About the Museum

Dear Friends!

We are glad to welcome you to the pages of the Miklouho-Maclay Online Museum website, which was created to “preserve the scientific and ideological heritage and perpetuate the memory of the great scientist and traveler N. N. Miklouho-Maclay. The pages of the Online Museum website showcase unique exhibits from the New Guinea Island in separate sections, as well as a unique the Maclay Coast model layout, films, books and drawings immersing in the history of discoveries and travels of the scientist and modern expeditions in his footsteps.

The materials will be of interest to a wide audience, to anyone interested in history, geography and travels, relevant for researchers of the South Pacific region.

The materials of the Miklouho-Maclay Online Museum can be used in courses of history, geography and social studies, as well as an extracurricular education for students of Secondary and Higher Education Institutions. According to the expert opinion of the St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education, “high-quality, clearly structured material can be offered for students of different ages as basic and additional educational information at lessons and in extracurricular activities”.

Nikolay Nikolaevich Miklouho-Maclay (1846 – 1888) – an outstanding Russian humanist scientist, traveler and progressive social activist, who explored the peoples of Oceania, Australia and Southeast Asia. The longest were his expeditions to the northeastern coast of New Guinea (Maclay Coast), where he has spent a total of 30 months, meticulously studying the material culture, everyday life and social life of the locals. The personality of the scientist aroused keen interest due to his fame as a courageous explorer who became a pioneer in many scientific disciplines. Especially significant were his merits in ethnography and physical anthropology. Thus, he disproved the racist notions of some scientists of the time that the indigenous people (Papuans) of the Maclay Coast were an intermediate link between human and animal, leaving behind a crucial ideological legacy for all mankind on the equality of races and peoples, emphasizing the unacceptability of forced suppression of cultures, the imposition of alien stereotypes, forced cultural̆ integration and colonial̆ policies.
L.N. Tolstoy in one of his letters to N. N. Miklouho-Maclay urged the scientist: “Write this history and you will serve a great and good service to mankind”. The traveler’s work made a great impression on Leo Tolstoy, because in it he saw confirmation of his thoughts that true civilization could be brought to peoples not by violence, but by education and care for them.

During his numerous travels in Oceania, Australia, and Southeast Asia N. N. Miklouho-Maclay collected unique material on the peoples he studied, which is of great historical, cultural, and scientific value even today. He spent the last days of his life in the Botkin Hospital in St. Petersburg, lamenting that he had not had time to publish most of his work. He assumed that all of his work would be lost. However, the fame and importance of the scientist’s legacy has attracted attention of his followers, thanks to which it is possible to present significant materials on the website in order to introduce Russia’s achievements in the exploration of the South Seas region to the modern young generation.

Welcome to Nikolay Nikolaevich Miklouho-Maclay’s adventure world!

Sincerely yours,

N. Miklouho-Maclay Jr.


The Maclay Coast Collection

The presented collection exhibits were collected in Papua New Guinea during the expeditions “Miklouho-Maclay XXI century. Maclay Coast” in 2017 and 2019. The expeditions, led by Nickolay Nikolaevich Miklouho-Maclay Jr., were organized by the Miklouho-Maclay Foundation for the Preservation of Ethnocultural Heritage, with expert and informational support from the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) RAS; N.N. Miklouho-Maclay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology RAS; Faculty of History, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Museum of Anthropology, Lomonosov Moscow State University; and other organizations and institutions.