The department is the oldest in the museum. The department exhibition consists of six halls, in which more than 2 thousand original exhibits are on display. They represent the history of the town from the primeval age until now. The most exciting exhibit is the archeological collection, which represents the Old Rus and Lithuanian-Polish epochs. Rare exhibits tell about the national liberation struggle of the Ukrainian people in the 17th c. Other valuable exhibits include an ethnographic collection (traditional national clothes of 19th – 20th c., rushnyks, coins, household items), a collection of icons and printed books of 17th-19th c. The events of 1941-1945 are vividly represented (weapons, medals, documents from Soviet and German archives). A part of exhibition is devoted to the tragic events of the present – the struggle for independence and territorial unity of Ukraine.
The department of history of Nizhyn Ivan Spassky Museum of Local History is the oldest department in the museum. The department was opened in 1976 as a museum of local history.
Today, the department offers six exhibition halls, in which more than 2 thousand original exhibits are on display. Each of the halls represents a particular period of the town’s history.
The biggest period is covered by the exhibits of the first hall: from the times of the first human settlements on the territory between the rivers Desna and Oster in 6th-3rd millenia BC to 1825. An interesting collection of archeological findings, acquired during the excavation on the territory of the old part of the town presents exhibits of the Cossack age (cold steel and firearms, hetmans’ decrees), the exhibits which characterize Nizhyn as a multinational town with a big number of churches (for example, the origin of the Greek society).
The exhibition of the second hall covers the period from 1825 to 1914. The exhibits on display include: the books which the graduates of the local Count Bezborodko Lyceum used to study; original documents – witnesses of the cancellation of serfdom and progressive reforms of the 19th c. Other exhibits represent Nizhyn cultural life of Nizhyn of the 19th c.
The third hall is devoted to the period of 1917-1941: national liberation struggle of 1917-1921, establishment of the Soviet regime, 1932-1933 famine in Soviet Ukraine, repressions of the 1930s and the beginning of World War II. There are some of personal things and awards of the residents of Nizhyn, who took up arms to defend treedom. Different kinds of weapons of World War II are on display in the middle of the hall.
The exhibits of the fourth hall are completely devoted to the underground organization of I.P. Batiuk and the partisan movement in Nizhyn area: weapons, a model of a guerilla dugout, things taken from the places of mass execution of citizens.
The fifth exhibition hall is devoted to the topic of liberation of Nizhyn and Ukraine from the German invaders (personal things, documents, original frontline souvenirs).
The sixth exhibition hall highlights the history of Nizhyn from 1946 to 2016. The materials of the post-war recovery of the town are represented in the hall.