History of the museum science of the Dnipropetrovsk region numbers more than 165 years. Dnipropetrovsk area is known for its rich historical and cultural traditions.
It was in Katerinoslav (modern Dnipropetrovsk) that one of the first museum of Pridneprovya public Katerinoslav museum of antiquities was founded in 1849. The inauguration of this museum is associated with the names of A. Fabr, a governor of Katerinoslav, and I. Grakhov, a director of schools of Katerinoslavprovince. It was located in the Potemkin’s palace, at the Katerinoslav classical secondary school (gymnasium). The museum comprised numismatic and archeological collection, Egyptian and Greek antiquities.
In 1887 Alexander Pol’s private museum of History and Archeology was open. A. Pol was an outstanding public figure, Lower, businessman and merchants. This museum consisted of 7 divisions with more than 4 770 exhibits including the archeological finds, museum articles referring to different periods of history of our land and the world civilization.
In 1902 the region museum named after A. Pol, housed at Commercial school, was inaugurated. It was established from the merging of the first Katerinoslav public museum, A. Pol’s private museum, local historians’ and collectors’ private collections. Dmitro Yavornitsky was invited to head this museum.
In 1905 the museum building was erected. It was designed be architects G. Sandetskiy and G. Panafutin. In 1918 our museum was called the National Museum, in 1926 it was called Dnipropetrovsk regional historian-archeological museum, in 1935 – Dnipropetrovsk historical museum. Since 1940 our museum has been named after D. Yavornitskiy.
In 1929 49 000 exhibits were kept here.
During the years of the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) the museum lost 90 % of its collection, the museum edifice was ruined. But after the war it was restored. The museum collection numbered 3 300 exhibits in 1948.
The real revival of the museum took place in 1970 when the new building for it was erected according to the project O. Zuyev. The diorama “Battle for the Dniper-river” was also housed in those edifice. It was open in 1975. The diorama was created by the artists of Military Studio M. But and M. Ovechkin, the scientist consultant was V. Prokudo, a research worker of the historical museum.
The restoration of the museum was completely finished in 1977. A group of St-Petersburg painters, headed by V. Korotkov and V. Pyvyn, designed the museum halls’ interiors. General director was performed by G. Vatchenko, a director of the museum. In 1979 the participants of museum reconstruction were awarded with T. Shevchenko State Premium.
Nowadays museum numbers more than 260 000 items. It possesses archeological, numismatic, book, heraldic, ethnographic and art collection. The museum also contains ecclesiastical vestments, works of applied arts, 87 stone carved images, relics of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, 140 early printed books, furniture, arms collection, numerous documents referring to different periods of history.
The modern museum exposition is accommodated in 9 halls. The museum collection elucidated material and spiritual culture of the people inhabiting the lands of Pridneprovya ancient past till the present day and divided into the following periods:
- The history of Steppe Pridneprovie in the ancient past
- Our land in the 14th-18th centuries. History of Zhaporozhian Cossacks.
- Katerinoslav province in the late 18th-early19th century.
- Our area in 1861 -1917 years (hall N 4).
- Katerinoslav region in 1917-1920 years (hall N 5).
- Area in 1921-1941 years (hall N 6).
- Dnipropetrovsk region in the years of World War II (hall N 7).
- Spiritual culture of modern Dnipropetrovsk region (hall N 8).
- Victims of repression of 1930-50th years.
At present Dnipropetrovsk historical museum is a kind of the historical and cultural complex which besides the exposition of the historical museum includes:
- The Diorama “Battle for the Dniper river” in September –October 1943.
- Memorial house-museum of D. Yavornitskiy.
- Museum “Literary Dnipropetrovsk area”.
- Museum centre of O. Blavatska and her family.
- Museum of local self-government of Dnipropetrovsk region.
Our museum is opened daily (Mondays excepted) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on the last Friday of each month.