City and regional museums of East Kazakhstan in XX century

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018

Author: Turova Lidiya, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan

City and regional museums play an important role in preserving the history and traditions of the population of East Kazakhstan. Each of them has original collections and expositions reflecting features, nature, history and economy, ethnic structure of the population, other aspects of life of the region.

In 1951 a graduate of the St. Petersburg (at that time Leningrad) University Vitaliy Anissimov (a native of the Vologda region) arrived in the village of Vydrikha of Shemonaikhinsky district of the East Kazakhstan region; he came there by the post-graduation work assignment to teach geography in school. He stayed in the village and became the School Principal. He liked to go hiking with children. Also, he initiated the creation of a museum. In this museum, he made an exhibition of various relics depicting a complex 250-year-oldhistory of an Old Believer village. More than a hundred years ago, writer-ethnographer Alexander Novosse-lov noted that Vydrikha in terms of population is not inferior to Shemonaikha. Vydrikha, he wrote, is the center of the old believers of the Austrian persuasion. During a trip to the Ubariver, another famous writer – Georgiy Grebenshchikov singled out among the Vydrikha leaders: Old Believers Sukhorukov, Yegorov, but most importantly Alexander Firsov, who later became a prototype of Firs Churayev, the hero of his famous novel-epic “Churayev”. The Museum has preserved Firsov’ wardrobe. Vitaly Anissimov made a record in the old inventory book: «The wardrobe from the house of the merchant Firsov". This gorgeous vintage wardrobe decorates today the Museum of Anatoly Ivanov’s Vydrihinskaya school. The Museum itself began with this wardrobe. The museum also stored and exhibited the first findings that the students brought from their summer trips [1, p. 3].

In 1955, the opening of Zyryanovsky mine took place. In the third year of work they went down to the foot of the mountain Rudny. Here they discovered friable rocks – loams. Upon removing one layer, they would discover another. Some-where at the depth of 20 meters, the excavator unearthed some white subjects - bones, vertebra, and mammoth tusks. The further the work progressed, the more bones of different animals were collected. The Director of the lead plant then was Yury Voronenkov. He immediately ordered to collect findings to organize a Museum corner. It was created at the end of 1958.Thus, the history of the future Zyryanovsky local history Museum began with paleontological finds placed in the Museum corner of one of the departments of the Zyryanovsky lead plant. In 1985 the public museum in the city of Zyryanovsk received a status of “national” and became a Department of the East Kazakhstan regional historical Museum. In 1992, the Department of the regional Museum was included into the local budget. It became independent in a very difficult, critical time. But, judging by some publications of the second half of the 90s of the XX century, it didn’t just survive, but also actively worked, especially in the field of education. In 1996, the Director of the Museum of those years, L. Yakimchuk, and the researcher Z. Gordiyenko, were among the organizers of a very tough city competition among young local historians. The competition consisted of five rounds and demanded from children erudition, deep knowledge of history, geography and nature of the Bukhtarma region. Young local historians told a lot of interesting things about the old believers and the cossacks, read the poems of the East Kazakhstan poets- M. Chistyakov, F. Karbushev [2, p. 6; 3].

The history of the city Museum of local lore in Ridder (at that time the city of Leninogorsk) began in 1961 with paintings by Yuri Khabarovsky and a collection of minerals by Vladimir Klink. At the end of the twentieth century in the exposition of the Museum there were about eight hundred exhibits, and in the funds – “more than twenty-four thousand exhibits” [4, 9].

The Leninogorsk and Zyryanovsk museums collected rich materials related to the history of geology, mining and non-ferrous metallurgy, as well as to the history of the development of these territories for three centuries [5, 150].

On September 17, 1964 there was the “Order of the Ministry of Culture” of the Kazakh Republic, and in 1965 there appeared a "Department of Museum of historical monuments under “Management of cultural educational institutions of the Ministry of Culture of the Kazakh SSR” [6, p. 1].

Since the mid-60s of the XX century, the establishment of museums in the country significantly intensified, both at the state level and due to the growth of public initiative. This is evidenced by specific examples from the museum practice related to East Kazakhstan.

In 1967 in the village of Rulikha of Shemonaikhinsky district of East Kazakhstan region the teacher of history at the local school Klavdiya Kozmina set the purpose-to make the chronicle of the village. With that began the history of the school museum, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2017.

Vera Kalinina, the class teacher of ZoyaIsmagulova – the third head of the school museum in the village of Rulikha became the successor of Kozmina. V. Kalinina collected the rich material about the Great Patriotic War [7, p. 4], and Z. Ismagulova was the first to receive the right for the publication of work with data on local history activity at her native school in Alma-Ata [8].

