The Museum of Kazan School of Chemistry was first founded in 1863 as Alexander Butlerov's Cabinet-Museum. It is the only museum of a whole chemical research field to be found in the entire world. Scholars who have worked in this museum in the footsteps of Butlerov have taken pains to preserve the 19th-century interior, including beautiful glass bookshelves, redwood ornamentation, and antique desks and armchairs. The visitor can see authentic 19th-century equipment, unique chemical samples, and halls decorated with portraits of outstanding scholars.
The museum is located in a small two-storey building in the yard of the Main Building of Kazan University, which attracts everybody's attention with memorial plaques in honour of the scientists who worked there, and whose research works were the highlights of chemistry all over the world: K.K.Klaus, N.N.Zinin, A.M.Butlerov, V.V.Markovnikov, A.M.Zaitsev, F.M.Flavitsky, A.Ye.Arbuzov and B.A.Arbuzov.
The building designed by N.P.Korinfsky is a part of the architectural complex of the university yard. Its construction was finished in 1837. It was designed for a laboratory of physics (on the first floor) and chemical laboratory (on the second floor). It was the first chemical laboratory of Kazan university. It was there that the development of organic chemistry in Russia began. The museum itself was established in 1863 when A.M.Butlerov appointed a pharmaceutical chemist A.I.Lotman to the post of the first director. He headed the museum for more than twenty years. Butlerov Institute of Chemistry of Kazan State university and Kazan Chemistry School Museum are situated in the building at present.
There are no usual stalls and stands in the museum. It is a memorial laboratory of the 19th century which includes Butlerov's lecture room, a library, the laboratory itself, a hall for exhibiting chemical preparations and laboratory equipment of 19-20th centuries, and the study of the head of the laboratory (Butlerov's study). There are about six thousand items of storage in the museum.
We are now going upstairs to the first floor and through a hall, we come to a semicircular Butlerov's lecture room. There are three sectors, each consisting of four rows of wooden tables with benches, a big semicircular table with stone top and taps on both sides, a fume hood, and an old blackboard. There are also busts of N.Zinin and A.Butlerov which were placed in the laboratory upon the decision of the University Council in the beginning of 20th century. We can see the interior of the 19th century, which has been preserved in almost every detail.