Museum

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Museum

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Origins

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In 1773, Empress Catherine II signed a decree establishing the Mining School. By her order, the Mining Museum was created simultaneously with the school. The foundation of the museum was laid by the Mineral Cabinet of “Russian and foreign mineral and fossil bodies”, designated for the study of minerals, rocks, ores, and metallurgical tools and instruments and provide students with practical knowledge in various sciences, which they studied here. But by the end of the 18th century, the collection had grown significantly; it was shown to the highest visitors and all those interested in natural resources. In 1787, a decision was made to build a new building, on the second floor of which the most elegant and solemn hall of the museum - the Column Hall - was located. Architect A.I. Postnikov reconstructed the interiors of the state rooms of the Mining Museum. One of them was created specifically to demonstrate the unique block of malachite and named the Malachite Hall. In the 19th century the exposition of the Mining Museum was exhibited in three halls. 

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By the end of the 18th century, the museum gained wide popularity, and in 1794 I.G. Georgi already included it in one of the first travel guides to St. Petersburg. The structure of the museum collection was shaped by 1830. It was based on the natural science collections of the Museum of Minerals, Fossils and Rocks, which then numbered about 40,000 items. A unique collection of educational models of mining and mining equipment was kept in a separate room. 

In 2015–2016, the halls were overhauled; the exhibition spaces were significantly expanded, some valuable pieces of furniture were restored. 

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Today, the Mining Museum of St. Petersburg Mining University is a dynamically developing educational and scientific center with abundant funds, which for several centuries have served as the basis for the scientific and educational work of the university. For students, future specialists in the field of mining and geological affairs, the museum is an integral part of the educational process.

Address
38-40/73 Malyi Ave., VO, St. Petersburg, 199178
Floor area
10 965 sq. m
Living space
6 457 sq.m
Rooms
270
Bedspace
738
The lodging costs per person
From 2 to 7 thousand rubles per month depending on the number of roommates
Head of the Dormitory
Igor V. KUZMIN
Contacts:

Museum today

Presently, the Mining Museum is among the world’s best natural science museums. The museum has twenty exhibition halls over a total floor area of more than 4,000 square meters. The collection contains more than 230,000 exhibits. The Museum is a dynamically developing training and educational center with richest funds, which for several centuries have served as the basis for the scientific and educational work of the university. For students, future specialists in the field of mining and geological affairs, the museum is an integral part of the educational process.


The museum collection includes samples collected from all continents: minerals, meteorites (1005 samples), geological and stratigraphic, paleontological collections, models of machinery and mining of the 18th-19th centuries, a collection of cold weapons (192 exhibits) of the Zlatoust arms factory, 20 miniatures by K. Faberge. It also presents samples of rare rocks, such as meimechite, picrite, komatiite, kimberlite, salvsbergite, bostonite, as well as a complex of alkaline rocks of the Kola Peninsula

Expositions and main halls

The exposition of the hall is devoted to an introduction to mineralogy, the basic concepts of science, which lead to the study of systematic mineralogy. The properties of minerals, their constitutional features, the processes of origin, growth, changes in mineral individuals and aggregates are considered in detail. A unique sample is displayed in the hall - a quartz crystal weighing 500 kg from the Murzinka deposit in the Urals, which was handed over to the Mining Museum from the State Cabinet in 1822.

The exposition of the hall is devoted to an introduction to mineralogy, the basic concepts of science, which lead to the study of systematic mineralogy. The properties of minerals, their constitutional features, the processes of origin, growth, changes in mineral individuals and aggregates are considered in detail. A unique sample is displayed in the hall - a quartz crystal weighing 500 kg from the Murzinka deposit in the Urals, which was handed over to the Mining Museum from the State Cabinet in 1822.

The Malachite Hall is one of the most beautiful halls of the museum. The interior was designed by the architect Alexander I. Postnikov. A block of malachite weighing 1504 kg, granted by Empress Catherine II, located in the arched space in the middle of the hall, personified the power of the Ural Mountains dividing parts of the world. In the original design, the plafond depicted the eastern (Siberian) and western (European) parts of Russia.

