Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawaii and has the worlds largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. The museum is accessible on public transit, TheBus Routes A,1,2,7,10, the museum complex is home to the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center. Charles Reed Bishop, a businessman and philanthropist, co-founder of the First Hawaiian Bank and Kamehameha Schools, built the museum in memory of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Born into the family, she was the last legal heir of the Kamehameha Dynasty. Bishop had originally intended the museum to house family heirlooms passed down to him through the lineage of his wife. Bishop hired William Tufts Brigham as the first curator of the Museum, in 1898, Bishop had Hawaiian Hall and Polynesian Hall built on the campus, in the popular Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style. The Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper dubbed these two structures as the noblest buildings of Honolulu, today both halls are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawaiian Hall is home to a complete skeleton, accompanied by a papier-mâché body suspended above the central gallery. Along the walls are prized koa wood display cases, today this wood in total is more than the original Bishop Museum buildings. In 1940, Kamehameha Schools moved to its new campus in Kapālama, Bishop Hall, first built for use by the school, was adapted for museum use. Most other school structures were razed, and new facilities were constructed. By the late 1980s, the Bishop Museum had become the largest natural and cultural institution in Polynesia. In 1988, construction of the Castle Memorial Building was begun, dedicated on January 13,1990, Castle Memorial Building houses all the major traveling exhibits that come to the Bishop Museum from institutions around the world. The Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center opened in November 2005, the building is designed as a learning center for children, and includes many interactive exhibits focused on marine science, volcanology, and related sciences. The museum library has one of the most extensive collections of books, periodicals, newspapers and special collections concerned with Hawaii and the Pacific. The archives hold the results of studies done by museum staff in the Pacific Basin, as well as manuscripts, photographs, artwork, oral histories, commercial sound recordings. Many of Hawaiʻis royalty, including Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Queen Liliʻuokalani, manuscripts in the collection also include scientific papers, genealogical records, and memorabilia. The library provides access to the collection of published diaries, narratives, memoirs
The Hawaiian Hall at the Bishop Museum contains the world's largest collection of Polynesian artifacts
Ke Aliʻi Bernice Pauahi Paki Bishop's husband, Charles Reed Bishop, created the museum to preserve royal heirlooms passed down to him upon his wife's death.