The museum is housed in a two-storey building constructed in 1972 by the Chinese. This building is housing the Mauritanian Institute of Scientific Research, the Mauritanian Manuscripts Conservation Center and the National Library.
National Museum of Mauritania consists of two permanent exhibition rooms and a temporary exhibition room.
The archaeological collections on the ground floor show Mousterian, Aterian and Neolithic artifacts as well as holdings from excavations carried out in several historic Mauritanian cities such as Koumbi Saleh, Aoudaghost, Tichit, Ouadane and Azougui. The ethnographic collections on the first floor contain objects belonging to different cultures of the Mauritanian society.