The idea of establishing a museum in Pruszków emerged in the early 1970s. The endeavour was launched by the then Heritage Conservation Officer for the Warsaw Voivodship – Stefan Woyda; the impulse to create such an institution came from his discovery, at the end of the 1960s, of the so-called Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy. The museum would assist in advanced archaeological exploration of this newly uncovered phenomenon and in its popularisation, neither being possible without appropriate institutional support. The choice of Pruszków as the seat was not accidental, as the town is located in the centre of the area of iron smelting activity in Antiquity. A major factor in Pruszków’s favour was the supportive stance of its inhabitants and the helping hand extended by the then City Fathers who, among others, provided the Museum with a 19th-century outbuilding of the Potulicki Family Manor. The institution opened on the 1st of June 1975, with Stefan Woyda as its Director, a post he held for over three decades. Since 2006, the Museum has been headed by Dorota Słowińska-Kamasa.
The first core exhibition “Time of Iron. Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy from the Roman Age” was unveiled in 1992. In 2014, following a general renewal of the Museum’s building, it was replaced by “Daybreak – Mazovian Centre of Metallurgy from the turn of the eras”. Both displays have been warmly received by the Public, as evidenced by the awards and honourable mentions received by the Museum.
From its inception, the Museum has pursued a three-pronged path – academic, inventory and education-outreach. The first pillar involves academic (archaeological) research into the past of Mazovia. The second – care and custody of the extensive collection obtained from numerous excavation campaigns (collection, excavations). The third – broadly understood popularisation of cultural heritage (education, ARTEfakty).