Poltava Regional Studies Museum
Poltava Regional Studies Museum (Полтавський краєзнавчий музей; Poltavskyi kraieznavchyi muzei). One of the oldest and richest museums in Ukraine, established in 1891 in Poltava as the Poltava Zemstvo Natural Science and History Museum and renamed the Poltava Gubernia Zemstvo Museum in 1893. In 1905 it acquired Kateryna Skarzhynska's valuable collection of manuscripts, books, and historical documents. Later the museum was housed in part of the famous zemstvo building designed in the Ukrainian Moderne style by Vasyl H. Krychevsky and built in 1903–6. Decorated on the inside by Serhii Vasylkivsky and Mykola Samokysh, it was destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt in the 1960s. In 1920, reorganized into the Central Proletarian Museum of the Poltava Region, it took over the museum, library, and archives of the former Poltava eparchial depository of antiquities, part of the collection of the Poltava Theological Seminary, and many valuable objects from local churches and monasteries. Renamed the Poltava State Museum in the 1920s (directed by Nykanor Onatsky in 1933–7), it got its present name in the late 1940s, when its collections were rebuilt. The museum has departments of natural science (based originally on Vasilii Dokuchaev's chornozem collections), archeology, medieval and early modern history, ethnography, and modern history. The Yurii Kondratiuk Museum of Aviation and Space Exploration is its branch. The museum contains over 300,000 objects, including some of the most valuable collections in Ukraine of archeological objects, historical documents and manuscript books, kilims, folk dress, embroidery, and wood carvings, Opishnia ceramics, and weapons; a permanent exhibition of the Poltava region's folkways and folk art; and a diorama of the Poltava region's fauna. A large collection of articles about the history of the museum and its holdings was published in 1928, and guidebooks to the museum were published in 1915 and 1978.
[This article was updated in 2013.]