The Provincial Museum for Carniola (established in 1821), which is a direct antecedent of the Slovenian Museum of Natural History , was based predominantly on the NHCs; the oldest collections date back to the 17th century. In 1921, when the Provincial museum was renamed into the National Museum, the NHCs were organized as the Natural History Department but gained formal independency in 1944. Despite this, the Slovenian Museum of Natural History remained in the old building of the Provincial museum (open to public in 1888), where it is still now.
In the Decision on establishing (Official Gazette of RS, no. 60/2003, Official Gazette of RS, no. 11/2009), the Republic of Slovenia aligns the operation of the public organization Slovenian Museum of Natural History with the provisions of the Law on the Implementation of Public interest in culture. The Slovenian Government deals with the founding rights and obligations of the Republic of Slovenia.