“Such people are never forgotten,” said Yuri Gagarin, the first cosmonaut of the Earth, about N. A. Ostrovsky, the author of the novel How the steel was tempered. For many years, Ostrovsky’s name was a symbol of our country and the pride of the people. Millions of visitors came to the memorial museums of the writer in Sochi, Moscow, Shepetovka, Novorossiysk. Out of all the museums on the list, the writer’s memorial house in Sochi was the one that opened the first.
State literary-memorial Museum of N. A. Ostrovsky in Sochi was established by Resolution of the Council of people's Commissars of the USSR No. 262 On perpetuating the memory of the order holder writer N. A. Ostrovsky, dated February 15, 1937, which instructed: “to organize in the house of N.A. Ostrovsky in Sochi (in the personal rooms of the writer) a Museum in his name as a branch of the State Literary Museum”. The first Director of the Museum was the writer's sister Ekaterina Alekseevna Ostrovskaya; she was helped by their old mother, Olga Osipovna. Both of them lived in the same house and received visitors as hospitable family welcomes guests: often with tea and viewing family photos. It seemed that the breath of Nikolai Ostrovsky was still heard in his house.
The exhibition pavilion with the first literary exposition Life and creativity of N. Ostrovsky opened in 1938. Through the efforts of the Museum staff and the friends of Nikolai Alekseevich the collections were completed, the first brochures and booklets about the Museum and the biographical materials were published. The comments book of the Museum was filled with the guests’ records: “The Museum is one of the brightest parts of the unwritten book about Nikolai Ostrovsky. F. Volkov, member of the Komsomol since 1930, Moscow, Institute n.a. K. Liebknecht”. The number of visitors to the Museum grew rapidly.
During the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945, Sochi Museum of N. Ostrovsky maintained close links with the military units of the 1st Ukrainian, 2nd Ukrainian, 1st Belarusian fronts, the Black Sea front and the Special Black Sea Group of Malaya Zemlya armed forces (naval amphibious units of Novorossiysk). A tank, a plane, and two war ships: the minelayer and gunboat, the crews of which were named after N. Ostrovsky fought at the fronts. During the war, the Museum was visited by 65 thousand people, 2600 excursions were conducted. “Manage to live when life becomes unbearable; make it useful,” - these words by N. Ostrovsky helped thousands of war-crippled soldiers find themselves in a new life.
The building of the literary part of the Museum was erected in 1956, near the memorial house of the writer; in 1957 it hosted a historical and literary exhibition “Life as a heroic deed”. The glory and recognition of the heroic moral feat of the author of the novel How steel was tempered crossed the borders of our country. The entries in the comments books appear in foreign languages and read: “The life of N. A. Ostrovsky is one of the greatest victories of the will over the body: collectivism over individualism. His cause is immortal. July 3, 1957 Dushenov, Balatskaya (Bulgaria)”.
In 1972, after a large-scale reconstruction of its literary part, the Museum opened the third historical and literary exhibition “Life and work of N. Ostrovsky.” The artistic design of the exhibition was provided by the talented Moscow artists V. Osokina and V. Kholmogorov. In the late 70's – early 80's in Europe, and, of course, in the USSR there was a genuine museum boom. Perhaps today it is hard to believe, but a new tour for 30-35 people began in the Museum every twenty minutes. Sometimes, saying Hello in the morning, the tour guides met again only just before the closing of the Museum having talked themselves hoarse. But each story was unique and inspired.
At the end of the 80s of the XX century, the Museum opens a new, rather complicated, chapter of its history. The country has changed its political orientation. The task of the creative team was to preserve the Museum, to find its place in the coming new reality. One of the records in the comments book made on August 28, 1991 reads: “We hope that despite all the changes in our country, this Museum will not suffer the fate of the monuments to Lenin, Dzerzhinsky, etc. The country’s history should be known, whatever it may be. And the tragedy of human life will always cause respect, no matter what political winds blow in the yard. Moscow, I. Stepanova, N. Korneeva”.
The activity of the Museum today is based on the achievements of the generations of Museum workers: about 7 million visitors, 250 thousand excursions, 12 thousand lectures, 450 exhibitions, more than 20 thousand Museum items of the main (state) fund. The Museum's collections include book rarities, household items and applied art of the late XIXth – first half of the XXth centuries; documents, iconography, numismatics of the Soviet era; paintings, drawings by A.Ya. Kravchenko, E. Kibrik, S. Brodsky, S. Adamovich, just to name a few.
st. P. Korchagina, 4