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irkutsk regional Museum of local lore


Irkutsk Oblast
Irkutsk, K. Marx str., 13
Get acquainted with the history and nature of Eastern Siberia, archaeological finds, see rare and pre-revolutionary publications, visit one of the first icebreakers in the world.


In the exhibition department "Museum Studio" you can see the collections of the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore.
The Nature Department presents rich paleontological, geological and zoological collections, as well as an exhibition dedicated to the nature of the Pre-Baikal region.
The History Department, located in the former museum of the East Siberian Department of the Russian Geographical Society, includes the following expositions: "Ethnography of the peoples of Eastern Siberia. Buryats, Evenks, Tofalars", "Archaeological collections", "Annexation and economic development of the Angara region by the Russians", "Pages of the history of the XX century".
The department " Window to Asia "(a museum complex located in the recreated historical quarter" Irkutsk Sloboda") tells about the development, study and accession to Russia of the north-eastern part of the Asian continent.
On the basis of the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, the museum of the writer and publicist Valentin Rasputin, as well as the Cultural and Educational Center named after St. Innocent (Veniaminov), which includes both secular and spiritual objects, are opened.


The Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore is one of the oldest in Russia. It was founded in December 1782 on the initiative of the Irkutsk governor Franz Klitschka, who called on the "city fathers" to donate funds for the construction of a museum and the first book depository. Local merchants responded to the call, and the governor himself contributed a significant amount.
The museum's prosperity was promoted by the opening of the Siberian Department of the Russian Geographical Society in Irkutsk in 1851, which it entered into in 1854.
In 1879, a large-scale fire occurred in Irkutsk, destroying most of the city. unfortunately, the disaster did not go around the museum: 22 thousand unique exhibits were burned, the richest library, which numbered more than 10 thousand books, was lost. After the fire, the townspeople began collecting for the construction of a new stone building of the museum, and on October 6, 1883, its grand opening took place.
In 1920, the Irkutsk Museum was nationalized and transferred to the state. 16 years later, an art collection was allocated from the storerooms of the institution, which became the basis of the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum.
In 1950-60-ies the funds of the Irkutsk regional Museum of local lore has been enriched with materials about the builders of the Irkutsk hydroelectric station, the development and establishment of new industrial centers in the East (Shelekhov, Bratsk, Ust-Ilimsk) and, of course, about the construction of the Baikal-Amur mainline.
Currently, the Irkutsk Regional Museum of Local Lore includes seven departments. Its employees continue the traditions of their predecessors - they complete funds, carefully store unique collections. The museum has new exhibitions and expositions, which are visited annually by up to 300 thousand people.

Interesting Facts

In the halls of the "Museum Studio" seminars and scientific and practical conferences are held, representatives of museums of the Irkutsk region annually gather here for the festival "Mayevka". Concerts of folk and classical music are very popular with visitors.
On the basis of the Irkutsk Museum, you can visit the icebreaker "Angara", the exposition of which tells about the history of navigation on Lake Baikal. Among the exhibits are models and models of various ships that sailed on Lake Baikal since the XVII century, as well as a model of the ferry "Baikal", which has not survived to this day. The exhibition presents a fragment of the interior of the First class cabin and authentic ship's instruments, as well as an authentic ship's bell of the icebreaker "Angara". Visitors can see the personal belongings of the captains, donated to the museum in different years. By the way, the Angara is one of the first icebreakers in the world.
The department of the book fund of the museum, which dates back to 1872, has a unique literature. Among other things, there are handwritten books, as well as books of Cyrillic and civil fonts; a collection of Chinese woodcuts; local pre-revolutionary (including periodicals) publications; foreign publications of the XIX-XXI centuries. The collection includes books from the libraries of Irkutsk scientists, writers, and public figures.
A "Virtual Museum"is available for Internet users. Its visitors can see a collection of silver, rare geographical maps, read the issues of archival periodicals " Irkutsk Diocesan Vedomosti "(1863-64) and "Izvestiya Vostochno-Sibirskogo department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society" (VSOIRGO) for 1856-1965.