In the school museum of the village of Rulikha the material is organized by different periods of the local history. Here, for example, there is data on the history of its being a collective farm “Aurora”. Everything began with the organization in the village of Saranchevo (it isn't on the map of Shemonaikhinsky district any more) of the commune “Aurora” by a Moscow worker Aleksey Chervyakov. He didn’t live here long, but wrote the book "Far-close «about those times. He also corresponded with Rulikhinsky school students [7, p. 4].

Children collected household items for a long time and now in the school Museum of the village of Rulikha you can find all household items of a Russian house (izba). These items were recreated using the books and the stories of grandfathers and grandmothers. There are also original preserved items they managed to find in their homes. Here you can even see the bats shoes. It was considered that people didn’t wear sandals in these parts [7, p. 4].

The collection of minerals from the fields of Shemonaikhinsky district was presented to the school museum of the village of Rulikha by geologist Valerian Grishin.

There are no random materials in this museum, because all of them are somehow connected with the history of the district, village or school.

Not every school is at the foot of a volcano. The building was built in the early seventies; when the hills were leveled there were fossilized tree branches and stone balls found. Unexpected finds were sent to the regional museum; from there they were sent to Leningrad. Scientists have determined that this is the result of the volcano, which erupted 20-30 million years ago. In the school museum there were small fossilized branches, rocks with imprints of the needles. And all this -presenting far and near, past and present- intertwined in a small room of the Museum.

In the second half of the 90s of the past century the school of the village of Rulikha “became obsessed with a new idea” - paying attention to a slogan “All people are brothers”. Within the native village, they easily confirmed it “by the example of only one class”. All 32 students of the class tried to make a “family tree”. It turned out that in spite of the fact that a class was multinational, 30 people found close or distant relatives among themselves. Out of24 teachers of the school 17 were relatives. And like in Rulikha all immigrants began to look for their roots. They took the world map; found out that communications of Rulikha citizens were not only with Russia, Ukraine, but also with America, Germany, Egypt and other countries [7, page 4].

In 1971, four well-known museums were created in the region almost simultaneously: local history museums in Zaissan, Kurchumsky, Shemonaikhinsky regions and F. M. Dostoyevsky literary-memorial Museum in Semipalatinsk.

In 1971, the museum in Shemnaik-ha started forming other collections. In 1973 another exhibit was added to the museum –“the building of 1911”–“the building of former volost justice”. In April, 1975 the opening of the first exposition of the Shemonaikhinsky “national” museum took place. In 1979 it was transformed into Shemonaikhinsky “regional museum of local lore” with the status of a branch of the East Kazakhstan regional local history museum. The museum expenses were included into the regional budget in 16 years, in 1995. Then it was included into the structure of Shemonaikhinsky department of culture, and in 1998 the museum was registered as the public budget-supported company [9, p. 159-162].

Today the Shemonaikhinsky local history museum has more than 12 thousand units of storage, it hosts 200 events a year (by efforts of two employees, and, not only in the museum, but also in villages of the area), and there are constant publications in the local and regional newspapers telling about various events: about traditions of the people inhabiting this area. It has 6 thousand visitors annually. The staff of the museum repeatedly participated in the international conferences on ethnography, in the national and international folklore festivals. In the showroom of the museum the old friends meet, the new names are discovered [9, page 162].

By richness of its funds and quality of work Shemonaikhinsky local history museum for many years has been receiving the title of the best regional museum. The staff of this museum created a fine exposition dedicated to the nature of the area collected the rich material on culture and life of the Russian immigrants, a collection of Old Russian painting [5, page 150].

There was a necessity to open the second of the above-mentioned four museums - the museum in Zaissan. The first petition in this respect ("Executive committee of the East Kazakhstan village regional council of deputies of workers") was issued on November 26, 1964 [10].

Opening of the museum in Zaissan in the sixties of the XX century didn't take place (the issue “with the room to host it” wasn't resolved). The museum in Zaissan was not opens until the next decade. In modern publications about it, in particular, it is told: “magnificent samples of the Kazakh ethnography of XIX - early XX centuries are stored in funds of the Zaissan and Kurchumsky museums” [5, page 150].

