The museum was founded by Pope Gregory XVI in 1837 and mostly contains objects that starting from 1828 were found in the excavations of the ancient cities of southern Etruria (today northern Latium), then part of the Pontifical State. With the end of the Pontifical State in 1870, the territorial authority of the museum comes to an end and it will no longer be enlarged by excavation material but only by the occasional acquisition of archaeolgical collections, all of old formation and extraordinary importance: the purchase of the Falcioni collection (1898), the donations of Benedetto Guglielmi in 1935 and of Mario Astarita in 1967, the purchase of the Giacinto Guglielmi collection in 1987. The museum contains material from between the 9th and the 1st century BC, from the iron age until the progressive and definitive converging of the Etruscan cities into the structure of the Roman state. The millenary history of the Etruscan people is narrated here by ceramics, bronzes, silver and gold which document a flourishing craft structure and a special artistic civilization. An integral part of the museum is the large collection of Greek vases, although these were found in the Etruscan necropolises, and of Italiot vases (produced in the Hellenized cities of southern Italy), which permit following the history of ancient painting through famous products of potters and ceramists. Adjacent to the Etruscan Museum is a section dedicated to Roman antiquities (Antiquarium Romanum), which come from Rome itself and from Lazio, with bronzes, glass, architectural terra-cottas and ceramics for everyday use. The museum is located within the Palazzetto of Innocent VIII (1484-1492) and in the adjacent building of the time of Pius IV (1559-1565), where it is possible to admire considerable parts of the original decoration, among which frescoes by Federico Barocci and Federico Zuccari (1563) and by Santi di Tito and Niccolò Circignani delle Pomarance (1564).
Major Monographs (only Italian)