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Department of the History of Kunstkamera and 18th-century Russian Science (M.V. Lomonosov museum)

Contact Information

Phone: (812) 328-12-11: (812) 328-10-11 


Natalya KOPANEVA, Doctor of Sciences, Head of the Department

Anna ABAIDULOVA, Junior researcher

Tatyana KRAVCHENKO, Assistant

Olga KULAKOVA, Junior researcher

Yevgenia LUPANOVA, Candidate of Sciences, senior researcher (scientific instruments and tools of the 18th – early 19th century)

Natalya PETROVA, Assistant

After the Academy of Sciences was established in 1724, the Kunstkamera became its part and parcel, having played a tremendous role in the making of the Russian science. It accommodated not only the museum collections, but also the Library, Operating Theater, Cabinet of Physics, and Astronomical Observatory; it was the place of fruitful work for the first Academicians. M. V. Lomonosov was among them. The life of the scientist, from his very first steps in the Academy, was inseparably associated with the Kunstkamera.

The M.V. Lomonosov Museum was established by the resolution of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1947 as a structural unit of the Institute of Ethnography of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1953 it was withdrawn from the IE and transferred to the newly established Vavilov Institute of History of Natural Science and Technology. In 1993 it was returned to the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the RAS as a scientific department, with its research topics retained and with its collections, library, photo library, and archive. The Department got its current name in 2009. 

The M.V. Lomonosov Museum was opened on January 5, 1949 in the upper storeys of the Kunstkamera’s building tower where Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov, Russia’s first scientist and polymath, worked from 1741 till 1765. It was the only building of the 18th century Academy complex that had survived by that time.

The first academic assignment for Lomonosov who had just been taken on the Academy staff was making the Kunstkamera’s “Catalogue of Stones and Fossils” published in Latin in 1745. He continued the study and description of the Kunstkamera’s collection of Minerals started by Academician J. Gmelin. Next, Lomonosov proceeded to work in the Cabinet of Physics under supervision of Academician G. Kraft where he spent much time in the camera obscura conducting light diffraction experiments. Lomonosov used instruments of the Cabinet of Physics throughout his life, and took some of them home for conducting various tests. Lomonosov spent many hours reading books in the library, and worked a lot in the Observatory making there his first steps in meteorology, mapping, geography, and astronomy.

After the fire of 1747 the observatory actually stopped functioning, and the activity of all of the Kunstkamera cabinets and the library was suspended for a long time. Under such conditions, the academicians including Lomonosov had to work mostly in their home studies and observatories.

The Kunstkamera’s building was restored by architect S. I. Chevakinsky in 1751-1757 with several changes, which told on its architectural appearance. What hit the eye most of all was the missing top part of the tower, which gave the building an aspect of incompleteness. It was not before 1947-1948 that the Kunstkamera regained an appearance close to the initial one by re-edifying the top part of the tower with the armillary sphere. The author of the reconstruction project was architect R.I. Kaplan-Ingel, one of the initiators of setting up the M.V. Lomonosov Museum and its first director.

T.V. Stanyukovich, specialist in the Russian culture of the 18th century, with contribution by Kaplan-Ingel, managed in a short time, lacking special museum equipment and facing urgent formation of the Lomonosov Museum’s collections, to set up an exhibition and to lay a foundation for research topics of the future Museum. The Museum was intended to be a center for study of M.V. Lomonosov’s life and activity in the context of Russian science and culture of the 18th century. With the support of Academician S.I. Vavilov, President of the USSR Academy of Sciences, materials related to the museum’s topics were handed over from various academic institutions and the country’s large museum depositories, and were purchased from antique shops or from individuals. The Museum’s collections were also augmented by donations. Since very few authentic items owned by Lomonosov have been preserved, it was decided to take the path of reconstructing the epoch’s typical interiors.

When the Museum was just being set up, it only had three employees: architect R.I. Kaplan-Ingel who was engaged in the restoration of the tower; historian T.V. Stanyukovich who set up the exhibition, and V.L. Chenakal, specialist in optics and instrument-making who later became Director of the Museum.

