The collection was assembled by the archaeologists Father Giuseppe Marchi and Giovanni Battista de Rossi. Marchi collected the sculptured monuments of the early Christian ages, while de Rossi the ancient Christian inscriptions; a third department of the museum consisted of copies of some of the more important catacomb frescoes. Father Marchi was appointed the director of the new institution.
The Pontifical Museum of Christian Antiquities is a museum founded by the Popes housed in the Lateran Palace, adjacent to the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy. In 1854 Pius IX added the Pio Christian Museum to the Lateran Profane Museum, which is made up of sculptures, especially sarcophagi, and ancient Christian inscriptions, and later adding two rooms of artifacts taken from the excavations of Ostia carried out in San Ercolano and San Aurea (1856-1869), as well as from Prince A. Torlonia in Porto in 1866.