a public cultural and educational institution in the USSR founded on the initiative and with the direct voluntary participation of the population.
A statute on people’s museums was approved by the Ministry of Culture of the USSR in 1965. The functions of such museums are to collect, preserve, study, and exhibit objects of material and spiritual culture of the Soviet people, as well as important objects of natural history.
There are various types of people’s museums: some are devoted to a particular geographical region, and others specialize in history, the arts, technology, or literature. The establishment of such museums is decided by the executive committee of the local soviet of workers’ deputies by industrial enterprises, kolkhozes, sovkhozes, village soviets, schools, and other organizations. Each museum is registered with the krai or oblast department of culture or, in republics not having oblasts, with the ministry of culture of a union republic or an autonomous republic. The museum’s work is guided by a voluntary council. The people’s museum is provided assistance by the nearest state museum with the same specialization.
As of Jan. 1, 1973, there were approximately 3,000 people’s museums in the USSR, primarily in the Ukrainian SSR and the RSFSR.
I. A. ANOSHCHENKO