When the M.V. Lomonosov Museum was transferred to the Institute of History of Natural Science and Technology, T. V. Stanyukovich stayed at the Institute of Ethnography. Her position was taken by N.V. Sokolova, specialist in the Russian culture of the 18th century. Later, R.B. Gorodinskaya, I.A. Breneva and T.M. Moiseeva also joined the Museum.

From 1993 till 2002, the M.V. Lomonosov Museum Department of the MAE RAS was directed by E.P. Karpeev, and from 2002 till 2010, by T.M. Moiseeva (Acting Head of the Department). Since June 2010, the Department has been headed by M.F. Hartanovich.

Essential topics od research

The essential topics of the Department’s research are related to the study of the Kunstkamera’s history and of the life and works of M. V. Lomonosov.

Research topic: “The Academy Museum in the 18th – 21st cc.: History of Concepts and Collections (For the 300th anniversary of the Kunstkamera)." Supervisor: Director Yu.K. Chistov, D.Sc. Topic research area: The Kunstkamera: Imperial Museum in St. Petersburg as part of the Academy of Sciences. 18th Century. Area supervisor: Head of the Department M.F. Hartanovich, D.Sc.


  • Bereznitsky S.V. Proyekt po vozobnovleniyu Vtoroi Kamchatskoi ekspeditsii (1753-1765 gg.) [A project to resume the Second Kamchatka Expedition (1753-1765] // Vestnik DVO RAN. Vladivostok, 2013, No. 1, pp. 48-55.
  • Bereznitsky S.V. // Istoriya i kultura negidaltsev: istoriko-etnograficheskiyeocherki [History and culture of the Negidal people: Historical and ethnographic essays] / Publication editor: A. F. Startsev. Vladivostok, Dalnauka, 2014, pp. 152-182. 2.38 printed sheets
  • Bereznitsky S.V. Metodika polevoi etnografii: uchebnoye[Field ethnography methods: Educational]. Birobidjan: ITs PGU I. Sholoma-Aleikhema, 2014, 213 pp.
  • Bereznitsky S.V. Armillyarnyesfery – unikalnye muzeinye exponaty Muzeya antropologii i etnografii im. Petra Velikogo (Kunstmamera) RAN [Armillary spheres: Unique exhibits of the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the RAS] // Voprosy muzeologii, No. 1 (11), 2015, pp. 124-133.
  • Bereznitsky S.V. Nerchinskaya ekspeditsiya [The Nerchinsk expedition]. St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2014, 296 pp., 18 printed sheets (Kunstkamera Petropolitana).
  • Breneva I.V., Moiseeva T.M. Muzei Lomonosova. Putevoditel [Lomonosov Museum. Guide-book]. St. Petersburg, 1995, 62 pp.
  • Breneva I.V., Moiseeva T.M. Vossozdaniye “Kabineta uchenogo XVIII veka” v muzee M. V.l Lomonosova [Reconstruction of “The Study Room of an 18th Century Scientist” in the M. V.Lomonosov Museum] // Kunstkamera. Etnograficheskiyetetradi. St. Petersburg, 1996, No. 10, pp. 209-214.
  • Breneva I.V. Istoriya instrumentalnoi palaty Peterburgskoi Akademii nauk [History of the Instrumental Chamber of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences]. St. Petersburg: Nauka, 1999.
  • Karpeev E.P. Bolshoi Gottorpskiy globus [Grand Gottorf Globe]. St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2003, 91 pp. (In Russian and German).
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  • Kopaneva N.P. “Severnaya i Vostochnaya Tartariya” v Rossii [“North and South Tartaria” in Russia] // Nikolaas Vitsen. Severnaya i Vostochnaya Tartariya. Redaktsiya i nauchnoye rukovodstvo N. P. Kopaneva, B. Naarden [Nicolaas Witsen. North and South Tartaria. Editing and scientific supervision by N.P. Kopaneva and B. Naarden]. Amsterdam, 2010, vol. 3, pp. 139-175. (jointly with A.N. Kopaneva).
