Ilya Mechnikov’s Memorial Collection

The collection of biologist and Nobel laureate Ilya Mechnikov (1845–1916), best known for his pioneering research in immunology, was assembled after the scientist’s death by his wife Olga. The process was extremely taxing: the collection travelled from Moscow to Paris and back again, changing hands multiple times. The Museum ultimately received it in 1975. Ilya Mechnikov’s collection includes his own publications in multiple languages, books about the scientist, other researchers’ works, as well as fictional literature, Mechnikov’s notebooks and research protocols, manuscripts, lecture materials, notes on an expedition to the steppes of Kalmykia, and the scientist’s letters, diplomas, congratulatory notes and other documents. The collection also includes numerous portraits of Mechnikov, as well as the gold medal he jointly received with Paul Ehrlich from the Nobel Foundation in 1908 for their immunology research.