The acquaintance with the class of silicates begins from this hall. The exposition widely presents samples of garnets and zircons - mostly rock chip samples from the famous mines of the Urals. Golden-green demantoids, bright green chromium-containing uvarovites, blood-red pyropes, black garnets - shorlomites, and a collection of phenakites deserve special attention for their size and perfection of crystals.

The Column Hall is a magnificent hall implemented in the classical tradition. The modern decoration has been preserved since the 1820s. The interiors were created by architect A.I. Postnikov. The plafond is decorated with a grisaille painting made in 1822 by the famous artist Giovanni Batisto Scotti. The plafond consists of three allegorical panels: “The Establishment of Mining in Russia by Peter I,” “The Welfare of Mining in Russia under Emperor Alexander I,” and /;The Establishment of the Mining Corps by Catherine II.”

The exposition of the hall demonstrates the connection of mineral formation with various geological processes - from magmatic to hypergenic ones - at the example of collections from some classical deposits. Pegmatites of Murzinka, phlogopite veins of Slyudyanka, quartz deposits of the Subpolar Urals, scarn deposit of magnetite in Dashkesan etc. are presented. Noteworthy are the exhibitions of “Minerals of Dalnegorsk ore field,” “Minerals of ‘Casket’ deposit, Lovozero,” and the “Umbozero mine,” showing the diversity of amber from various known deposits, primarily the Baltic ones.

The hall displays items of decorative and applied art and jewelry made of malachite, lapis lazuli, rhodonite, charoite, labradorite, gypsum, marble, agates, rock crystal, amethyst, as well as jade, agalmatolite, jet and other ornamental stones. The exposition widely presents the work of stone-cutters from three Russian cutting factories: St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Kolyvan. The hall houses a permanent exhibition of landscape stones.

The cadet hall was opened after the restoration of the right wing of the museum in 2015. The hall is a kind of "annotation" of museum expositions. Thematic exhibitions devoted to the evolution of the Earth, the complex structure of the interior of our planet and methods of studying it, as well as exhibitions highlighting the issues of mineralogy and petrography are demonstrated.

The hall presents models of mining and mining equipment. The model collection began to form in 1773 with the opening of the Mining School and was intended to help Russian students in the practical development of new technology. The scale models were brought from the best workshops in Europe and produced at Russian factories and shops of the Mining Institute and the St. Petersburg Mint. Some of them came from national and international trade fairs.

The hall contains two groups of exhibits: metalworking equipment and metal products. While the collection of metal products takes origin in the 18th century, it was most intensively replenished in the 1820s-1840s. Various items of artistic cast iron, products from Zlatoust steel, bronze sculptures, and pewter dishes are on display. The collection contains samples related to the history of Russian cannon factories presented as models of guns, cannonballs, and shells.

Particularly noteworthy in this hall are the portraits of all the directors and rectors of the university and plaques with the names of famous alumni (1823 - 1915). A collection of old periodicals and scientific works from the university library and a geological map of mineral deposits in Russia showing the wealth of the subsoil of the Russian land also are exhibited here. This hall is used for special events and can accommodate up to 210 people at a time. It is equipped with modern multimedia systems for conferences, seminars, lectures, meetings and round tables.

The hall houses an exposition dedicated to the last shortest geological period in the history of the Earth - the Quaternary period, in which modern man appeared. The expositions are supplemented by extensive information and illustrative material, the latest scale of the Anthropogen division is given. The last epoch of glaciations, the scheme of the evolution of the organic world in the Anthropogen, the mammoth fauna of the Pleistocene and primitive art are shown, as well as the most important minerals.

The hall is dedicated to the geological history of Earth. Stone material, paintings and stands provide insight into the different geological periods. Fossil fauna and flora, rocks and minerals from 20 countries of the world are represented. The hall houses regional collections arranged in chronological order by period and monographic collections. The exhibitions “Fossilization” and “Facies and Paleoecology” supplement information on the development of the Earth.