  • Kopaneva N.P. O rekonstruktsii pervykh otechestvennykh kollektsiy Kunstkamery: na primere sobraniya D. G. Messershmidta [On the reconstruction of the first Russian collections of the Kunstkamera: Using the example of the collection of D. G. Messerschmidt] // Petrovskoyevremyavlitsakh. St. Petersburg: Gosudarstvennyi Ermitazh, 2011, pp. 226-233.
  • Kopaneva N.P. Formirovaniye fondov Kunstkamery i Vtoraya Kamchatskaya ekspeditsiya: k dokumentalnoi rekonstruktsii kollektsiy [Generation of the Kunstkamera archives and the Second Kamchatka exhibition: More on the documental reconstruction of collections] // Radlovskiy sbornik. Nauchnye issledovaniya i muzeinye proekty MAE RAN v 2010 g. St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2011, pp. 73-78.
  • Kopaneva N.P. Lomonosov i pervaya otsylka Volteru rukopisei po russkoi istorii [Lomonosov and the first shipment of Russian history manuscripts to Voltaire ]// M.V. Lomonosov slovesnosty ego vremeni. Perevod i podrazhanhiye v russkoi literature XVIII veka [Lomonosov and literature of his time. Translation and imitation in the Russian literature of the 18th century] / Publication editors: A.A. Kostin, A.O. Demin. Moscow; St. Petersburg: Alyans-Arkheo, 2013. (Readings of the Department of the 18 Century Russian Literature. Issue 7). Jointly with N.A. Kopanev
  • Kopaneva N.P. Mozaichnyi portret Petra I: kto avtor? [Mosaic portrait of Peter I: Who’s the author?] // Nauka iz pervykh ruk. 2013, No. 5/6 (55/54), pp. 54-65.
  • Kopaneva N.P. K biografii A.I. Andreeva [More on the biography of A.I. Andreev] // Arkheograficheskiy ezhegodnik za 2009-2010 gody. Moscow: Nauka, 2013, pp. 314-324.
  • Kopaneva N.P. O pervom pechatnom kataloge Kunstkamery (k 300-letiyu pervogo publichnogo muzeya) [On the first printed catalogue of the Kunstkamera (for the 300th anniversary of the first public museum] // Almanakhbibliofila. Moscow, 2014, Issue XXXVII.
  • Kopaneva N.P. Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov: 25 773 versty po Sibiri i Kamchatke [Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov: 25,773 versts across Siberia and Kamchatka] // Naukaizpervykhruk. 2012, No. 2, pp. 72-97.
  • Letopis Kunstkamery. 1714-1836 / Ros.akad.nauk, Muzei antropologii i etnografii im. Petra Velikogo (Kunstkamera) [Chronicles of the Kunstkamera. 1714-1836 / Russian Academy of Sciences, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera]; [Authors and compilers: M.F. Hartanovich, M.V. Hartanovich; publication editors: N.P. Kopaneva, Yu.K. Chistov]. – St. Petersburg: MAE RAN, 2014, 740 pp.
  • Lomonosov: Sb. statei [Lomonosov: Collected articles]. Moscow; Leningrad: Izd-vo AN SSSR, 1951, vol. 3; 1960, vol. 4; 1961, vol. 5; 1991, vol. 9.
  • Lomonosov i Akademiya nauk. K 300-letiyu M.V. Lomonosova (1711-1765) [Lomonosov and the Academy of Sciences. For the 300th anniversary of M. V. Lomonosov (1711-1765] / Science editor: V.Yu. Afiani. Compiled by N.P. Kopaneva, N.V. Litvina. Articles by: V.Yu. Afiani, I.N. Ilyina, N.P. Kopaneva, M.F. Hartanovich. Moscow: Arkhiv RAN, 2011, 168 pp.
  • Lomonosovskiye chteniya v Kunstkamere: K 300-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya M.V. Lomonosova [Lomonosov readings in the Kunstkamere: For the 300th anniversary of M.V. Lomonosov / Ed. by M.F. Hartanovich, D.Sc., Yu. K. Chistov, D.Sc. St. Petersburg, 2011, Issue 1, 207 pp.
  • Lomonosovskiye chteniya v Kunstkamere [Lomonosov readings in the Kunstkamera] / Publication editors: N.P. Kopaneva, M.F. Hartanovich. St. Petersburg, 2016.
