One of the oldest in Siberia and in Russia. It was opened in 1782 (according to the initiative of the Irkutsk governor F.N.Klichka). The museum was supposed to collect natural subjects of the Siberian territory, models of agricultural instruments, tools, models of ships, which sail along the lake Baikal and the Pacific Ocean shores. The two-storied building in the Mauritian style (Moorish style) was constructed according to the project of the engineer - architect, baron G.V.Rosen in 1882-1883, 1890-1891. On the frieze of the building you can see the names of Russian and foreign scientists whose lives and scientific interests were linked to Siberia. They are Vitus Bering, Ferdinand Wrangel, Johann Georgi, Johann Gmelin, Alexander Humboldt, Stepan Krasheninnikov, Karl Ledebur, Alexander Middendorf, Gerard Miller, Peter Pallas, Georg Steller, Richard Maak, Karl Maximovich, Nils Nordenskjold, Nikolai Przhevalsky, Nikolai Turchaninov, Ivan Chersky, Vladimir Obruchev.
You'll see the Deer Stone by the entrance. It's a slab of reddish-brown granite over 2,500 years old with ancient carvings of Siberian stage on both its flat surfaces. Slabs of this kind were usually erected by the graves of the most rich and famous people. The Deer Stone was brought to Irkutsk from the area to the east of Lake Baikal at the end of the 19th c. It's over two meters high and over one meter wide. There are carvings of seven deer of various sizes and two small horses with circles overhead symbolizing the sun on the front side of the stone. A carving of the weapon used for hunting by primitive man is on the narrow sides of it.
The halls of the museum are miniatures of the life of Siberia from the Prehistoric Age to the present. You'll find collections of objects from the daily life and work of primitive man of the Palaeolithic and Neolithic age. Now the museum has archeological collection, exceeding 300 thousand exhibits and representing monuments from the Paleolithic period up to the iron age (1st floor). Very rare, carved figures over 30, 000 years old. Nomad's hut (yurta) made of wild animals' skins. Buryat settler's wooden hut, weapons. Portraits of the first conquerors, discoverers and researchers of Siberia.
The brightest page in the Siberian archeology was the opening of the Paleolithic encampment Malta by М.М. Gerasimov on the White River in 1928. Unique archeological materials were carved female small figures, animal images, ornament and reconstruction of the Paleolithic dwellings. They were included in the annals of the world archeology.
The collection of the archeological "nephrite" is the largest one in Russia today. These are ornaments and work instruments from white and green nephrite, making funeral stuff of the graves of the Stone and Bronze Ages.
The museum has extensive collections of the peoples of Siberia ethnography and cult subjects collection of shamanism and lamaism. Samples of clothing of all times.
Unique herbaria, stuffed animals and birds, old manuscripts, logbooks of geographical and geological expeditions. Handicrafts. Unique exhibits from China, Tibet and Mongolia of priceless value: Buddha statues made of bronze and papier-mache, tanka icons, masks and robes for Buddhist ceremonies, tambourines, drums, copper cymbals.
The exposition, reflecting the Priangarye history since February 1917, was placed as well.
The history of people life of the territory during two centuries - the XIX and XX - is open through clothes, household subjects, utensils at the exhibition "Last (gone) century - the present century "(2nd floor).
A range of shown exhibits - from ancient laces to TV and jeans. The exhibition - interior "Epoch in interiors" give its visitors a direct dialogue with museum exhibits, a sense of time, contact with history.
Today Irkutsk Museum of Regional Studies has a brunch:
11, Karl Marx Street
The Nature Section contains the collections of dealing with the natural riches of Siberia. Here you will step into the world of taiga that covers two thirds of all Irkutsk Region. The cross-sections of larch, cedar and other gigantic tree trunks on exhibition show that they are as old as the very first house ever built here there.
Several stands in the middle of the hall contain the fossilized bones of prehistoric mammoths and bisons and the scull and bones of the huge deer, which the Stone Age people used to hunt. Its branch antlers are of two and a half meters long.