The Botanical Museum was established in 1921 by the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Until 1966 it was accom modated in the premises of the M. Kholodny Institute of Botany, and since then it belongs to the National Museu of Natural History at the National Academy of Sciences о Ukraine.
The scientific staff of the Botanical Museum under the direction of Professor Daryna Dobrochayeva elaborated and implemented in practice new research and exposure principles as well as worked out the founda¬tions for creating a conceptually novel Botanical Museum, which is the national property of Ukraine and one of the best botanical museums in the world.
The expositions «Science of Botany in Ukraine», «The Main Groups of Vegetable Kingdom», «Cellular Structure and Morphology of Flowering Plants», «System and Evolution of Flowering Plants», «Plants in Human Life», «Nature Preservation», «Vegetable Kingdom of Ukraine», «Vegetable Kingdom of Eurasia», «Vegetable Kingdom of the Globe» are arranged in five spacious halls: in 109 showcases, 10 biogroups, 8 large dioramas, on 20 boards and 100 friezes; the total area of the exposition is currently 1,400 square meters.
Now the Museum exposes 4,000 natural botanical specimens, 550 photos, 1,000 colored schemes, drawings, charts of natural habitat, more than 300 detailed descrip¬tions of natural zones, floristical kingdoms and regions, vegetative associations, as well as the descriptions of individual species of plants of the world flora, which are of particular interest for science and practice.
The existing phytobiologic expositions, as a whole, give the visitor a bright and scientifically substantiated picture of a large biological diversification of the vegetable kingdom. One may obtain here a sizeable amount of interesting information about its peculiarities, structure, zonal regional distribution, coenotic structure, ecology, etc. All the elements of the exposition (show¬cases, biogroups, composition groups, dioramas) contain the specimens that are three-dimensional and, hence, very naturally looking. Such a quality is attained by using a special method of drying plants with conservation of their spatial configuration and morphological parameters. It is here that this method has been applied for the first time in the worldwide practice of Natural History Museums.
The expositions of the Botanical Museum were made on the floristic-phytocoenotic basis in accordance with a zonal-regional principle. This approch brightly illustrates a wide variety of the vegetable kingdom of the Earth: in various regions, natural zones and floral areas. This principle is obviously superior to many other ways of building the expositions of botanical museums, such as purely systematic, evolutionary, morphological, pragmatic and ecological ones. The point is that the expositions built in line with those rules demonstrate only cer¬tain groups of plants and do not give an integral picture of their natural complex interconnections.
The attention-getters of the Botanical Museum are the panoramic three-dimensional dioramas, which reflect the landscape pictures of greenery of the tundra in the polar Urals; the original and distinctive beauty of the Badkhyz Reserve (Turkmenistan); the general view of the African savanna at the beginning of the drought season; the shore of a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean with coconut palms and mangrove thicket; the boundless steppes of the Southern Ukraine; the highlands of the Carpathians; and the exotics of the South Coast of the Crimea.
The top scientific priorities of the Botanical Museum are: Floristics, in particular, florology (the study of phyto- and florodiversity of natural regional floras, their structure-comparative analysis, ecotopic phloro- complex differentiation, genesis, anthropogenic transformation); Phytosozology, including florosozology (the study and elaboration of measures for protecting the floral resources and rare components of the ecotopic phloro-complexes of the natural regions of Ukraine, optimization of their nature reserve network); as well as Botanical museum management studies (elaboration of scientific foundations of the reconstruction and improvement of the Museum expositions, new technologies of creating spacial panoramic phytoexhibits, up-to-date methods and forms of museum expositions with the use of computer-based, multimedia and audio-video- systems.