  • Lupanova Ye.M. Pribory konstruktsii M.V. Lomonosova. O vklade velikogo russkogo uchenogo v razvitiye otechestvennogo priborostroyeniya [Instruments designed by M.V. Lomonosov. On the contribution of the great Russian scientist to the development of Russian instrument-making] // Moskovskiy zhurnal, 2011, No. 11, pp. 40-48.
  • Lupanova Ye.M. Medali s portretami M.V. Lomonosova [Medals with portraits of Lomonosov] // Mirmuzeya, 2012, No. 4, pp. 4-11.
  • Lupanova Ye.M. Iogann Bakmeister [JohannBacmeister]  // Voprosy istorii, 2014, No. 6, pp.18-37/
  • Lupanova Ye.M. Teleskop i passazhnyi instrument Yozefa Fraungofera [Telescope and transit instrument of Josef Fraunhofer] // NemtsyvSankt-Peterburge. Biograficheskiyaspekt. XVIII-ХХ vv. St. Petersburg, 2014, Issue 8, pp.126-131.
  • Lupanova Ye.M. Modeli i nauchnye instrumenty v Kunstkamere XVIII veka [Models and scientific instruments in the Kunstkamera of the 18th century] // Russkiy arckhiv, 2016, No. 3, pp.208-231.
  • M. V. Lomonosov. Kratkiy entsiklopedicheskiy slovar [M.V. Lomonosov. Brief encyclopedic dictionary] / Edited, compiled and originated by E. P. Karpeev. St. Petersburg: Nauka, 1999, 258 pp. (Extra issue in 2001).
  • Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov. K 300-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya: po materialam Muzeya M.V. Lomonosova [Mikhail Vasilievich Lomonosov. For the 300th anniversary: Based on materials of the M.V. Lomonosov Museum] / Originated and compiled by M.F. Hartanovich, N.P. Kopaneva; publication editor: Yu.K. Chistov. St. Petersburg: Petroniy, 2011, 96 pp.
  • Moiseeva T.M. Armillyarnaya sfera iz sobraniya Muzeya M. V. Lomonosova kak obyekt mezhdunarodnogo izucheniya [Armillary sphere from the M.V. Lomonosov Museum collection as an object of international study] // Istoriya tekhniki i muzeinoye delo: sbornik trudov. Issue 4-1. Moscow, 2007, pp. 211-216.
  • Moiseeva T.M. Nauchnye instrumenty Peterburgskoi Kunstkamery: ot “kuryoznykh eksperimentov” do eksperimentalnykh nauk [Scientific tools of the St. Petersburg Kunstkamera: From “curious experiments” to experimental sciences] // Voprosy istorii yestestvoznaniya i tekhniki. Moscow, 2008, No. 1, pp. 65-80.
  • Nauchnoye soobschestvo Sankt-Peterburga. XVIII – nachalo XXI veka / Entsiklopedicheckiy spravochnik [Scientific community of St. Petersburg. 18th – early 21st century / Encyclopedic reference book] / Publicatin editor: M.F. Hartanovich. St. Petersburg: Nauka, 2013.
  • Letopic zhizni i tvorchestva M.V. Lomonosova [A chronicle of the life and works of M. V. Lomonosov] / Compiled by V.L. Chenakal, G.A. Andreeva, G.E. Pavlova, N.V. Sokolova. Moscow; Leningrad: Izd-vo AN SSSR, 1961.
  • Stanyukovich T.V. Kunstkamera Peterburgskoi Akademii nauk [The Kunstkamera of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences]. Moscow; Leningrad: Izd-vo AN SSSR, 1953.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Nagrady grafa Uvarova v Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk [Awards of Count Uvarov in the Imperial Academy of Sciences] // Akademiya nauk v istorii kultury XVIII-XIX vv. St. Petersburg, Nauka, 2010, pp. 312-334.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Imperatorskaya Akademiya nauk i nauchnye obschestva v XIX v. [The Imperial Academy of Sciences and scientific societies in the 19th century] // Akademiya nauk v istorii kultury XVIII-XIX vv. St. Petersburg, Nauka, 2010, pp. 529-559.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Imperatorskaya Arkheograficheskaya komissiya i set arkheograficheskikh uchrezhdeniy v Rossii XIX v. [The Imperial Commission for Archaeography and the network of archaeographic institutions in Russia in the 19th century] // Akademiyanaukvistoriikultury XVIII-XIX vv. St. Petersburg, Nauka, 2010, pp. 268-311.