Nowadays our collection counts about half a million exhibits, and it includes a number of invaluable family relics which you have donated to the museum.
The idea to create a collection for a future Museum of Revolution appeared in the days of the first Russian revolution. Representatives of different public movements – from narodniks to Bolsheviks - realized the necessity of starting such a collection. In 1907, independently of one another, they decided to preserve evidences of their political activities for future generations.In fact, the collection started in the same 1907, which was 12 years earlier than the museum itself was officially created. It became the first considerable part of an extremely rich gathering of revolutionary relics. This collection has preserved for us a unique scent of the time which got the name “the epoch of great shocks”. It was these first exhibits that predetermined the image of our museum’s predecessor – the State Museum of Revolution which was created in Petrograd in October 1919.
The collection includes objects connected with the history of revolutionary movement and political prisoners’ life and activities. You can also find here Russian underground and foreign “free” periodicals which were gathered by members of the “Narodnaya Volya” movement, prisoners of Shlisselburg convict prison, and Bolsheviks. Among the first collectors we can name Shlisselburg convict prisoner M. Novorussky, bibliographer from Academy of Sciences V. Sreznevsky, member of the Academy S. Oldenburg, sculptor I. Ginzburg, proletarian writer Maxim Gorky, leader of Bolsheviks’ military group L. Krasin, cultural workers A. Lunacharsky, N. Burenin and some other political and publics figures of that time.By the mid-1920s the museum had a unique collection of revolutionary banners, a very important gathering of leaflets issued by different political parties, posters, photos and other items. The museum collection illustrates the heroic and tragic history of our country for the period of more than 200 years, and it certainly is one of the most interesting collections dealing with the problems of state structure history, public movements, political life of Russia in the 19th-20th centuries. During the last decades due to our researchers’ efforts and donators’ participation the museum has really turned into a unique Museum of Political History of Russia. Relics concerning the Soviet period and modern history of Russia, materials telling about the centennial history of Russian Parliamentarism and activities of modern political parties and movements have become part of the collection. Documents and personal belongings of G. Malrnkov, N. Khrushchev, G. Zhukov, Y. Gagarin, A. Kosygin. G. Romanov, M. Gorbachev, A. Sobchak, G. Yavlinsky, G. Starovoitova and other outstanding public figures of the past and the present have enriched the museum stocks.
We are grateful to our curators and donators and highly appreciate their work because making up the collection is a creative process It is not only a matter of erudition and knowledge but quite often of civic courage. Their civic position opposed to facelessness and forgetfulness in the troubled time of political cataclysms in Russia.
We hope that the new program will help make our communication more interesting and constructive. In many respects the museum’s life and development depends on you, dear visitors.
In the near future it will be possible to see the collections of the Museum online.
of the Federal State Cultural Institution
“The State Museum of Political History of Russia”,
honored cultural worker of the Russian Federation
Dr. Evgeny Artemov