Ukrainian national literature museum was founded in 1986 in a historically significant house that was designed by O. Shille and constructed in 1870. Since 1871 a prestigious school – a college of Pavel Galagan. Famous Ukrainian literary workers visited this place, and in 1885-1886 Ivan Franko worked here as a librarian. The interior was designed by Italians and has remained unaltered. Earlier there was a St. Paul church near the college, and in spring of 1886 Ivan Franko and Olga Khoruzhinskaya wed in this church.
This literature museum is the most significant museum of its kind in Ukraine with a large exhibition. The exhibition includes virtually every stage of development of Ukrainian literature since the Kievan Rus till nowadays. There are over 80000 exhibits in the museum, and 5000 of them are on display.
One of the key exhibits are the rare antique items from XVII and XVIII centuries, as well as art objects and photographs, old books that include a book by Ivan Fyodorov called “the Apostle”, which has been published in Slavic letters. Also the visitors can see the lifetime editions of T. Shevchenko and I. Franko, manuscripts by L. Ukrainka and take a look at personal belongings of P. Myrny and Nechuy-Levytsky.
The small hall on the third floor hosts an exhibition called “The consequences of Kruty: what the heroes were protecting”. The exhibition was inspired by a collector and historian Viktor Kirkevich. Visitors can look at posters, postcards, booklets, newspaper articles and mottos that tell a story about the events of Kruty. Most of the exhibits were published during the defense of Kiev when the city was fired by the Bolsheviks with range guns. In 1950s you could still go to jail for owning any of these items. On the wall there is the Second Universal – the original edition of a letter to Ukrainians from the Central Rada.
Nowadays National literature museum does not just do exhibitions. There are often festivals, literature meetings, presentation of newly published books, and literature awards. Also there is a club for fans of modern literature, an ethnographic school, a music hall and an art and literature studio.
Address of Literature museum: Kiev, B. Khmelnitskogo street, 11.