Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zoological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (ZIN)


the chief scientific research zoological institution and the center for comprehensve study of fauna of the USSR. Located in Leningrad, it was organized in 1931 on the basis of the Zoological Museum, founded in 1832. The Zoological Museum began with the acquisition of the collections of the Kunstkammer, established by Peter I in 1714. The Kunstkammer’s first catalogue was published in 1741, listing more than 7,000 zoological items.

Collections of representatives of the animal world of the USSR and of the entire Paleoarctic region are concentrated in the Zoological Institute. These collections were assembled by expeditions of such Russian and Soviet researchers as N. M. Przheval’skii, G. N. Potanin, N. A. Zarudnyi, P. K. Kozlov, L. S. Berg, and E. N. Pavlovskii. Numerous individuals produced scientific works based on these collections, including F. F. Brandt, A. F. Middendorf, N. V. Nasonov, P. P. Sushkin, and A. P. Semenov-Tian-Shanskii.

Research at the institute is basically divided into the following areas: taxonomy; classification of fauna; origin and development of the animal world; the distinctive features of ecology and geographic distribution; and the laws that govern these areas in order to develop animal resources and efficiently reconstruct the fauna. The Zoological Institute also directs and coordinates the fundamental work in zoology being done at other Soviet institutions. Major achievements of the institute’s staff are introduced into economic practice. The institute has a graduate school where candidate and doctoral dissertations are defended.

The institute’s principal publications are Eihegodnik Zoologicheskogo muzeia (Zoological Museum Annual; vols. 1–32, 1896–1931; after 1932 called Trudy Zoologicheskogo instituta); Fauna Rossii i sopredeVnykh stran (Fauna of Russia and Contiguous Countries; vols. 1–13, 1911–33), and Fauna SSSR: Novaia seriia (vol. 1, 1935—; monographs and indexes). Its library contains more than 200,000 volumes of materials on zoology. The Zoological Museum of the institute performs important cultural and educational activities.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.