The VSU History Museum houses a number of rare and interesting exhibits, including documents and photographs of university employees, archives of outstanding VSU professors and graduates, the works of scientists, sports cups, commemorative medals, souvenirs, paintings, which can truly be considered real “treasures”.
The museum space has become a centre of attraction for the city. Many exhibitions take place there. The museum holds the exhibition “Books with History”, where you can see unique editions from the private collections of employees of Voronezh State University.
The exhibition is divided into several sections. The first presents unique scientific publications on history, geology, physics, as well as a 1915 grammar school textbook “The Course of Orthodox Christian Morals”. The second exhibits literature editions that could be found in almost every family a century ago, but today are considered valuable and rare. For example, the first edition of Emile Zola’s “L'Argent” (1891), illustrated edition of “Moscow, past and present” (1909), the journal “Golos Minuvshego” (1914). A separate area is devoted to Chinese literature, mainly the “golden” and “silver” centuries of the poetry of the Middle Kingdom. “Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam, illustrated by Pavel Bunin, “Ship of Fools” by Sebastian Brant with illustrations by Albrecht Dürer are also shown at the exhibition.
The museum exhibition includes an issue that is of great value not only for the museum itself, but also for students. This unique book is one of the volumes of “Description of Egypt”, multi-volume issue published in France in the early 19th century. “Description of Egypt” (French: Description de l'Égypte) is a monumental publication that was the result of the work of more than 160 scientists, as well as 2,000 artists and engravers who accompanied Napoleon Bonaparte in the campaign to Egypt (1798–1801). It was a complete, comprehensive scientific description of ancient and modern Egypt. Members of this group of scientists, known as the French Commission of the Sciences and Arts of Egypt, undertook a comprehensive study of the archaeology, topography, and nature of the country. Among them there was a soldier who found the Rosetta Stone. Later, due to the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone text by French linguist and orientalist Jean-François Champollion, it became possible to read ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. When the French army left Egypt in 1801, scientists took with them a large number of collected and unpublished materials.
The museum houses a diverse collection of exhibits: there is a copy of the death mask of Alexander Pushkin, a printing machine dated 1908, the original Candidate Diploma in Slavic-Russian Philology of Mikhail Speransky, and even a document confirming that Karl Marx has no debt to the library and can be given a graduation diploma (from a facsimile edition).
The exhibits of the VSU History Museum are a valuable collection reflecting the life of the university from its foundation to the modern stage of development.