The Mineralogical Museum named after E. Lazarenko was founded in 1852-1853 by the professor of natural history G. Lobachevs’kyi. There were 2800 specimens at first in the museum. Since 1864 professor Vejs was the director of the museum. Then in 1868 he was replaced by professor G. Shmidt. In 1870 the museum was headed by professor Ph. Kreytz. He was a petrographist, so he enlarged the petrographic museum’s collection. In 1889-1925 the head of the Mineralogical Char and also of the museum became professor E. Dunikovs’kyi. In 1925 the museum was headed by professor Z.Vejberg, who was the head of the Crystallography Chair. Since 1933 till 1939 the museum was headed by professor Yu. Tokars’kyi and till 1941 by his former student S. Biskups’kyi.
After WWII in 1944 there were 3587 specimens of minerals, mostly from Western Europe and America. 1945 the museum was headed by the dean of the Faculty of Geology E. Lazarenko, who played very important role in the museum’s development. So the museum was named after him. History of the development of mineralogy is represented here by portraits of famous mineralogists: M. Lomonosov, V. Severgin, V. Vernads’kyi, A. Fersman and others. Now museum is headed by I. Manchur.
Here one can find minerals from deposits of Ukraine, Caucasus, Armenia, Transbaikal, Urals and other places.
Today museum owns more than 14 thousand mineral samples placed in 83 showcases located in 7 rooms with a total area about 330 square meters. Museum exhibitions consist of permanent and temporary ones. The main permanent exhibition is divided into four sections:
- General mineralogy - mineral specimens representing a wide range of crystal morphology, growth forms and aggregates, some physical (cleavage, hardness, lustre, colour, etc.) and chemical properties (isomorphism, polymorphism, etc.);
- Genetic mineralogy - minerals of the igneous, pneumatolytic, hydrothermal, metamorphic and sedimentary processes. Special showcases are devoted to minerals ontogeny and phylogeny as well as to artificial compounds.
- Systematic mineralogy - mineral species placed according to their crystal-chemical classification. Every mineral species is presented with samples reflecting its individual peculiarities and different paragenetic associations.
- Regional mineralogy - minerals from different geological formations and deposits of Ukraine, Caucasus and Transcaucasia, Primorje, Kola peninsula, Ural and Pre-Ural, Trans-Baikal, Altai, Canada, Slovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia.
Temporary exhibitions have a thematic nature and are devoted to different noteworthy events and dates. Such unique crystals as apatite (>160 kg), quartz (>50 kg), topaz (23 kg), pyrite (7 kg), druse aggregates of feldspars and sulphur, different precious stones as malachite, lazurite, amber, turquoise are presented in the museum.
Museum is well-known in our country for its rare and valuable specimens, representing rich mineral deposits of Ukraine and Lviv region as well.