The hall contains collections of all classes of vertebrates from fish to mammals. The exposition is based on the principles of taxonomy and morphological structure of organisms. Fossils, skeletons of ancient animals, their fragments and models are presented. While the exposition “Paleontology of vertebrates” was created in 1937 with the participation of Professor of the Mining Institute Nikolai N. Yakovlev, the first acquisitions date back to 1840.

This hall is devoted to cosmology and astronomy. Wall posters explain the structure of the Universe and the Solar System. They also show the features of a range of cosmic bodies and phenomena. The hall contains a collection of meteorites arranged by three main types: stone, iron, and stone iron. Thematic displays focus on meteor showers, astroblemes (“stellar wounds” of Earth), the history of meteorite studies and the collection as a whole. The most important meteorites on display are the Novy Urey diamond-bearing meteorite and the Borodino stone meteorite which fell onto Earth where Russian troops were stationed on the eve of the Battle of Borodino. The most recent additions to the collection are samples of the Chelyabinsk meteorite which fell onto Earth on February 15, 2013.

The expositions of the hall are devoted to the structure of Earth and methods of its study, endogenous and exogenous processes that form the relief of the earth’s surface: karst, glaciers, weathering, the activity of rivers and lakes, biogenic processes, tectonic movements of crustal blocks and volcanism.

This hall contains samples of metallic and non-metallic ores, as well as samples of hydrocarbons from the major Russian and foreign mineral deposits and petroleum reservoirs. The collection also contains perfect scale models of the Beryozovsky gold deposit and the Ridder-Sokolny polymetal deposit.

The exposition of the hall is dedicated to St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region and is conventionally divided into two parts. The first part presents samples of ornamental and facing stones used in the most famous architectural monuments and the subway. There is an exhibition of the most famous deposits of facing stone, i.e., marble and granite. The second part of the hall is devoted to the geology of the Leningrad Region and the territories closest to it, showing the main stratigraphic units represented in the region, characteristic organic remains and fauna, and minerals.

The lobby contains large rock chips: a quartz druse (Ural), asbestos-streaked serpentinite (Sverdlovsk Region), sylvinite (Verkhnekamsky deposit).

The hall contains systematic collections of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks from various regions of Russia and many foreign countries. Thematic collections are on display: “Rock-forming minerals,” “Textures and structures of rocks,” “Kimberlites,” “Pegmatites,” and a number of others. The exposition is based on the principle of genetic and chemical classification of rocks.

Museum as a basis for research

The Mining Museum offers possibilities for scientists and teachers to conduct research on the basis of the Museum’s collection of minerals and other materials. Museum specialists and experts in geology, crystallography, petrology, geophysics, tectonics and history are able to be involved and\or help with information or methods for various types of research, including such aspects as:

  • Study of metals and alloys used in the weapons of the Mining Museum’s collections
  • Modeling processes of metallurgical machinery produced in the 17th-19th centuries 
  • Search in large online database of minerals and rocks with the use of the “Online collections module” 
  • Research into paleontological collections (fossils of plants and animals from twenty different countries) 
  • Research in meteorites and celestial bodies of unknown origin 
  • Research in new minerals and materials 
  • Research in technological properties of minerals 
  • Methods for rapid gem identification 

For young visitors

Hall for Young Visitors

The Mining Museum provides numerous educational programs which are specifically focused on Earth sciences and covering all full-time basic school curricula.

  • What is a substance? (grades 1-2) 
  • Creative workshops (grades 1-4) 
  • Traces the incredible animals (grades 2-4) 
  • Planet Earth (grades 3-4) 
  • Formation of life on Earth (grades 5-6) 
  • History of mining (grades 6-7) 
  • Field trips (any grades by request).

The Museum has a dedicated hall for school students which is equipped with specialized multimedia paraphernalia and is prepared for holding lectures and practical classes for children and adults on various scientific topics and museum programs. Additional and detailed information about the abovementioned programs can be received is requested.


CONTACTS

Scientific Director
Elena KOTOVA
Excursion Department
Margarita DUBININA
Educational Programs
Yulia SAIKO
Social media

Instagram: @miningmuseum
YouTube channel: Mining museum
VKontakte: @miningmuseumspb