The Historical and Cultural Museum of I.A.Goncharov (the branch of Ulyanovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy named after Goncharov), the only one in the country, was opened in the writer’s motherland – in Ulyanovsk - on June 17, 1982, in commemoration of 170-year anniversary of Goncharov’s birthday. The Museum has been accommodated on the ground floor of the house where the author was born. The exposition is organized according to the topical and chronological principle and reconstitutes the atmosphere of Goncharov’s epoch as much as possible. The main stages of Goncharov’s life are covered in detail in 8 halls of the museum, and the last hall – “Goncharov and the present” – relates to the present-day comprehension of Goncharov’s novels and their characters.
The unique collection of Goncharov’s relics is exhibited in the museum. It has been collected laboriously for a long time.
The first exhibits were received from Simbirsk Display in honour of the centenary of Goncharov’s birth. The collection had
constantly been enriched and by the Museum opening it had become one of the most considerable in the country. The visitors
of the museum can see the original portraits of Goncharov and his family, the unique XVIII century document – the Goncharovs’
family “Letopisets” (i.e. the chronicle of the family history), the things brought by the writer from his voyage on the
board of the frigate “Pallas”.
The museum has a very rich library, including the unique books of the XVIII-XXI centuries. The Goncharovs’ family “Letopisets” (1728-1889), Goncharov’s editions of his and our lifetime, the publications of the greatest researchers of the world about I.A.Goncharov, his life and works, some creations of the author’s contemporaries and their explorations.
In 1997 the museum workers published “The catalogue of the main Goncharov Museum fund”, which describes more
than five hundred most important exhibits. It’s only about one fifth part of all the museum collection.
To make the catalogue interesting not only for the specialists but also to a wide circle of the writer’s
admirers, it was richly illustrated, and a large part of the articles is provided with Goncharov’s letters,
comments and his contemporaries’ recollections.
Nowadays the museum has become a worldwide known centre of Goncharov studies. The active scientific research and popularization of the writer’s life and works are carried on here. Goncharov Museum in Ulyanovsk has initiated the traditions of celebrations in honour of I.A. Goncharov in his motherland, and among them there are the events of regional, all-Russia and international scale: annual all-Russia Goncharov’s holidays, Goncharov’s Memorial Day, international scientific Goncharov conferences, Oblomov festivals.
The Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin decreed to celebrate the second centenary anniversary of Goncharov’s birthday on a large scale in Russia in 2012. No doubt, Ulyanovsk will become the centre of the celebrations. One of the points of the anniversary celebration preparations program will be the establishing of the historical and cultural centre of the writer’s life and works scientific research and popularization, which will be located in the house where Goncharov was born. It will be based on the existing museum, but the extension of its areas and exposition is presupposed.
(the branch of Ulyanovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, History and Economy named after Goncharov) 20 Goncharov Street, Ulyanovsk, Russia, 432970.
All rights reserved. 2007