The Museum occupies a historical building – the Commandant’s of the Omsk Fortress House (built 1799). Here lived the last Commandant of the Fortress, Aleksey F’odorovich de Grave, who rendered a special assistance to F. M. Dostoevsky during his prison years.
The exposition is held in nine rooms and consists of two sections: ‘F. M. Dostoevsky and Siberia’ and ‘Writers of Omsk’.
In the first section one can find a complete biography of F. M. Dostoevsky with the attention focused on his Siberian years. A special room is dedicated to the writer’s prison years. Here the atmosphere of a prison of that period is reconstructed: on one side a visitor can see a plank bad fixed to the wall, foot shackles, prisoners’ rags and other prison things, on the other there are a picture of Voskresensky Cathedral, the Gospel, an icon with an icon-lamp.Necessary attention is paid to people who surrounded F. M. Dostoevsky in Siberia – to those about whom the writer will say ‘If I had not found good men here, I would have died’ The exposition tells us about the Commandant A. F. de Grave, the Kapustin family and Chokan Valikhanov (Чокан Валиханов). The history of creation of great novels is viewed in the light of the writer’s special experience, which he acquired in Siberian prison. As a whole, the exposition ‘F. M. Dostoevsky and Siberia’ is made as a way from the darkness to light, through ‘crucibles of ordeals’ to the discovery of faith.
In the list of authentic exhibits are reckoned lifetime editions of the novels of F. M. Dostoevsky, a short mourning paper published on the day of Dostoevsky’s death, a table and a sofa from a Ye. A. Shtakenshneyder (Е.А. Штакеншнейдер) of Saint-Petersburg literary salon, which Dostoevsky visited several times. The second section deals with the history of literature in Omsk region from the end of the XVIII century to 1990s. Here one can see authentic manuscripts, books, photographs, documents, personal things of such writers as P.P. Yershov (П.П. Ершов), N. M. Yadrintsev (Н.М. Ядринцев), G. A. Machtet (Г.А. Мачтет), P. L. Dravert (П.Л. Драверт), N. V. Feoktistov (Н.В. Феоктистов), G. D. Grebeshchikov (Г.Д. Гребенщиков), G. A. V’atkin (Г.А. Вяткин), F. A. Berezovskiy (Ф.А. Березовский), A. N. Novos’olov (А.Н. Новоселов), A. S. Sorokin (А.С. Сорокин), Vs. V. Ivanov (Вс. В. Иванов), Yu. I. Sopov (Ю.И. Сопов), L. N. Martynov (Л.Н. Мартынов), P. N. Vasilyev (П.Н. Васильев), Ya. M. Ozolin (Я.М. Озолин), S. P. Zalygin (С.П. Залыгин), V. G. Utkov (В.Г. Утков), S. Dobronravov (С. Добронравов) and V. Dobronravov (В. Добронравов), I. M. Livertovskiy (И.М. Ливертовский), S. G. Tikhonov (С.Г. Тихонов), I. F. Petrov (И.Ф. Петров), I. V. Listov (И.В. Листов), N. P. Ankilov (Н.П. Анкилов), P. N. R’ebrin (П.Н. Ребрин), V. V. Poltorakin (В.В. Полторакин), Ye. I. Belen’kiy (Е.И. Беленький), V. N. Vasilyev (В.Н. Васильев), P. P. Kar’akin (П.П. Карякин), V. P. Rozhkov (В.П. Рожков), M. I. Yudalevich (М.И. Юдалевич), T. M. Beloz’orov (Т.М. Белозёров), M. K. Yurasova (М.К. Юрасова) L. I. Ivanov (Л.И. Иванов).
Museum stocks reflect the history of the creation and development of literary process in the city of Omsk and Omsk region. Personal files of writers, literary critics, journalists, whose life and literary activity are connected with Omsk, make a big part in the Museum’s collection. Such writers like P.P. Yershov (П.П. Ершов), F. M. Dostoevsky, G. D. Grebeshchikov (Г.Д. Гребенщиков), G. A. V’atkin (Г.А. Вяткин), Vs. V. Ivanov (Вс. В Иванов), L. N. Martynov (Л.Н. Мартынов), P. N. Vasilyev (, П.Н. Васильев), S. P. Zalygin ( С.П. Залыгин), R. I. Rozhdestvenskiy (Р.И. Рождественский), T. M. Beloz’orov (Т.М. Белозёров) and many others.
The biggest collections are:
– F. A. Berezovskiy Collection
– N. V. Feoktistov Collection
– T. M. Beloz’orov Collection
– M. K. Yurasova Collection
– V. V. Poltorakin Collection
– Ye. I. Belen’kiy Collection
– Ye. N. Anuchina Collection
– N. P. Ankilova Collection
– Omsk Writers Organisation (before division) Collection
– Ye. N. Zlotina Collection
Among small collections those of the subjected to repression writers G. A. V’atkin and P. N. Vasilyev are of a special value.
On a special place stands ‘Yesenin’ Collection, compiled by I. A. Sineokiy. It contains lifetime editions of the poet, rare photographs, correspondence with A. L. Miklashevskaya (А.Л. Миклашевская), Sh. N. Talyan (Ш. Н. Тальян, to whom Yesenin referred as Shagane (Шагане), A. A. Yesenina (А.А. Есенина), K. S. Yesenin (К.С. Есенин) and others, a lock of Sergey Yesenin’s hair, a death-mask of the poet.
F. M. Dostoevsky Collection consists of lifetime editions and publications of his works, rare books and illustrations for the writer’s books. In our Museum is kept authentic furniture from Yelena Andreyevna Shtakenshneyder literary salon in Saint-Petersburg. F. M. Dostoevsky used to sit on this sofa, at this table he used to drink tea.
In 2006 the Governor and the President of the Government of Omskaya oblast L. K. Polezhaev presented a portrait of F. M. Dostoevsky to the Museum. The portrait is made by painter Ilya Glazunov (Илья Глазунов), Honoured People’s Painter of Russia.
Personal collections of contemporary writers of Omsk are constantly forming and are being filled up.
At the end of the year 2005, the basic collection of the Museum contains 14463 items of exhibit.