Irkutsk Regional Ethnographical Museum is one of the oldest museums in Russia. It was founded in December 1782 on the initiative of the governor of Irkutsk F.Klichka, who called the city fathers to donate funds for the construction of the museum and the first library. Responded local merchants - Melnikovs, Dudarovskies, Medvednikovs, Trapeznikovs, Basnins, Sibiryakovs and Butins. A significant amount was contributed by the governor himself F.Klichka. The organizers of the museum and the library became a naturalist Alexander Karamyshev in charge of the library, and an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences Eric Laxman. During his travels in Russia E.Laksman captured unique mineralogical collections and herbaria, which formed the basis of two museums - the Museum of St. Petersburg Mining Institute and Irkutsk.