Skovoroda Museum of Sloboda Ukraine (Kharkov Historical Museum) was opened in Kharkov in 1920 at the initiative of the Provincial Committee of Art headed by Nikolai Sumtsov.
Nowadays, Kharkov Historical Museum is one of the largest and most important museums in Ukraine that has Research Center for the local history of Slobozhanshchyna.
There is a unique collection of over 250,000 rare artifacts of national importance, including archaeological, ethnographic and numismatic items, as well as paintings, a collection of banners, weapons, decorations, books, historical documents, leaflets and rare pictures.
In Soviet times, the museum was located in the house of bishop of the Pokrovsky monastery and in the building of former Zhyrardivska factory. In 1990, the museum was moved to its current location - the premise of the former pawnshop. The building is a part of the architectural ensemble: Universytska Hirka and Universytetska Street.
In 1930, the Museum of Sloboda Ukraine was renamed the Historical Museum, and its structure was significantly changed. In 1940, Kharkov Historical Museum was the largest museum in the USSR, and comprised about 1 million items. But during the WWII bombings it was significantly damaged. After the war, the museum was restored and its collection was replenished with the items from different regions of Kharkov.
Nowadays, the Kharkov Historical Museum is divided into 4 temporary departments - a primitive society, feudalism, capitalism and the Soviet years. There are expositions about the Kharkov citizens who participated in the Moscow, Stalingrad and Kursk battles, as well as in the Berlin operation. There are also pictures and rare documents, weapons and firearms of both domestic and foreign production, Soviet military awards and badges, military uniforms, personal belongings of soldiers, posters and flags of the war period. An open-air exhibition shows 4 cannons and T-34 tank of the Red Army soldiers.
The museum often hosts themed events, scientific conferences, courses of Kharkov studies.