State Natural History Museum of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is one of the oldest European Museums as well as a major research and educational center in Ukraine, engaged in exhibition, research, educational activity and promotion of scientific and ecological knowledge. Shortly after the opening of Kharkiv Imperial University its administration asked headmasters of local schools and colleges to send to University various antiquities and objects of historical value. The University Warden count Severin Pototskyi bought in Hannover Professor Andre’s collection and in St. Petersburg a collection owned by an Italian Chetti. They contained many kinds of animals: corals, shells, molluscs, insects, birds, petrifactions and minerals, and on 2 April 1807 these two collections arrived in Kharkiv. This date is believed to be the date of founding the Museum. A lot of scientists and statesmen have helped the Museum to enrich its collections and now it is in possession of some unique valuable exhibits.
The exhibits in the Museum collections make in total over 250 thousand items brought from all over the world. These are stuffed animals and birds, skulls, bird eggs, wet and dry specimens of various animals, insects, rocks and minerals, petrifactions and skeletons, dummies and plaster casts of extinct animals. 23 exhibition rooms of the Museum host 4 expositions: Geological, the Invertebrates, the Vertebrates, Organic World Evolution and Nature Conservation. All exhibits are displayed in the form of systematic collections as well as biogroups and dioramas with audio and visual effects. The Museum has also educational functions: students have classes here, it provides assistance for researchers and scientists, stets up temporary exhibitions on Nature Conservation, Mineralogy and Paleontology. The Museum maintains contacts with many research institutions and museums from different countries. About 40 thousand residents of the city, tourists, foreign guests, scientists and experts in various fields of knowledge visit the Museum every year.