The Museum is located in the complex of the former Convent of San Mattia, erected around the mid-1200s near Porta Saragozza. It displays material that provides an insight into the general and local history from 1919 to the present day.
The museum heritage is made up of document archives, artistic and photographic images, posters, multimedia materials and all kinds of testimonies.
The museum is managed by the Parri Emilia-Romagna Institute for the History and Memories of the 1900s located within the same complex and including an archive, library as well as an audiovisual and educational section. It also carries out scientific research and cultural promotion activities. The Institute is also home to the Centre for the historical-political documentation on Italian terrorism (Centro per la documentazione storico-politica dello Stragismo), the Luciano Bergonzini Institute for the History of the Resistance and of Contemporary Society in the Bologna Province (Istituto per la Storia della Resistenza e della società contemporanea nella provincia di Bologna Luciano Bergonzini) and the National Laboratory for the Teaching of History (Laboratorio nazionale per la didattica della Storia), which are also resources available to the public of the museum.