Дата публикации: 01 ноября 2021
Автор(ы): Alexandra BUZHILOVA, Yulia LUNKOVA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №2, 2013, C.89-93
Номер публикации: №1635766333

Alexandra BUZHILOVA, Yulia LUNKOVA, (c)

by Alexandra BUZHILOVA, RAS Corresponding Member, director of the Research Institute and Anthropology Museum, Lomonosov Moscow State University, president of the RAS Museum Council; Yulia LUNKOVA, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), academic secretary of the RAS Museum Council, research associate of the RAS Institute of Archeology, Moscow, Russia


Set up in May of 1992 under the auspices of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Museum Council (Council of Museums), is a consultative body of the RAS presiding body, the Presidium. It coordinates work in policies relating to collections and publicity of academic museums.


Welcome guests at the RAS Paleontological Museum in Moscow.

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Jointly with RAS museums, the Council is directly involved in the conservation of the nation's cultural and natural heritage. It is in charge of independent expert examination of policies bearing on the activity of museums and provides assistance in opening new museums. The Council is likewise promoting work in optimizing the operation of RAS museums. It is taking part in drafting documents on the museum business, cooperating with various government bodies, and is involved in other affairs.


Its Bureau is the chief decision-making body setting up provisional expert groups from among the Council's members and delegating to them realization of specific decisions.


Up until the year 2007 the Museum Council had been headed by Dr. Tatyana Alexeeva, a leading anthropologist, senior research associate of the Research Institute & Museum of Anthropology of Lomonosov Moscow State University and full member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Working together with her was academic (scientific) secretary Dr. Irina Zaitseva, of the RAS Institute of Archeology in Moscow. An energetic and dedicated woman, Dr. Alexeeva turned the Council into a high-professional body, she made her best for the top performance of RAS museums. She launched a year-book, the anthology (almanac) Museums of the Russian Academy of Sciences for contributions of museum workers. By 2007 as many as seven annuals had been off the press. After Dr. Alexeeva's untimely death, Acad. Alexei Rozanov, Academician-Secretary of the RAS Department of Biological Sciences, stepped into her shoes. Dr. Tatyana Tumanova (Borisyuk Museum of Paleontology), became the Council's scientific secretary.


The "Program of Support and Development of RAS Museums" was among the priorities of the Council's work in this period. Great attention was attached to inventories of museum objects and collections.


The present chain of command at the Council comprising eminent scholars and museum experts was endorsed by the RAS presiding body on the 10th of October, 2010. RAS Corresponding Member Alexandra Buzhilova, head of the Museum of Anthropology affiliated with Lomonosov Moscow State University, was appointed president; Yulia Lunkova, a historian, became academic secretary.


As before, the main spheres of the Council's activities concerned normative documents on the museum business and science. It continues coordinating the work of RAS museums in what relates to their stocks and expositions. The cultural and natural heritage of the nation as well as education and enlightment is an important facet of this work.


The "Guidelines for Museum Activities" is an important document drafted by the Council in 2011 within the framework of the "Concept of the Advancement of the Russian Academy of Sciences up until 2025". Experts outlined policies for the further development of

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RAS museums in keeping with the federal legislation on the protection and preservation of cultural values, and historic and cultural monuments. We might as well point to the Statute on RAS museums and their collection funds and interdepartmental regulations for itemizing, keeping, and remastering standout objects. These provisions also envisage using collections of RAS museums for scientific research. Proceeding from up-to-date technologies, a unified information network is to be established for collectibles that will facilitate work in basic and applied research, and ensure adequate conditions for the upkeep and security of museum stocks. A string of modern depositaries is to be set up to keep objects safe and in good condition. Further expansion of museum repositories is likewise provided for. All these are planks of the new policy document.


The Guidelines likewise make for turning RAS museums into educational and cultural centers well in touch with museums run by colleges and universities, by government ministries and on the regional level.




Working under RAS are as many as 100 museums. Four of these-the Fersman*, Vernadsky**, Tsitsin and the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kun-stkammer) in St. Petersburg***-double as independent


*All footnotes on the page 93.-Ed.


research centers. The other museums are affiliated with RAS as structural subdivisions. Among these 70 are concerned with the sciences and the humanities, and 30 feature the history of research centers and prominent scientists. The RAS Siberian Branch is in charge of 38 museums, the RAS Far Eastern Branch runs five, and the RAS Ural Branch, four museums.


The number of visitors to museums keeps growing. In 2012 their list topped two million. In many ways this is due to attention shown to exhibits so as to have them in good shape; virtual exhibitions and websites are set up for our guests.




Our annual Anthology (Almanac) on RAS museums, their stocks and activities is an important area of our work. The latest editions (Nos. 8 and 9) deal with tendencies in the upkeep of museums today, and the balance of achievement in 2011 and 2012. Our year-books address people in various fields of knowledge and all those with an interest in the museum science.


Some of the RAS museums are publishing periodicals of their own. Thus, the Tsitsin Botanical Garden is circulating the Information Bulletin on protection of plants; the Fersman Mineralogical Museum is bringing out a journal on new evidence on minerals (in two languages, Russian and English, out in circulation since 2003). Olga Shelegina, learned secretary of the Museum Council of the RAS Siberian Branch, has written a mono-

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graph on Siberian museums, their history and background. This book is off the press.


The website Museums of the Russian Academy of Sciences (http:museumsras.ru) is quite consonant with the trends in informational-educational activities.


