Museum of Mineralogy

The Mineralogical museum of the TSU is one of the oldest and the prominent museums of Russian higher education institutions beyond the Urals. It was founded by professor Alexey M. Zaytsev in 1888.

The first endowment for the museum was provided in 1880 by merchant Zachary M. Tsibulskiy. He donated 882 samples of minerals and 138 rock samples characterizing mainly deposits of Eastern Siberia.

By inauguration of the Siberian (Tomsk) University in 1888, The Mineralogical museum became the first Siberian specialized assemblage of ores, minerals, fossil remains of ancient animals and plants.

Later on, in the Soviet period, the invaluable contribution to the development of the museum was made by Ivan K. Bazhenov, who was working at the Department of mineralogy and crystallography (1922–1973) and was its professor since 1935. His name is associated with the systematic geological investigations of the Western Sayan, eastern slope of the Kuznetsk Alatau and Minusinsk hollow. In 1991 the museum was named after I.K. Bazhenov.

At present, the Museum funds consist of more than fifty thousand samples. They comprise about 700 mineral species and varieties of the mineral kingdom.

The systematic collection is most sizeable, representing sets of minerals by the following classes: native elements; sulfides and their analogues; haloides; oxides, hydroxides; oxysalts; silicates. The collection of samples from ore and nonmetalliferous deposits is practically comparable in size with the above-described one. In this exposition, most completely exhibited are minerals from the Kola Peninsula, the Urals, the Rudny Altai, Gorny Altai, Transbaikial region, Yakutia, the Far East and Primorye, Kazakhstan, the Central Asia, the Pamir, Mongolia.

The Museum expositions are placed in one spacious hall 170 m2 in area. Up to now, the wooden display-cabinets have been used, with which the Museum was equipped in the time of its inauguration, and only the central row of the hall is furnished with showcases made of glass and metal.

The following permanent exhibitions are organized: “The first contributions”, “New contributions”, “Physical properties of minerals”, “Synthetic minerals”, “Pseudomorphs”, “Meteorites”, “Products of the volcanic explosions”, “Mineral resources of the Tomsk regions”.


Valentina L. Sveshnikova