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MUSEUMS OF ST. PETERSBURG

Russian Ethnographical Museum


The Russian Museum of Ethnography is one of the largest ethnographic museums in the world. Its collections number about half a million exhibits consisting of objects of everyday life, archive materials, drawings, engravings, lithographs and documentary photographs reflecting the traditional cultures of more than 150 peoples of the Eastern Europe, Siberia, the Far East, the Caucasus and Central Asia from 18th-20th centuries.
 

At the present time, collections of Museum of Ethnography consist of 481.656 museum units and include artifacts, drawings, pictures, negatives and manuscripts. The collections make the complete picture of traditional culture of the inhabitants of the Russian Empire, Soviet Union and its neighbours. This direction in gathering of the pieces of folk culture was defined by the colloquiums of the leading Russian scientists, concerned the conception of the Ethnological Department of the Russian Museum of Alexander III, established by Nicholas II.
 

The fund of traditional pieces of Museum of Ethnography consists of 278.698 
units, characterizing the traditional culture of 158 peoples, settling on the territory 
of Russian Empire and the nearby countries. 100 000 of the units are the objects of traditional Russian culture. Such predominance of Russian culture was envisaged by the conception of the Museum and could be explained by its variety and wealth, and multiplicity of the Russians. At the same time, our funds include rich collections of Byelorussian, Ukrainian, Moldavian, Baltic,  Central Asian, Caucasus, Siberian cultures.
 

The authenticity of the units is guaranteed by the way of gathering and by the qualified specialists. The main sources of collecting are special ethnographic expeditions and dealing with collectors. All units collected or bought are to pass threw careful examination concerning their originality.

Most of the units are dated by the end of 19th - early 20th century, but our collections include pieces of various ages, from 16th-18th centuries to the contemporary objects of folk culture.
 

The picture fund consist of 10.195 drawings, water-colours and paintings. The most precious are the original pictures illustrating the book by I.G. Georgi "The Description of Peoples Inhabiting Russian State", printed in Sankt-Petersburg, 1776-77. There are 96 illustrations, executed on silk, featuring the representatives of various peoples of Russia in their traditional clothings.

The largest part of the picture fund represents drawings in crayon, pencil, Indian ink created by the professional artists and scientists during expeditions. They feature the images of buildings, tools, clothes, ornaments etc. Among the most intersesting for the scientific means are the pictures executed by A.D. Zolotariov (expedition to the Upper Volga region at 1922-25) and by A.A. Miller (the enquiries of the Nothern Caucasus at 1920-27).
 

The negative and negative imprint fund consists of 182.572 units. These are the results of the scientific activities of REM from 1867 to 1999. The pictures give the complete account on the various aspects of everyday life of peoples of Russia: working, selebrating, ceremonies. Among them there are unique pictures made in late 19th - early 20th centuries.
 

The manuscript fund consists of 10.192 archive units. It includes materials on the Museum history, expedition accounts, scientific enquiries that never have been published. The enquiries of "Ethnological Bureau" - an organization established by V.N. Tenishev for the purpose of studying the culture of Russian peasants - appear as the most precious archive of the fund. The Bureau provided a questioning of peasants and representatives of provincial "intelligentsia" (teachers, doctors etc.) and gathered the forms. The accounts from 22 districts of the period of 1896-99 are kept in the fund. They give us a unique possibility to study the attitude of Russian people to the State, Church and the government.
 

The library fund of Museum of Ethnography includes 145.628 issues. It is one of the best libraries specializing on humanities in Sankt-Petersburg. It has a unique collection of issues printed in 17th - 20th centuries concerning ethnology, history, geographics, sociology etc.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT MUSEUM:
  • 4/1 Inzhenernaya Street 
  • Metro - Gistiny Dvor or Nevsky Prospekt
  • Open Tuesday - Sunday, from 10.00 am to 05.00 pm.
  • Closed Monday and last Friday.
PAGES OF THE PICTURE ALBUM
 
 

 

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