The University of Southern Mindanao, a premier academic institution, is strategically located at the heart of Central Mindanao. Being an active catalyst, the University feels the need to link with one’s past in order to leap forward to the future. Thus, a Museum was established, purposely as repository of cultural materials of Indigenous Peoples and the Bangsamoro people showcasing their rich culture and heritage.
The Museum was established during the term of President Dominador D. Clemente constructed and officially opened on October 1, 1974. Sultan Dr. Maniaga P. Mantawil was the first curator considering that he was a member of a royal and ruling Maguindanao clan. Datu Mantawil stayed in the position from 1974 to 1989. He was succeeded by Hadji Ginandang Bansilan. Both of them contributed much to the development of the Museum.
The University of Southern Mindanao Museum is the third oldest museum in the entire Mindanao, after the Aga Khan Museum of the Mindanao State University (1961) and the Xavier Folklife Museum (now Museo de Oro) of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan (1967). It was followed only by the establishment of the National Museum of the Caraga Region in Butuan City (1979).
During the presidency of Dr. Virgilio G. Oliva (1994-2004), a new office was created that subsumed the Museum under its wing, the University Socio-Cultural Affairs Office (USCAO). Heading this office is Prof. Flora M. Garcia. There were seven performing arts groups under the umbrella of USCAO and the Museum is only one unit under which was managed by Mr. Kaharudin P. Manamba who is a Maguindanaoan himself and an alumnus of the University.
Dr. Anita C. Sornito, RL Director of University Learning Resource Center is the newly designated Head for the supervision and management of Museum Services.