The foundations of the museum work in Sliven were laid as early as the Bulgarian National Revival period when patriotically-minded citizens collected relics of the time of the Bulgarian medieval kingdom.
The real foundation of the museum work began immediately after the liberation of the town from the Ottoman rule when the Committee of the Moscow ethnographic society was founded on 14 February 1878 in Sliven.
The aim of the committee was to find and explore the remains of old burial grounds, churches, monasteries and caves in the surroundings of the town.
Ten years later, on 27 January, 1888 a learned society was founded with the aim of studying the district of Sliven in every aspect.
The society had its own statute and "instruction for collecting archaeological, historical and geographical materials.
The next step in the museum work was made in 1923 when an archaeological society was founded. The aim of the society, as it was written in its statute, was to "find, store, keep and explore the monuments of the past of the district of Sliven and to make people interested in them". All antiquities collected by the society were placed and preserved in the museum of the "Zora" library and community centre in Sliven.