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SPbU 1724 — 2022

St Petersburg University History Museum

1945

January-October

St Petersburg University established the University’s History Museum that is the oldest and one of the largest museums of the history of a higher educational institution in our country.

The origins of the St Petersburg University History Museum go back to the 1930s, when the idea of opening a permanent museum was formulated in the University newspaper and in the book of reviews of the exhibition on the history of the University. The outbreak of war prevented the implementation of these plans. During the evacuation in Saratov, a group of historians led by Vladimir Mavrodin, Dean of the Faculty of History, continued to study the history of the University and collect materials for the future museum. In the autumn of 1944, after returning from Saratov, a new exhibition on the history of the University was opened and the staffing of the University Museum was approved until the end of the year. Six positions were stipulated. Among them were the director and their assistant; a tour guide; two attendants; a cleaner; and a doorman.

On 13 January 1945, at a meeting of deans of faculties and directors of research institutes, the following resolution was adopted: ‘To consider it necessary in the future to reorganise the exhibition into a permanent museum. To instruct the committee to submit, no later than 15 February, a project for the creation of a University-wide museum based on the materials of the University-wide exhibition. To expand the museum, it is necessary to find necessary premises’. On 8 February, a meeting of the committee for organising a museum on the history of Leningrad State University was held and it was decided that the museum should reflect all aspects of the life and activities of the University.

On 2 June 1945, Rector of Leningrad State University Alexander Voznesensky issued an order to form a committee chaired by Vice-Rector for Research Professor Stanislav Kalesnik. The committee was instructed to continue studying the history of the University and preparing a large-scale work on this topic. The museum was part of the University library, headed by Professor Osip Weinstein.