Emeryk Hutten-Czapski, a Russian civil servant till 1879 (vice-governor of Saint Petersburg, among others), collector, bibliophile, and numismatist by avocation, assembled more than 11,000 coins, medals, orders, banknotes, and prints, as well as a library of rich collections at the family estate in Stańków. When he moved to Krakow in 1894, he bought a palace on ul. Piłsudskiego. He ordered the construction of a separate pavilion for his unique collection of numismats, books, and old maps that he assembled and personally catalogued.
Emeryk Hutten-Czapski died during organisational works on the 23rd of July 1896. We was buried at the Rakowicki Cemetery. On the 12th of March 1903, the family handed over his collection to the city. In 1904, the Czapski Museum became a branch of the National Museum. After Count Bogdan Hutten-Czapski’s death in 1937, the museum was expanded by an archive of correspondence and the book collection of the deceased. With time, Czapski’s collection was complemented by donations from: Wiktor Wittyg (medieval coins), Zygmunt Zakrzewski (5,000 Piast dynasty coins), Franciszek Piekosiński and Karol Halama (antique coins), and Piotr Umiński (coins of the Order of Teutonic Knights and Courland coins). The entire collection was available to visitors till 1939. To date, the collection of numismats presented at the Numismatic Room has been expanded eightfold.
On the 27th of June 2013, after 70-years’ break, the Emeryk Hutten-Czapski Museum on ul. Piłsudskiego 10-12, possessing the most valuable collection of Polish coins, medals, and banknotes in the world was opened to visitors once again.