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UNIVERSITY CHARTERS AS A LEGISLATIVE BASIS FOR MUSEUM BUSINESS IN RUSSIAN UNIVERSITIES (XIX – EARLY XX CENTURIES)

Ivan S. Karachentsev

Abstract: For the first time in the museum literature, the article traces the influence of university charters on the museum business in Russian universities in the XIX – early XX century. Using the original act documents extracted from the “Complete Collection of Laws of the Russian Empire”, the author showed that the charter of 1804 and all subsequent legislative acts provided for the formation of auxiliary educational institutions in universities – offices, assemblies, anatomical theaters. It is particularly stipulated that the charter of 1804 did not use the term “museum”, since it was not widely used in Russia at that time. In the act documents at the beginning of the XIX century, the word “cabinet” was used, which was in some sense a synonym for it and was used in the sense of storage, collection. But the work prescribed by legislative acts on the selection, description and preservation of exhibits, tools, and other objects necessary for teaching, allows us to talk about the birth of museum functions in universities. Starting in 1835, the charters introduced the term “museum”, they expanded the list of educational materials and aids. Taking into account the obvious lack of knowledge on the subject under study, the author gives the entire list of educational and auxiliary institutions listed in the statutes. These are the cabinets: physical, mineralogical, botanical, zoological, technological, and the collection of machines and models for applied mathematics, collections – architectural models, pharmacological, surgical instruments, obstetrical instruments, anatomical theater and collection of exhibits, zootomic theater, and collection of exhibits, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts and Antiquities. The statutes prescribe ways to replenish university collections, including through the unhindered discharge of benefits from abroad. In the university charters and staff schedules attached to the charters, it was mandatory to specify monetary amounts, determine their distribution for the maintenance of offices and museums, as well as the heads and general staff of these university departments. The article emphasizes that the charter of 1863 spelled out in detail the procedure for approving the position of curators of cabinets and museums, and in addition, their pension provision was separately prescribed. The charter of 1884 provides an expanded list of university museums, establishes the number of employees, and addresses issues of museum management. At the end of the article, it is quite appropriate to conclude that the university charters defined the legislative foundations of the museum business in Russian universities of the XIX-early XX century
Keywords: museum / charters / university / expanded list / anatomical theaters / offices / auxiliary educational institutions / educational and auxiliary

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