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Since the very beginning, in 1907, theState Darwin Museum was planned as a museum dedicated to the theory of evolution. Thus all main collections were formed to translate this idea, unlike the majority of natural science museums - collections were arranged in such way that allowed to show the natural variability of animals (individual or geographical) and to demonstrate the most important fundamental principles of Charles Darwin’ Theory of Evolution.

Quite an extensive part of Darwin museum collection consists of specimens (mostly stuffed birds) gathered by the founder and the first director of the museum Alexander Kohts during his student years. The materials were regularly purchased on special markets where most hunters from all over European Russia and Siberia brought their trophies. Some of the exhibits were made by Kohts himself during his two expeditions to the southern Siberia in 1899 and 1902. Another large part of taxidermy mounts is the heritage of Friedrich Lorenz's (1842 - 1909) taxidermic laboratory the best in Moscow in late 19th century. It was the place where Kohts learned the art of taxidermy and from where many talented and skillful taxidermists came to join the State Darwin Museum.

Some zoological exhibits were purchased at the beginning of 19th century from famous European taxidermy companies, such as the companies of Ward, Gardner, Rosenberg (London, England), Schlüter, Umlauf (Halle and Hamburg, Germany), and Fritsch (Prague, Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic). Some materials came from the members of the expeditions to various regions of eastern Africa - Vladimir Troitskiy and Vasily Nikitin - as well as from private museums and collections nationalized after the revolution of 1917.

Since the mid 80-es regular expedition activities for collecting scientific materials were initiated by a new generation of young and talented employees of the Darwin museum. Ornithological, entomological and malacological collections were formed especially intensively, according to scientific interests and specialization of researchers.

When studying and processing the museum's fund collections, the museum’s staff prepared and published a large number of scientific works on faunistics and taxonomy of the studied groups of animals. These publications describe about thirty new species and subspecies of diurnal butterflies and beetles. The State Darwin Museum continually keeps studying and developing its extensive and precious natural history and art collections.