The chronological starting point of E. A. Mikhailova’s article about the history of the oldest popular museum of Russia, at the same time a major centre for ethnography, anthropology and history of eighteenth-century Russian culture, the year 1992, has been defined by two circumstances. First, this year the Leningrad branch of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR recovered its independence, with the status of Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Academy of Sciences of Russia. At the same time, it was included into the category of especially valuable objects of the cultural heritage of the Federation of Russia. The author depicts the structure of a museum, the main orientations of its scientific, museum and exhibition activity, as well as the research and projects of its current staff. She evokes the periodical publications, conferences and permanent seminars, and mentions the new possibilities linked with computer technologies for the expansion of information databases and the development of multidimensional scientific programmes.