In fact, many of the RAS museums are running sites of their own, quite informative and within reach of a wide range of users: the St. Petersburg Museum and Anthropology (Kunstkammer)-http://www.kunstkamera.ru; the Moscow Vernadsky Museum-http//www.sgm.ru. A number of small memorial cabinets at RAS research institutes likewise have their sites: the Pyotr Kapitza museum-cabinet in Moscow****-http://www.kapitza.ras.ru/museum; the memorial flat in St. Petersburg of Peter Kozlov, member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences (1928) and honorary member of the Russian Geographical Society-http://www.kozlovmuseum.ru.




Theme conferences are an important part of work on the museum science, both in theory and in practice. Museum workers get a good chance to learn more about the work of their colleagues. For instance, in 2011 a national conference was held in Novosibirsk on modern trends in the maintenance of museums and in the museum science; convened with the participation of the RAS Museum Council, it marked the 20th anniversary of the Museum of the RAS Siberian Branch. Taking part were many bodies and organizations, with 71 reports presented by representatives of 58 institutions.


All those taking the floor were unanimous in that great changes had been taking place in these last fifteen years of so-both in society and in the museum business. The nation's cultural and natural heritage should be assimilated also on the regional level. Museums and society at large should be more effective in their interaction; museums should step up their educational activities and have a greater part to play in securing steady progress in this and that region.


Our museums are the keepers of priceless collections on the record of Russia's natural wealth and her multidimensional culture. In their headway our museums overstepped their proper bounds long ago and came to stay in educational and academic media.


In this context mention should also be made on a conference arranged in 2010 by the Baikal museum of the Irkutsk Science Center (RAS Siberian Branch). It took up live issues in the activity of RAS natural science research bodies, in standartization of collection depositaries, among many other things.


Let us stress: RAS museums are active in educational work with school pupils and college students; they do this

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by setting up expositions of visual aids in learning centers. For example, a museum affiliated with the Zhir-munsky Institute of Marine Biology (RAS Far Eastern Branch) has realized the "City at the Seaside" project mean to stimulate the interest among school students in research and in conservation of natural water systems. In 2010 this project merited a national ecological prize from the Vernadsky Foundation in the nomination "Ecological Initiatives and Child Ecological Education".


Yet another example: in 2010 the Fersman Mineral-ogical Museum came up with a new educational program for schoolchildren, "Museum Puzzlers", with two innovative subjects-most-fun guides through museum expositions, the "Fersman Rebus" and the "Fersman Rainbow". These guides rendered as thrilling games went through an expert examination at UNESCO's International Council of Museums***** and gained the honor to put the ICOM logo on the cover as a quality


Our museums are taking part in international research programs, a policy that boosts the international status of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Thus, the Moscow-based Orlov Museum of Paleontology, in collaboration with the French Centre National de Recherche, has been studying materials on the oldest Frank quadruped


* The Fersman Mineralogical Museum is the nation's largest museum of mineralogy and is among the world's five great museums of this kind. Over 150,000 samples are in its care. It was founded by Peter the Great, who in 1716 purchased a collection of minerals in Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland) for a "mineral cabinet". See: M. Generalov, "Mineral Depository of the Academy of Sciences", No. 6, 2009.-Ed.


** Vernadsky Geological Museum is the oldest museum dealing with the earth sciences. A major research and educational center, it furnishes a retrospective picture of the natural sciences of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.-Ed.


*** The St. Petersburg Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography is one of the world's largest and oldest museums, the successor of the famous Petrine Kunstkammer founded in 1714. Today this museum is the only one in Russia with collections on the culture and history of peoples, archeology and anthropology the world over.-Ed.


**** Pyotr Kapitza's memorial cabinet was established in keeping with the decision of the RAS Presidium on the commemoration of this great physicist. Its exhibits trace his lifework with its ups and downs, hours of glory and black patches when no one was certain about his future. Put on display are devices and instruments from Cambridge, Britain, where Kapitza was researching for a while, and those made by Kapitza and for Kapitza. There is a gallery of photographic portraits of standout people (nearly all autographed and dedicated), medals, diplomas and other mementoes attesting to the great international prestige of this physicist and public figure. A diploma of a Nobel Prize, awarded to him in 1978, takes pride of place.-Ed.


Obruchevichthys*******. And the Leningrad Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkammer) is participating in the "Birth of the Carpet" International project providing for exhibits, catalogs, websites and an international conference on oriental carpet-making.


All RAS museums are making studies on available collections replenished as ever. Their workers are in charge of museum and collegiate projects, and their works run into thousands of articles and hundreds of monographs.


In addition, many RAS museums organize field parties or else take part in expeditions of kindred institutions.


Now to summarize. Using all available resources, the Museum Council as a coordinating body is working in tandem with the Russian Academy of Sciences and expanding the Academy's research potential. Our museums take a worthy place within the academic system.


***** See: M. Malygina, "The UNESCO Award", Science in Russia, No. 2, 2011.--Ed.


****** International Council of Museums (ICOM), nongovernmental professional organization set up in 1946. It has the highest category "A" consultative status at UNESCO and the UN Economic and Social Council. This international body of museums and museum specialists is involved in the custody of world natural and cultural heritage, both material and intellectual, both available today and that of the future. It is financed above all from ICOM membership dues as well by UNESCO, ICOM Fund and national committees. ICOM is implementing the UNESCO program in what concerns museums. Its headquarters are in Paris, France, which is also the seat of the ICOM secretariat, and ICOM-UNESCO information center.


******* Recovered in Latvia, this is a quadruped of the Upper Devonian (360 mln years ago). When found, its jawbone (the only fossil of this animal known to date), was taken for the remains of an ancient fish. Yet when studied closely, the find revealed certain characteristics common with Elginerpeton pancheni, an amphibian predator of the Upper Devonian from Scotland, described in 1995. Paleontologists concurred that the Latvian relic belongs to the oldest group of quadrupeds.-Ed.



Опубликовано на Порталусе 01 ноября 2021 года

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