The Museum of History of Kazan University, which opened in 1979, is located in the former University Chapel and is one of the most remarkable rooms of the main University building. A thousand exhibits and unique relics illustrate the scientific advances of scientific schools of the University and present the outstanding discoveries that have brought world renown to Kazan University. The memorial complex also includes the historical Assembly Hall and the 19th century Memorial Lenin Room at the Faculty of Law.
The idea of University History Museum, one of the oldest universities in Russia, occurred to Yefim Bushkanets, a student of History and Philology Faculty, in the first post-war year and was expressed on the pages of the University Newspaper "Leninets". However, only in 1978, more than 30 years later, it came true as the university was going to celebrate its 175-th anniversary.
The museum was given one of the best premises of the main university building, which has its own quite interesting history. In the end of the XVIII century, a two-story brick house of the governor was constructed near Voskresenskaya Street.
In 1798, the building was given to the First Kazan Gymnasia, the classrooms, and a Physics Study being in its western part. In 1825, the two-storey governor's house was reconstructed as a church after the
University building, designed by architect P.G.Pyatnitsky, had been constructed. It connected the gymnasia and the so-called Tenishev's House named after its former owner.
The archpriest A.Smirnov gave a detailed description of the church construction, restoration, and repairs in his book "The Cross Exaltation Church at Kazan Emperor University". After 1917, the church was used as a gym hall, and in 1941-1943 as a hostel for the evacuated staff of the USSR Academy of Sciences. During the two last decades, there was one of the reading halls of Lobachevsky Academic Library there.
On November 30, 1979, the Museum was opened for visitors. More than one thousand and five hundred exhibits, including numerous relics of the past and the present, give a pretty good idea of the oldest university of Russia, achievements of its scientific schools, and the greatest discoveries of scientists, who gained world recognition for Kazan University. The exhibition, designed by B.M.Salosin, was organized by S.V.Pisareva, Honored Art Worker of Tatarstan.
Except the main exhibition the museum has a memorial complex created under the direction of Professor G.N.Vulfson. It includes the Assembly Hall and Law Faculty Room, where Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Ulyanov, and A.Rykov used to have lectures as students.
It is an important center of scientific and cultural propaganda and the biggest center of the cultural life of the city.