A museum is like a good book: to understand the true sense one should read it several times.
The history of a university is not only the history of buildings, rooms, educational buildings, but first of all the history of the development of teaching- methodical, scientific, teaching schools, the history of the teaching staff formation. That’s why the Historical Museum of the university is a unique place to store the rich history of the university and its traditions, a place of familiarization of students with the historical heritage.
The historical-chronological principle is at the heart of the museum exposition. The exposition consists of three sections: “History of the university”, “History of faculties” and “University today”.
The first section reflects the history of the foundation, formation and development of the university in accordance with different periods. Special attention is paid to the development of agricultural education and science in Stavropol Territory in the beginning of the 20th century. The showcases showing the history of the subsequent periods are organized in chronological order – the history of the university in the 30s of the last century, the period of the Great Patriotic war, the post-war reconstruction of the university, the development of the university in the 60s-80s, the reforms of the 90s and the period of the reorganization of the university due to the activities of the Rector, Professor V.I. Trukhachev. There is a gallery of the portraits of all heads of the university from 1930 to the present day. Special showcases are devoted to the veterans of the Great Patriotic war and graduates of the university – Heroes of Labour, laureates of State Prizes, prominent statesmen, heads of large-scale agro-industrial complexes.
The second section is devoted to the history of faculties since their formation. The showcases present the dynamics of the development of faculties, the history of every department in detail, photos of the first heads of the departments and leading teachers, their personal things and scientific works. Much attention is paid to scientific activity – some devices and visual aids developed by scientists and students of the faculties are displayed.
The third section contains materials of modern university life, achievements of students and staff in educational and research activities, sport and art. A large number of awards – medals, diplomas, cups, certificates, prizes – is exhibited. The relationship between science and industry, international activities of the university are shown. Much attention is also paid to the guests of the university – representatives of the government of the Russian Federation and Stavropol Territory, workers of science and culture, foreign delegations.
The Historical Museum of the university is a cultural and educational centre of the university, where students get to know about the history and traditions of the university, meet outstanding people and direct participants of many events – veterans of the Great Patriotic War, foremost people in agriculture, graduates of the university. The guests emotionally tell about the student life of those years, about the university and their teachers. Students always listen to their stories with great interest and ask a lot of questions.
The museum tours are conducted not only for students, but also for graduates and guests of the university, participants of conferences, seminars and meetings held at the university, school leavers on the open days. Frequent visitors of the museum are prominent politicians of the North Caucasus region, heads of ministries and departments, employees of leading agricultural enterprises of the territory, graduates of the university. Every year the museum is visited by nearly 4,000 people.
An important trend in the work of the museum is preservation and popularization of the cultural-historical heritage of the university.
The museum staff carefully keeps memorable personal things and photographs of students and employees who gave their lives for the liberation of the motherland from Nazi invaders during the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945. Together with the Council of Veterans of Stavropol State Agrarian University some expeditions to different regions of Stavropol Territory were organized to find out the names of students, employees and teachers of the university who fell during the war. As a result of this search work eight names were inscribed on the Stele of Memory in the yard of the university. Memorial complexes devoted to the employees of the university – participants of the Great Patriotic War were created at all faculties.
It became a tradition to hold scientific readings devoted to prominent agriculture scientists of the university, in which their students take part. Many of them work at the university today.
In order to draw attention of modern society to the problems of historical heritage preservation the museum holds conferences and scientific readings together with Stavropol State Historical-Cultural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve named after G.N. Prozritelev and G.K. Prave and Stavropol regional department of the All-Russian Society of the Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments.
But not only the events of bygone days are of interest for modern youth. It was topical to hold round work tables on the problems of youth in the framework of the Year of Youth, where students could discuss their concerns in education, scientific-research activity, employment of young specialists etc. The exhibition with the symbolic title “Youth is time of creations and victories” is opened in the museum and presents the main achievements of students and young scientists of the university over the last year.
The museum is a significant element in the museum system of Stavropol Territory. Its attendance is comparable to the attendance of museums in district centres of Stavropol Territory. At the festival “Stavropol is a city of museums” materials reflecting the exposition of the Historical Museum of Stavropol State Agrarian University were presented. As a result of the festival a catalogue was published – a guide to the exhibition of rarities of state, municipal and departmental museums of the territorial centre, where the information about the Historical Museum of the university is published.
Successful activity of the museum and its staff was rewarded by the Ministry of Education of Stavropol Territory and the Rector of the University, the Minister of Culture of Stavropol Territory and the head of the administration of Stavropol. For success in the patriotic education of youth the staff of the museum was awarded a diploma of the competition “Southern borders of Russia”.
The activity of the museum is connected with all areas of the work of both students and teachers of the university. The museum is not only a teaching basis but also a centre of education of students in the spirit of patriotism and love for their motherland and home town, devotion to the profession.
The Historical Museum of the university is a living chronicle of the formation and development of our university. And it is we who are responsible for what will live in the memory of our descendants.