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THE BAIKAL MUSEUM COMPLEX (LAKE BAIKAL)


Introduction

The Baikal Museum Complex houses a vast collection of exhibits, illustrations, and scientific information concerning Lake Baikal (the largest fresh water lake in the world) and the surrounding region made and collected by Baikal experts. Some items of interest are the fantastic animals that live only in the waters of the "sacred sea" (the local name of Baikal), the interesting world of insects, numerous examples of fauna, and the history of Lake Baikal. The Museum also has a unique collection of pictures by B. Lebedinsky, an Irkutsk artist.

Lake Baikal
Lake Baikal    

The Baikal Museum Complex began with the founding of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology in 1919. The Museum was organized by Prof. B. Svarchevsky and later Prof. M. Kozhov, one of the greatest Baikal experts, who contributed enormously to the museum's development. The entomology collection of the Museum began in the late 1940s due to the efforts of Prof. D. Flyorov and his staff. At present the Museum Complex consists of the Baikal Museum named after Prof. M. Kozhov, the Museum of Invertebrates named after B. Svarchevsky, the Entomological Room and Prof. M. KozhovÕs Memorial Room.

An active scientific center, the Museum encourages education and research and hosts scientific conferences and seminars. There are more than 8,000 items in its collection, which are actively used for educational purposes as demonstration materials. The Museum also plays an important role in educating biologists and provides its resources for scientific activities. Some topics of interest to students and researchers are represented in the following list of lectures:

1. Baikal as a unique natural phenomenon. Its flora and fauna.
2. Geological and climatic background of Baikal.
3. Modern problems of Baikal.
4. The world of invertebrates.
5. The fantastic world of insects.