MPGU Museum was founded in 1991 as a merger of the MPGU Center of Historical Studies (1990-2000) and History Museum (2001-2015). Total area of the museum is 150 m2. The museum is not only one of cultural activity centers, but also a proud keeper of MPGU scientific and pedagogical traditions, its exhibits connect university’s past with its present. The museum has four exhibition halls: «Women’s Courses of Higher Education», «MPGI named after Lenin in WWII 1941-1945», «MPGU today», an archaeological hall (which is also Department of History educational center) and 5 scientific collections:
- Collection dedicated to history of Moscow State Pedagogical University and higher pedagogical education
- Zoological and ecological collection named after Professor A. Kotz of the Institute of Biology and Chemistry
- Geological-mineralogical collection of the Faculty of Geography
- Botanical collection «Herbarium named after Professor A. Elenevskiy (MOSP)» of the Institute of Biology and Chemistry
- A private collection dedicated to sport and the Olympic Movement
In 2014 MPGU Museum became a nominee for the prestigious award «European Museum Forum of the Year Award 2014». It is the only museum in Russia nominated for UNESCO and European Council award.
From 3500 to 7000 students, pupils, delegates and Moscow citizens visit MPGU History Museum annually.
Zoological and ecological collection named after Professor A. Kotz
The founder of the collection is A. Kots, the reknown scientist-evolutionist, museologist, founder and first director of the Darwinian museum. Since 1907 he was teaching classes on the evolutionary theory in Women’s Courses of Higher Education. He transferred his growing collection to WCHE exhibition halls in Merzlyakovsky Lane for educational purposes. In 1922 the WCHE Museum of Evolutionary History became an independent scientific and educational establishment – the Darwinian Museum, and separates from the educational establishment.
A part of Kots’s collection remained in MPGU after creation of the Darwinian museum. His manuals became the main part of the MPGU zoological and ecological collection. Currently the collection consists of more than 1000 exhibits.
Geological and Mineralogical Collection
The geological and mineralogical collection of MPGU belongs to the Department of Geography and consists of two offices: mineral-petrographic and paleontologic. The collection contains more than 4000 pieces of minerals and rocks and over 2000 fossils located in two rooms. Many pieces are unique.
The outset of the collection dated back to the heyday of Women’s Courses of Higher Education– the first 2 decades of the 20th century. MPGU geological minerological collection is based on the collection of V. Vernadsky’s mineralogical museum. The collection gradually acquired specimen of minerals and rocks from a number of companies based in Heidelberg, Bonn and Munich. The collection expanded thanks to field research done by the Department teachers.
Collection of Russian and Foreign Art
Although MPGU is not an art university, it has a unique collection of works of Russian and foreign art of XVIII – the first half of the XX centuries. Some works date back to the XVIII century. The collection was founded by V.Potyomkin (1874-1946), the first director of Academy of Pedagogical Sciences of RSFSR, and named after him later. The collection was given as a gift to MPGU in the 1960s. It reflects not only the founders’ artistic preferences, but also the political situation in the USSR in the 1930s and 1940s.
The pride of the collection is a number of works by famous Russian artists — Repin, Serov, Korovin, Bilibin, P. Klodt, M. Klodt, Lermitt and others. The collection also has two bronze sculptures made by foreign artists: «Bather», made by E. Falkon and an Italian copy of the Roman statue «Resting Hermes».
Rare Book Department
“Women’s Courses of Higher Education” Institute was established in 1872 and the library was opened to public in 1873. Both teacher and students took part in formation of the library by donating either money or books and periodicals to it. Sometimes scientists were selling their private libraries to WCHE library. Books written by WCHE teachers were also added to the library fund. As a result, nowadays MPGU has a large collection of rare books, many of which are scientific, historical and cultural literary monuments.
Since 1993 MPGU was funding, conserving and restoring rare books and in 2016 the University created Rare Book Department. Overall, there are more than 40,000 items in the collection.
The collection consists of:
933 items from private book collections
More than 1500 items of books and textbooks for children
2431 items of almanacs and periodicals of the 18th, 19thand 20thCenturies.
Access to the Department is free and no special permission is required.
Building of Institute of Physics and Information Technology
The building of the Institute of physics and information technology is the cultural heritage site of Moscow. Designed by A.N. Sokolov and A.A. Aikhenvald, it was constructed on the initiative and, to a considerable extent, at the expense of D.I. Tikhomirov in 1913.
The observatory is located in the centre of Moscow. It was opened for demonstrating optical devices by E.S. Tryndin in 1904. In 1921, great scientific work began there, a solar-eclipse expeditionary group was sent to Murmansk. In 1924, the Interplanetary Society which was the first not only in our country, but also in the world started its activity at the observatory. An active participant in the research of the Interplanetary Society was famous scientist and inventor F.A. Zander who worked on the creation of a jet-engine at that time. Today the AVR-2 telescope, the third-biggest stationary telescope in Moscow, has been set under the observatory’s dome in the observation platform of the Faculty of physics and information technology.
Building of Chemistry Department
The Chemistry Department is situated in Moscow’s old district of Khamovniki. The year 1812 was significant for the building. The building was spared by the Great Fire of Moscow. Besides, famous philanthropist N.B. Shakhovskaya (married name: Trubetskaya) was born that year. According to her suggestion, the Women’s committee of the Moscow branch of the Russian Society of Care about Wounded and Sick Soldiers was created here in 1868. Later the society was transformed into the Russian Red Cross Society.
In 1933, the Natural Science Department was established in the building. Until the beginning of WWII the Dean of the Department was famous scientist Professor B. Vsesvyatskiy, specialist in natural science.
In 1946, the Institute was named after V. Potemkin. The main building of the Institute was located in Denisovskiy side street. Today the Faculty of Mathematics of Moscow Polytechnic University is situated there.
Physics Demonstration Laboratory
The Laboratory is located in the building of the Faculty of Physics and IT. The museum of physical devices collected in the course of 100 years was founded by A.A. Aikhenvald. It is one of the oldest and most well-equipped demonstration laboratories in Russian higher education institutions.
MPGU herbarium, founded in the 1890s, holds a collection of more than than 110 thousand preserved specimens and is the third largest herbarium in Moscow (after the Moscow State University Herbarium and the Herbarium of the Main botanical garden of the Russian Academy of Sciences), and accumulated examples of 70 % of Russian flora. It has own international index – MOSP. The collections of the herbarium are constantly being augmented through field research conducted on the territory of Russia. Annually more than 100 specimen are added to the collection. As a result, MPGU herbarium makes a big contribution to scientific research in Russia.