The origin of this Museum goes back to the period soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on the fateful evening of January 30, 1948, when the slow process of scouting for, collecting and preserving the personal relics, manuscripts, books, journals and documents, photographic and audio-visual material, all that could go into a Museum on the life, philosophy and work of Gandhiji--began in an unostentatious way in Mumbai.
Later the work was shifted to Delhi and in early 1951 the nucleus of a Museum on Gandhiji was set up in the Government hutments adjoining Kota House. Later still, in mid-1957, it was shifted to the picturesque old mansion at 5, Mansingh Road.
It was finally brought to its present new and permanent home, most appropriately built opposite the SAMADHI of Mahatma Gandhi - free India's most revered place of pilgrimage-at Rajghat, New Delhi, in 1959. The imposing two storey Museum was formally inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India, on January 30, 1961.
The Museum was named 'Gandhi Memorial Museum' (Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya),
now commonly known as 'National Gandhi Museum' (Rashtriya Gandhi Sangrahalaya)
as there are also a number of regional Gandhi memorial museums in India.