked for in the city and the museum and its works was transferred to Gökmedrese in 1927 for the purpose of evaluating the old works in the province centre. The museum could be handled in a systematic way only after that time. Meanwhile, a part of the works have been sent to Ankara and a part of them have been given to the Museum - House, where the ethnographic works existed. In 1951, the works given to the Ethnography Museum have been taken back, and some other works have been collected from the surroundings. Until 1968, the museum has carried out its function in Gökmedrese and has was to Buriciye Madrasa in the same year.
On November 1st 1983, Sivas Museum was moved to the high school building, where the historical congress was held on September 4th 1919, and the Buriciye Madrasa has been repaired in order to be used as the Archaeology and Stone Works Museum.
The building, where the Sivas Congress had been held, was thought by the Governor Sırrı Pasha in 1880s and its first bases have been laid in those years, then the Governor Memduh Pasha changed the location of the first base with its current form and opened to service in 1892 with the name the "Mülki İdadi".
After that, the building had been used as Sultani and was named as the "Sivas High School" in 1924. The building, which had been used as a high school until 1981, has taken its last form as a museum in 1983. While ethnographic works are exhibited in the 1st floor of the three-story building, the exhibition of information and documents relating to the Atatürk - Sivas Congress and the National Struggle is made on the 2nd floor.
The repair works are being continued in the Buriciye Madrasa and the Akaylar Mansion, which are units connected to the Sivas Museum.
One of the museums connected to the Museum directorate is the Aşık Veysel museum. The Ministry of Culture has nationalized a house in the Sivrialan Village of the Şarkışla District of Sivas in 1979 and converted it into a museum and opened it to visit on March 21st 1982. In this museum, goods used by Aşık Veysel, regional weavings and photographs are exhibited.
In the registers of the Sivas Museum Directorate as of the end of 1997, there are 2857 ethnographic works, 4621 coins, 1965 archaeological works, 50 nail - written slabs, 215 seals and seal prints, 182 hand - written books, being 9890 in total.
The Atatürk and The Congress Museum
The building used as the "Headquarters for the National Struggle" by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Representation Commission between the dates September 2nd - December 18th 1919, has a very important and exceptional place in our Republic history.
The inscription of four lines, indicating that the building has been constructed by the Sivas Governor Mazlum Paşazade Mehmet Memduh Bey as Mülki İdadi building on Rebiül - evvel 12th 1310 in accordance with Islamic Calendar (October 5th 1892 Gregorian), is still in the Sivas Museum.
The building, which is one of late Ottoman Period civil architecture samples of the 19th century, has three floors and an internal courtyard. The main material is stone in its external sides an wood in the internal places.
The building, which has been assigned as official headquarters for a period of three and a half months to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his friends has gained a historical identity since the Sivas Congress meetings have been held here, the National Struggle in Anatolia has been organized here.It has been proved to the whole world that the public will is over any kind of constraints and a personal and class management and the bases of the Republic Management have been laid there.
Thirty two members representing nineteen cities have participated the Sivas Congress, but due to the delegates elected from the cities and participated the congress later, these numbers show variance.
The building, which continued to fuction as a school building since the date of its construction, has been called with the names the İdadi, the Sultani, the Sivas High School, the Congress High School. In a repair performed in 1930, the main entrance on the eastern side had been moved to the western side and the roof had been covered with steel sheets.
The building, which had served as a high school until 1981, was planned to be converted into a museum upon the directives of the President Kenan Evren. In 1984, the Congress Building has been transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and as the result of the restoration, exhibition and arrangement works started the same year by the General Directorate of Ancient Works and Museums of our ministry, the basement has been arranged as the place where the warehouses, laboratory and photograph room are located, while the ground floor is arranged as the Ethnography Museum and the upper floor is arranged as the Atatürk and Congress Museum.
In the show hall of the building, which has been used as headquarters for some time by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the Representation commission, the meetings of the Sivas Congress have been held between the dates September 4th - 12th 1919. The Historical Congress Hall and the resting and the study room belonging to Atatürk are kept in the conditions that were existent on the days during which the congress was held.
