The National Shadow Puppetry Museum is based in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. The museum was established in 2004 by the People’s Republic of China to collect, preserve, study, and display Chinese shadow figures and puppets, as well as puppetry from other countries. The opening of its new facility is scheduled for late 2015.
Situated on the west side of Tianfu Square in the center of Chengdu, the museum occupies 2,000 square meters of exhibition space and will be a major resource center for puppetry in the world.
The National Shadow Puppetry Museum houses some 210,000 puppets, comprising around 200,000 shadow puppets and in excess of 10,000 puppets of other types. It is the largest collection in the world devoted to a specific national tradition (puppet-like objects).
The collection represents artifacts from China and South East Asia that date from the middle of the Ming dynasty (15th century) to the 1970s. Rare treasures of the collection include palace scenery and light-colored “grey” shadow figures of Shaanxi Shadows, Qinghai shadow figures, Chengdu giant shadow figures, Tengchong shadow figures from Yunnan, small Kunming shadow figures, South East Asian shadow figures from the frontier of Yunnan, Yunnan marionettes, Tibetan puppets from Gannan, and puppets from Fujian, Shanxi, Guangdong, and Haining in Zhejiang. Shadow figure carving tools, scripts, instruments, and documentation on folk artists are also part of the collection. The museum continues to conduct research and add to the collection.
According to the Internet