National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Image - National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences (exhibit). Image - National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences (exhibit). Image - National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences (exhibit). Image - Korolevo archeological site reconstruction at the National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences in Kyiv.

National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Національний науково-природничий музей НАНУ; Natsionalnyi naukovo-pryrodnychyi muzei NANU).A natural history museum and research facility of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine located in Kyiv. Established in 1966 as the Central Museum of Natural History of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. Upon its foundation it housed the already existing collections, such as geological (est. in 1927); zoological (1919); botanical (1921); paleontological (1935); and archeological (1967), which all, until the late 1990s, were subordinated to different research institutes of the Academy of Sciences, such as the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; the Institute of Zoology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; the Institute of Botany of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR; and the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1996 the museum was granted the status of a national institution. Since 1998 the museum’s collections, which hitherto had been administered by individual research institutes, have been placed under the museum’s authority (except for the archeological collection that formally belongs to the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine). The most prominent scientists associated with the museum have included zoologists Ihor Iemelianov (the museum’s director since 2008), Yevhen Pysanets, and Ihor Zahorodniuk; paleontologists Ivan Pidoplichko (director in 1973–5), Vadym Topachevsky, and Orest Mykhalevych; geologists Ievhen Shniukov (director 1978–2008) and Volodymyr Hrytsenko; and botanist Daryna Dobrochaieva.

The museum holds over 2,500,000 items, of which approximately 30,000 are on public display. It has four research departments: geology; paleontology; zoology; and botany. Its permanent galleries feature exhibits on the development of the natural world, the flora and fauna of Ukraine, and the origins of man. Among the most precious museum pieces are 9,000 minerals from across the globe; 5,000 stuffed animals and birds; skeletons of ancient mammals (among them a mammoth, auroch, and an extinct elephant deinotherium); amber with insects inclusions; tropical butterflies; the artefacts from one of Europe’s earliest Paleolithic sites: the Korolevo archeological site in Transcarpathia; and huts of the Cro-Magnons of the Magdalenian culture of the late Paleolithic Period built from mammoth bones (from the Mezhyrich archeological site in Cherkasy oblast and the Mizyn archeological site in Chernihiv oblast). Founded in 2006, the museum’s scientific library contains more than 8,000 copies of publications (books, brochures, and periodicals). The museum’s main scholarly periodicals are Pratsi Teriolohichnoiї shkoly (18 vols, 1998–2019) and Visnyk Natsional'noho naukovo-pryrodnychoho muzeiu (19 vols, 2001–20).

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Shniukov, Ye. et al. The National Museum of Natural History at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine: Guidebook (Kyiv 2006)
Iemel'ianov. I. et al. Natsional'nyi naukovo-pryrodnychyi muzei NAN Ukraїny: Heolohichnyi. Paleontolohichnyi. Zoolohichnyi. Botanichnyi (Kyiv 2012)
Museum’s official website: http://museumkiev.org/

Serhiy Bilenky

[This article was written in 2021.]




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