On the upper floor, the hall where the notifications and circulars relating to the events before the congress, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk congress preparation; the telegraph room constituting the base of the communication of that time; the hall where the minutes of the Sivas Congress are kept; the documents including the notifications and news relating to the Anatolian Women Country Defence Association whose centre was established in Sivas and the printing machine with which İrade - i Milliye Newspaper was printed and the halls, where volumes of this newspaper are exhibited, are located.
Documents related to all the decisions taken in Sivas during and after the Sivas Congress, the Presidency Mansion - the Atatürk Special Archive, the Special Archive of General Staff Presidency, the Military History Commission and an attaché, the samples of the documents in the archives of the Atatürk Research Centre Presidency are exhibited in the museum.
The Atatürk Congress and Ethnography Museum
The Ethnographic Works Section
The building, which was constructed by the Sivas Governor Memduh Pasha in 1892, is one of the most beautiful samples of the Late Ottoman Period civil architecture. The building has three floors and an internal courtyard and stone material is used in its external sides, while wooden material is used in the internal places. The building, which has been used by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Representation commission as a headquarters and which was a Sultani at those dates, has gained a historical identity with the Sivas Congress held there between the dates September 4th - 12th 1919.
The building, which had been used as a school until 1981, was opened to the public as a museum in 1990, after the completion of repair, exhibition and arrangement works.
The historical congress Hall in the upper floor, the study and the resting room belonging to Atatürk are kept in the conditions that were existent at the days of the Congress.
On this floor there are places where various documents relating to the Congress are exhibited.
The ground floor of the building has completely been reserved for ethnographic works.
The Gun Section: Various war tools such as swords, daggers, armors, helmets, arrows, bows, rifles, pistols, a gunpowered rifle are exhibited.
The A. Turan Türkeroğlu (Hacı Beslen) Room: A separate place has been reserved for Hacı Beslen in the museum, who donated the ethnographic works, coins, plates, that are among the beautiful samples of calligraphy and the collection of oilpainted tables to the museum.
The Kilim Section: The samples of kilims and prayer rugs collected from Sivas and its surroundings are in this section. The wooden minbar of the Divriği Kale Mosque dated to 1180 is also exhibited there.
The Sivas Main Room: The main room, where the guests were entertained in Sivas mansions in the Ottoman Period, has been arranged as it was in old times with the stove - heating system, ornamented curtains, a divan, a mattress, pillow sitting places and sherbet cups. The Exhibition with the mannequins is also made here.
The wooden works belonging to the Divriği Ulu Mosque are also exhibited in this section.
The Copper Works Section: The large trays, ewers, cauldrons, canteens, large washtubs, pans, strainers, candelabrums used in daily life in the Ottoman period as well as fountain spouts, weight measures, locks and door knockers are included in this section.
The Section of the Dervish Lodge Goods: Flags, battle - axes, skewers, prayer beads, candles, zikr prayer beads, a tambourine, jingles, etc are exhibited here.
The Clothes and the Hand- made ornaments: Various clothes such as handkerchiefs, short jackets, etc special to the Sivas region, prayer rugs, towels and bundles are exhibited in three halls. The clothes in the middle showcase are presented to the visitors on mannequins.
The mid courtyard of the museum building has been arranged in the form of a carpet section. The carpets belonging to the Sivas region are exhibited in chronological order.
The fourteen windows opening to this courtyard and located on a corridor are converted into showcases and coffee sets, silver Jewellery, writing and calligraphy - related works, glass and porcelain goods, lamps are exhibited in these showcases.
The inscription showing the construction date of the building and the portrait carpet of Memduh Pasha, who had the building constructed, woven in Sivas in 1904 (1322 in Islamic calendar) are among the important works in the museum.
The Kangal socks, the carpet pillow covers presented to the museum by Prof. Dr. Şefik Dener are exhibited in a separate showcase. The Gürün shawls constitute a separate work group in the museum.