The impetus for the creation of the Museum in the city of Semipalatinsk was a “Literaturnaya Gazeta” newspaper of May 20, 1965, signed by the writers and scientists K. Fedin, L. Leonov, V. Lidin, V. Kirpotin and G. Kogan, the Director of the Moscow Dostoevsky Museum-apart-ment. It talked about the need to keep the house associated with the memory of the writer, in Semipalatinsk and Novokuz-netsk, and think about their future. In October 1965, by the decision of the Executive Committee the first floor of the house on 118, Dostoevsky Street (former home of the postman Lapukhin on Krepostnaya street) was released of the tenants. The space was given to the city library, which received the name of F. M. Dostoevsky the following year. The collector and custodian of valuable materials in the library was the head of the library, Zinaida Furtseva. She addressed famous writers and literary critics, the largest libraries and archives with the request to help in shaping the future of the Museum Fund. In 1968, the city celebrated its 250th anniversary. The grandson of the great writer Andrey Dostoevsky was invited to the anniversary celebration. He visited the library of the Museum, took a picture with the staff. By 1968, significant materials were collected from the archives, where documents of Dostoevsky are stored. The Library - Museum began to work as a branch of the regional Museum of local history. The same year people living on the second floor of the house-memorial where in 1857-59 Dostoevsky’s family lived wearer housed and the house was completely transformed into the Museum. In this house, M. Dostoevsky wrote the stories: “Dyadyushkin Son” (The uncle's dream), “Derevnya Stepanchikovo i ee obitateli” (Stepanchikovo Village and its Inhabitants). Here he worked on “Zapiskiiz Myortvogo Doma” (Notes from the Dead house), started working on “Unizhennye I Oskorblennye” (Humiliated and Offended). In 1971, when the world community celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of F. Dostoyevsky, the independent Semipa-latinsk regional literary Museum of Dos-toevsky was opened by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Kazakh SSR ¹261 of May 7, 1971. The museum funds began to grow rapidly, the role of the Museum increased. And it became clear that the area of the Museum of 114 square meters is quite small and needed extension. This two-story building, which has the shape of a half-opened book, pages of which are the painting "Writer's Cabinet", "Petersburg of Dostoevsky", a bronze sculpture of "F. M. Dostoevsky and Ch. Valikhanov" by D. Elbakidze erected near the house in 1976, is a tribute to Semipalatinsk glorious sons of Russian and Kazakh people, whose destinies were bound by this land. The literary composition is located in a new building on the second floor. It depicts the life and creative activity, the fate of Dostoevsky's heritage. Exposition exhibitions are held on the ground floor. The house - memorial contains household items of the middle of the XIX century [11, p. 43-49].

More than fifty cities are connected with the name of Dostoevsky – Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Dresden. In some of them he stayed for a long time, the others he just passed through, to dome of them he returned again and again. In Semipala-tinsk, the writer was not at his own will. But according to his confession, it was he-re that he came back to life after the “melancholy prison” in Omsk stockade town.

The publications devoted to East Kazakhstan emphasize that the Museum of Dostoevsky in Semipalatinsk is one of the best museums telling about the life and creative work of the great writer. There is a great review about this Museum of the famous writer Daniil Granin; the review is very emotional and, somewhat exaggerated: "I personally have not seen anything similar in the capital, in the central museums. Everything - scope, affection, design, and artistic innovation – all are admirable" [5, p. 242].

The fourth year of the XXI century is marked by the 150th anniversary of the arrival in Semipalatinsk of Fyodor Dos-toyevsky. Employees of the Semipalatinsk Museum, preparing for the anniversary, turned to their archive folders, looked though the interesting pages of the life of the great writer. The contents of some of them are discussed in the article of the chief custodian of the funds of the Museum Natalya Barbarat. “The fate of the drummer”, the title of the articles accompanied by a photo of the “drummer” (but in adulthood, with “daughter Yelena”).

The circle of acquaintances of Fedor Dostoyeskyin Semipalatinsk was extensive: officers, officials, people from simple, exiled groups, - it is told in article by N. Barbarat. - With some of them Dostoevsky was genuinely friendly, with others he was connected by his military service. There were people he only met a few times. A friend of the writer, the young Baron, said about this: "He found an apology to the worst sides of the person: explaining all the shortcomings of education, the influence of the environment in which they grew up and lived, and often even nature and temperament. “But, probably, not only indulgence forced the writer to tolerate some people, but also his extreme professional interest indifferent human natures” [12, p. 4].

In conclusion, there is information related to Semipalatinsky F. M. Dostoevsky literary - memorial Museum: the date of its foundation is rather 1971, not 1965 [5, p. 149], but 1971 [11, p. 46-47]. In 1965, the director of the Museum, I. F. Melnikovmade the first steps to create the Museum, thanks to the opening of the city library in the house where in 1857-1859 in Semipalatinsk M. Dostoevsky lived. The foundation of the Museum, as already mentioned, took place on May 7, 1971 [11, p. 44-47].

Since the 70s of XX century in Kurchum started its work a school Museum, organized by the initiative and under the direct leadership of Mstislav Kushnikov – a secondary school teacher [13, p.7]. In 1976, the Kurchum school Museum became a Museum “on a voluntary basis”. It was placed in a “small room, in the children's library” [13, p.7]. In 1979, remaining in the same conditions, the Museum received the status of the branch of the state Museum – East Kazakhstan regional Museum of local history [14, p. 30]. However, the actual discovery in village Kurchum district of the Museum, many relate to 1986 when the branch moved into a new building [4]. In 1992, as Zyryanov branch, was put “on a local budget”. Since 1992, the Kurchum district Museum of local history has become an independent Museum in the region.

