Prior to its officially establishing in 1907, there had been several calls for the establishment of a museum in Kimberley, but nothing had materialised.
Eventually, a Mrs McGregor, the widow of a previous mayor of Kimberley, Alexander McGregor, donated the funds necessary to establish the museum. The official title was to be the Alexander McGregor Memorial Museum, but it has been affectionately known over the last 100 years as The McGregor.
The first director of the Museum (from 1908-1947) was Miss Maria Wilman who had studied geology, mineralogy and chemistry at Cambridge University. She was also interested in botany and archaeology and published major works on these two subjects. Since her appointment, the McGregor Museum has gone from strength to strength under a number of directors and has made important contributions to the ecological and historical knowledge of the Northern Cape.