In the 1950s, the museum received a donation of several hundred items from the private collection of Dr. Helen Kim, then president of Ewha, and also launched various preservation and research projects. In the 1960s the museum developed into a full-scale cultural institution by opening a new museum building with exhibition space for a permanent collection. In 1990, the museum acquired another museum building (4,400㎡) in commemoration of Ewha’s centennial, and strengthened its collection and exhibition management system as well as its educational function. The museum's achievements during this decade comprised a series of outstanding special exhibitions; a systematic classification of relics; a computerized collection management system of the collections; and the launch of the museum’s official website. In 1999, the Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery and the outdoor sculpture park were created, thereby improving the museum’s function and capacity. The museum was then extended to its current size with extension works commencing in 2005, leading to the opening of Donated Artifacts Exhibition Hall, Museum Library, and Education Room in 2006.
Ewha Womans University Museum currently holds an extensive collection of Korean cultural heritage, covering diverse fields including archaeology, history, folk art, and modern and contemporary art. The collection encompasses prehistoric bronze ware, iron ware, and earthenware; artifacts from ancient tomb excavations, roof tiles, bricks, and earthenware from the Three Kingdoms period; “Inscription on the Wall of Pyeongyang Fortress” (Treasure No. 642), the only Goguryeo artifact remaining in South Korea; Buddhist art pieces and earthenware from the Unified Silla period including statues of Buddha and stone lantern pedestals; metalwork and ceramics from the Goryeo period such as celadon, white porcelain, and green-brown glazed stoneware; grayish-blue powdered celadon, white porcelain, woodwork, paintings and calligraphic works, and folklore material from the Joseon period; and numerous modern and contemporary artworks.
The museum’s collection encompasses state-designated cultural heritage including two National Treasures, 11 pieces of eight Treasures, and three Important Folklore Materials, as well as five pieces of Seoul Tangible Cultural Heritage and one piece of Registered Cultural Heritage. The most notable artifacts in the collection include White Porcelain Jar with Grapevine Design in Underglaze Iron (National Treasure No. 107), Celadon Jar with the Inscription “the 4th Year of Sunwha” (National Treasure No. 326), and Gisa-gyecheop (Album of Paintings of the Gathering of Elders) (Treasure No. 638). In addition, the Chang Budeok Memorial Gallery houses a collection of upper-class garments in the Joseon Dynasty, which were donated by Professor Chang Sookhwan of the Department of Fashion Industry in honor of her mother, the late Ms. Chang Budeok.