In 1974, a Museum was open in the village of Sugatovka, which is located in the Shemonaikhinsky district of East Kazakhstan region. Like many other museums of the region, it is a museum of history and local lore. Its materials, exhibition reflects mainly the history of the village, which was founded by the Germans [15, p. 3]. The Museum founded by the initiative of the Y. Starozhilovwas originally called a historical museum. Currently, it is a museum of local lore. The Museum consists of two rooms: local history and ethnographic. The Museum has about 500 exhibits. Many interesting exhibits were collected by children: a passport book, an open letter, a certificate of injury, bread cards and many more.

The history of the presented museums of the cities and the areas of East Kazakhstan region is in its own way fascinating and unique. The role of museums in East Kazakhstan is undeniable, as they have preserved the historical and cultural heritage of the past of our native land.


1. Kratenko, A. Derevnya, teplayadushoi (Vydrikha). [The Village with a soul (Vydrikha)] // RudnyAltai.-2003.-April 17.-p.3.

2. Lukhtanov, A., Zyryanovskaya Pluto-niya [Zyryanovsk Plutonia] (a museum corner in Zyryanovsk Lead Factory) // Rudny Altai. - 2000. – July 8.

3. Tashkimbayev, A. Konkurs Yunykh Krayevedov [A Contest of Young Local History Experts] // Rudny Altai. - 1996.-June 1.

4.Polomoshnova,L. Khranitelnitsa Istorii (Direktor Leninogorskogo Gorodskogo Muzeya) [The Preswrver of History (Leninogorsk Citi Museum Head)]// Rudny Altai - 1999. - July 17 - p.9.

5. Kultura Vostochnogo Kazakhstana. Dushai Pamyat Naroda [The Culture of East Kazakhstan. People’ Soul and Memory]. – Ust-Kamenogorsk, 2003. - 302 p.

6. Prikazpo Ministerstvu Kultury Kazakhskoy SSR, Alma-Ata, N112 ot 17 Sentyabrya 1964 goda [The Order of the Ministry of Culture of Kazakh SSR, Alma-Ata, as of September 17, 1964] // EKOM: Museum archives – Copy – 1 p.

7. Shmunk, G. Rulikha: Tri Stoletiya v Shklnom Museye. [Rulikha: Three centuries in a School Museum]// RudnyAltai-1997.-November 25.-p.4.

8. Ismagulova, Z. A.(ed.) OR oli Krayevedeniyav Kommunisticheskom Vospitanii Uchashchikhsyana UrokakhIstorii [On the Role of Local History Studies in the Communist Education in History Classes]. –Alma-Ata: CIUU, 1979.

9. Kharchenko, N. G. Shemonaikhinsky Istoiko-Kraevedcheskiy Musei: Istoriya Sozdaniya i Stanovleniya [Shemonaik-hinsky Museum of History and Local Lore: History of Foundation and Development] - Shemonaikha, 2002. - pp. 159-162.

10. Ob Otkrytiiv Gorode Zaissane Filiala Oblastnogo Krayeedchskogo muzeya: Resheniye Ispolkoma Oblsoveta [On Creation of the Branch of the Regional Museum of History and Local Lore in Zaissan: a Decree of the Local Executive Soviet as of November 26, 1964] EKOM: Museum Archives. – Copy – 1p.

11. Melnikova, I.F.(ed.) Istoriya Semipalatinskogo Muzeya F.M. Dostoyevs-kogo. [The History of Semipalatinsk F. Dostoyevsky Museum] - Semipalatinsk, 1999. - p. 43-49.

12. Barbarat, N. Sudba Barabanshchika [The Drumer’s Fate]// Rudny Altai-2004. –April, 6. – p. 4.

13. Kabdualiyev, D. N. Istoriya Kurchumskogo Raionapo Materialam mestnogo Muzeya i Mestnoi Povremennoi Pechati 1997-2003. [The History of Kurchum Region in the Materials of the Local Museum and Local Press] – Ust-Kame-nogorsk: EKSU, 2004. – Electronic manuscript. – 93 p.

14. Shmunk, G. Trudnye Vekhi Stanitsy (Ust-Kamenogorsk, Skolnyi Muzey Stanitsy) [Hard Times of the Settlement (Ust-Kamenogorsk, the School Museum of the Settlement)]// Rudny Altai. -2003.-March, 15. - p. 2.

15. Shmunk, G. Istoriya Sugatovki v Shkolnom Museye. [The History of Sugatovka in a School Museum] // Rudny Altai. -2000. – October, 21. - p. 3.

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №10 - 2018

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