EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS IN LVIV

11.09.2022

EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS IN LVIV

 

On Saturday, September 10, as part of the Days of European Heritage, the Zoological Museum of Lviv University exhibited a collection of famous scientists-naturalists of the 19th and 20th centuries, who in certain historical periods were considered to have disappeared or were destroyed during the war. Fortunately, the collections of Karl-Ernst von Baer, ​​Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Ernst-Friedrich Germar, Academician of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stanislaw Kostyantyn Pietruski, Academician of the Imperial Academy of Nature Lovers in Vienna, and Naturalist Adam Sulima Ulyanowski, survived, were preserved and today constitute important historical and scientific property, are elements of the National Property of Ukraine, European and World Heritage.

Among many scientific achievements, the Caspian expedition of 1853-1857 under the leadership of K.-E. von Baer. During this expedition, K. Baer collected unique materials, in particular, on vertebrate and invertebrate animals of the Caspian Sea (LUKINA 1984). One of the special values of K. Ber was his collection of molluscs, aware of its scientific value, the author put it in proper order and wrote all the labels with his own hand; he intended to independently process the materials and publish the results, but unfortunately fell ill and died.

After K. Baer's death in November 1876, this collection was considered lost. O. A. Grimm assumed that the materials collected by K. Baer in the Caspian expedition "disappeared without a trace, it seems, rotted somewhere in the basement, waiting for scientific processing" (GRIMM 1876: 11). Since the location of most of the Caspian molluscs collected by Baer was not known until recently, it was believed that they were actually lost. Fortunately, this is not the case.

Shortly after K. Ber's death, his relatives transferred the collection to Wladyslaw Dybowski (1838–1910), an outstanding malacologist. This event dates back to the beginning of 1877 (or a little earlier), since already on February 17, 1877, W. Dybowski presented his preliminary results of the study of the collection at the meeting of the Derpt Society of Naturalists (W. DYBOWSKI 1878).

The outstanding taxonomic contribution of this important work to malacology was revealed in a detailed survey of all known and description of 15 new species of molluscs occurring in the Caspian Sea. Certain additions and updates to the taxonomy of Caspian gastropods were made (after W. Dybowski's death) by his brother Benedykt Dybowski and Jan Grochmalicki in 1915, and a slightly modified version of this work by B. Dybowski and J. Grochmalicki was published in 1917.

The Ivan Franko National University of Zoological Museum houses a collection of Hemiptera insects collected and described by E.-F. Germar in 1810-1840. He began to collect a collection of insects, known as the Gübner collection, and tirelessly multiplied it, raising it to the level of the most famous private collection in Germany and Europe. At the beginning of the 20th century, Count Mnishek acquired this unique collection for the museum. It has more than 4,000 exhibits, including 42 typical specimens, i.e. first described for science (according to the oral report of the researcher I.M. Kerzhner – up to 70 types), as well as specimens from the collections of 19th-century species entomologists – F.K. Fiber, Y. F. Esholts and A. Ferster (SHYDLOVSKYY, HOLOVACHOV, 2005). For a long time it was believed that this collection was irretrievably lost during the Second World War (Schröder, 1957). However, it still exists and is available for study by scientists of the world community.

A fire on January 7, 1848 irretrievably destroyed all collections of living and a large part of non-living treasures of S. K. Pietruski, including unprinted manuscripts. In one moment, the fruits of many years of hard work disappeared. Around one o'clock in the morning on the most Ukrainian Holy Evening (according to the Julian calendar), the owner heard a loud knock on the window and a cry: "Fire, it's burning!" The servant, having heavily flooded the stove due to the freezing cold in the room with the parrots, went to her family for the night. The floor caught fire...

The books, although badly damaged, were saved because they were thrown out of the library directly onto the snow. An excellent entomological collection of insects was also saved, which at that time consisted of more than 6,000 native insects from all over the world. It was the fruit of a lifetime's work and considerable funds. This collection was later supplemented and sold to the People's Foundation named after Ossolinski (CHUDIYOVYCH, MATSKIV, 2016).

The Zoological Museum keeps a book with a description of the collections of S. K. Pietruski, which includes a cap with a collection of hummingbirds on an artificial tree, a list of two entomological collections and a list of a collection of mollusk shells, which have not yet been identified among the large number of old museum collections.

After graduating from the university in Kraków, A. S. Ulyanowski probably (no documents were found in the archives of Lviv) worked at Jan Kazimierz University (Lviv) under the leadership of Professor Benedykt Dybowski. This is evidenced, in particular, by his article in the magazine "Cosmos" (Ulanowski, 1887), in which he indicates "... Napisal Adam Sulima Ulanowski, asystent przy katedrze Zoologii w Uniwersytecie Lwowskim...". In his writings, the scientist described several species of beetles new to science, and mentions the collection of long-nosed beetles from the Caucasus, collected even before 1886.

The insect collection of A. S. Ulyanowski was bought by B. Dybowski for the Zoological Museum of Lviv University (BRZEK, 1994). Fortunately, it survived despite the wars and is preserved in funds with about 5,000 specimens (SHYDLOVSKYY, ZATUSHEVSKYY, 2010; SHYDLOVSKYY, 2012) in 55 entomological boxes with: beetles Coleoptera, Diptera, Orthoptera, Hymenoptera, and Neuroptera . However, unfortunately, the figure of A. S. Ulyanowski is the most mysterious, since after mentioning him as an assistant at the Lviv University, there is no more information.

 

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