The building functioned as the Children Welfare Society and a Military Hospital during the time of the First World War. At present, the museum is a house of many relevant Indian artefacts and relics from the time of Indus Valley Civilization to the time of the mighty ancient Empires like the Mauryas, Guptas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. It also displays many historically significant objects from foreign lands. All these are categorised into three main sections, Art, Archaeology and Natural History. Apart from these, the forestry section, Maritime Heritage Gallery, Karl and Meherbai Khandalavala Collection and the Coins of India are some of the other special attractions. It is declared as a Grade I Heritage Building of the city.