The museum was located in the Department of Classics in the Armstrong Building of the main University campus. It was founded in 1956 by Professor Brian B. Shefton with a grant of £20 from the University's Rector, Charles Bosanquet. Since then the collection has grown to over 800 objects. Professor B.B. Shefton was the curator until 1984 when his role was taken over by Professor Tony Spawforth. Shefton died on 25 January 2012, aged 92.