The present study reported simultaneous measurements of particle number concentration (PNC), particle mass concentration, water soluble organic carbon (WSOC), organic carbon (OC), elemental carbon (EC), particulate morphology and main elemental properties. The measurements were conducted in a museum located in the downtown area of Shanghai. The impacts of storey, particle size and decorative flooring on particle characteristics inside museum were investigated. Size fractionated PNC in display halls belonging to the same storey exhibited similar daily variations. Particles within the range of 0.3–0.5 µm were identified as the most significant contributors to the overall size distribution measured, as ambient fine particles penetrated through the mechanical ventilation system. Multi-lognormal fitting OC concentrations can be assigned to the presence of tourists in the museum or originate from secondary OC formation. The latter can be estimated by comparing the relationship between OC and EC, as well as OC and WSOC.