Just like the Central Library, the museum of Astan Quds Razavi is nearly as old as the holy shrine itself. The aim of establishing this cultural center in the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) is displaying the Holy Shrine antiques and the exquisite works donated by the lovers of the Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) to this celestial shrine. The love and devotion of the Shi’as toward Imam Reza (A.S.) is the essential factor in donation of precious and rare objects to this holy place.
The historical objects donated to Astan Quds Razavi or manufactured for the Holy Shrine were preserved in a certain place called treasury (Khazaneh). Based on the available documents, a place was assigned for display of the museum objects in 1316/1937 that was welcomed by many Iranian officials and foreign Orientalists.
The museum of Astan Quds Razavi was inaugurated in 1324/1945 at the eastern side of Gowharshad Mosque next to the mausoleum of the Sheikh Bahaei in three floors including a ground floor and two upper floors covering an area of 1,034sq.m. In 1351/1972, the objects of the museum were transferred to the Formalities Hall of Astan Quds Razavi, located in the museum courtyard and a new building for museum was put on agenda at the southern side of the Holy Shrine. In 1356/1977 the new museum was inaugurated that consisted of two halls in one floor, as large as about 1300 sq.m., and included a variety of objects such as carpets, weapons, dishes, and architectural tools used in the Razavi Holy Shrine such as illumination devices, Mihrabs (prayer niches), and doors of the Holy Shrine.
After the victory of Islamic revolution, under the wise and powerful management of the Grand Custodian of Astan Quds Razavi, the cultural spaces of Astan Quds Razavi was developed at a fast pace. It was finally extended to 16 museums including Supreme Leader’s Gifts Treasury, Carpet Specialized Museum, Master Farshchian’s Works Hall, Treasury of Razavi Holy Shrine History, Visual Arts Treasury, Treasury of Stamps and Postal History, Banknotes Treasury, Coins Treasury, Dishes Treasury, Clocks Treasury, Weapons Treasury, Astronomy Treasury, Aquatics Treasury, Medals Treasury, and Anthropology Museum. All the displaying objects of the museum that mainly were marked with little information until the revolution now have been completely examined, documented, and archived.