Following the resolution of the general meeting, St Petersburg University has been accepted into the Union of Museums of Russia. As a union member, the University will be able to advocate the interests of museums before state authorities and public institutions, as well as take part in preserving and studying the museum collections of the Russian Federation.

The Resolution of the general meeting of the Union of Museums of Russia

The University possesses extensive museum, teaching and scientific collections that contain over three million items. This is almost as many as at the Hermitage Museum. The University museums open their doors for everyone interested in the history of science. They also serve as a platform for students to implement their research and creative projects: perform academic tasks; act as tour guides; and create design projects devoted to the museum items. Besides, the University scientists regularly turn to the unique collections in their research activity. Many of the University collections were started in the 19th century, while others were only opened to the public a decade ago. In 2017, the University activity on creating museums and expositions of the cultural and natural heritage items was recognised by the Government of Russia as one of the legitimate activities of the University.

According to Senior Vice-Rector Elena Chernova, the membership of St Petersburg University in the Union of Museums of Russia will give a fresh impetus to the development of museum collections.

The University collections that have been formed over centuries are incredibly diverse in their topics. Some of them include the oldest collections in various fields of knowledge in the country. Every year the University museums are attended by thousands of people, but students and University employees are the most frequent guests.

Elena Chernova, Senior Vice-Rector of St Petersburg University

‘The University museums store real treasures that present interest to the wider public. I’m confident that the entry into the Union of Museums of Russia will make our collections more accessible not only to University students and employees, but also to all citizens, guests of St Petersburg and international tourists, who would like to see them,’ noted Elena Chernova.

The Union of Museums of Russia was established in 2001. During the 20 years of its activity, over 400 museums from 76 subjects of the Russian Federation became members. They include the Kizhi State Open Air Museum, Maloyaroslavets Historical Museum of the 1812 War, Tsiolkovsky State Museum of the History of Cosmonautics, the Kalashnikov Museum and Exhibition Complex of Small Arms, Ivan Shishkin Memorial House Museum, the Spasskoe-Lutovinovo Turgenev State Memorial Museum and Natural Reserve, the Rosphoto State Russian Museum and Exhibition Centre, Smolny State Historical and Memorial Museum, and many others.

The organisation takes part in public discussions of all legal and regulatory acts related to the activity of museums in Russia; represents the interests of museums of Russia in the councils and committees of the Presidential Administration and the Government of the Russian Federation; and interacts with the authorities of the regions, where the museums—members of the Union operate. The President of the Union of Museums of Russia is Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Director of the State Hermitage Museum, Dean of the Faculty of Asian and African Studies.