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Odin opyt vyshe tysyachi mneniy. Pervaya khimicheskaya laboratoriya Akademii nauk [One test result is worth a thousand expert opinions. The first chemical laboratory of the Academy of sciences] // Nauka iz pervykh ruk. 2011, No. 5, pp. 88-97.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Khimicheskaya laboratoriya M. V. Lomonosova [Chemical laboratory of M. V. Lomonosov] // Iskusstvo i nauka v sovremennom mire: posvyaschaetsya 300-letiyu M. V. Lomonosova / Collected materials of the Second International Scientific Conference “Art and Science in the Modern World”: Dedicated to the 300th anniversary of M. V. Lomonosov. November 1-4, 2011. St. Petersburg, 2012, pp. 44-46.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Komissiya, uchrezhdennaya dlya primeneniya elektromagnitnoi sily k dvizheniyu mashin po sposobu professora B.S. Yakobi Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk [The Commission established for the application of electromagnetic force to machine movement by the method of Professor B.S. Jacobi of the Imperial Academy of Sciences] // KomissiiAkademiinaukvXVIII-XXvekakh”. St. Petersburg: Nestor-istoriya, 2013, pp. 161-170.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Arkheograficheskaya komissiya v nachale XX veka [The Commission for Archaeography in the early 20th century] // Komissii Akademii nauk XVIII-XX vekakh”. St. Petersburg: Nestor-istoriya, 2013, pp. 309-323
  • Hartanovich M.F. Rumyantseva Galina Alekseevna i yeyo kartiny, posvyaschennye M. V. Lomonosovu (iz sobraniya Muzeya M. V. Lomonosova MAE RAN) [Galina Rumyantseva and her pictures dedicated to M.V. Lomonosov] // IllyustrativnyekollektsiiKunstkamery). St. Petersburg, 2014, pp. 341-346. (Collection of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography. Issue LIX).
  • Hartanovich M.F. Kunstkamera – pervyi muzei Rossii [The Kunstkamera: Russia’s first museum] // Russkayaistoriya. 2014, No. 1, pp. 37-41.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Muzei Akademii nauk XIX v.: ot Kunstkamery k uzkospetsialnym nauchnym tsentram [Musems of the Academy of Sciences in the 19th century: from the Kunstkamera to narrow-specialized research centers] // Voprosymuzeologii. No. 2(12), 2015, pp. 38–45.
  • Hartanovich M.F. Reformy Imperatorskoi Akademii nauk: podgotovka Ustava 1803 g. [Reforms of the Imperial Academy of Sciences: Preparing the Charter of 1803] // Akademiya nauk kontekste istoriko-nauchnykh issledovaniyXVIIIpervoi polovine XX v. Istoricheskie ocherki [The Academy of Sciences in the context of historical research in the 18th – 1sthalfofthe 20thcentury. Historical essays] / Publication editor: Yu.M. Baturin. St. Petersburg, 2016, pp. 511-564.
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  • Hartanovich M.F. Reformy Rossiyskoi Akademii nauk v XVIII – pervoi polovine XIX v.: uroki organizatsii otechestvennoi nauki [Reforms of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the 18th – 1st half of the 19th century: Lessons of organization of Russian science] // Imperatorskaya akademiya nauk i khudozhestv, Akademiya nauk SSSR, Rossiyskaya akademiya nauk – triedinaya akademiya: K 290-letiyu osnovaniya RAN [The Imperial Academy of Sciences and Arts, USSR Academy of Sciences, and Russian Academy of Sciences – The Triune Academy: For the 290th anniversary of the foundation of the RAS]. Moscow, 2016, pp. 211-256.
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