The exposition “Exile in Vologda” is about the renowned Russian statesmen, scientists, researchers and cultural figures that objected to the policy of the leading party and were exiled to Vologda because of their opposition. The museum is housed in a two-storied wooden building that dates back to the early 20th century. It was chosen for a number of reasons. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin lived in this house in exile from December 1911 to February 1912.
There were outstanding politicians, philosophers, literary men, and scientists among the people banished to Vologda, for example: A. Lunacharsky, B. Savinkov, A. Bogdanov, N. Berdyaev, V. Molotov, M. Ulyanova, J. Stalin and others. They had a considerable impact on the political, social and cultural life of the region. Their involvement in illegal activities led to the years of internal exile – mild sentence compared to the fate of many other revolutionaries.
In all, about 10,000 people lived in exile in Vologda from the second half of the 19th century to the early 20th century. That period was a time of great intellectual activity for many of them. Different materials about investigation activities in pre-revolutionary Russia are displayed in the museum, including official documentation, seals, photographs, personal files, and secret-service documents. Visitors can also find information about Vologda’s governors, police and gendarmerie. They can trace the work of law-enforcement bodies ranging from counterspy activity to investigation, trial and custody.