The Sibelius Museum was founded in 1926 when Otto Andersson was appointed the first Professor of Musicology and Folklore at Åbo Akademi University, the only Swedish language university in Finland. In conjunction with the seminar library, Professor Andersson collected material about musicology and the history of music, including sheet music, musical instruments, letters and pictures. Thus emerged “The Collections of Musical History at Åbo Akademi University”, as they were called until 1949, when the name, with the consent of Jean Sibelius, was changed into the Sibelius Museum. In the year 2005 the museum and the Department of Musicology at Åbo Akademi University were separated through an administrative reform. However, the museum building was the physical home of the Department of Musicology up to the year 2011.

During it’s first years the museum was housed in different buildings in the university quarters, but since the inauguration of the new building in 1968, the Sibelius Museum has been were it is now. From 1968 onwards, the museum has arranged a concert series in its concert hall, offering chamber music performed by prominent musicians from both Finland and abroad.

Even though the Department of Musicology is nowadays separate from the museum, the Sibelius Museum is still associated with Åbo Akademi University. The exhibition and concert activities are privately funded through the Åbo Akademi University Endowment.