The start of the way – the first year of Nizami Museum visible from the Book of Orders
Rafael Huseynov

The National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature named after Nizami Ganjavi was founded in November 1939 by the decision of the Government of Azerbaijan in relation with the 800th anniversary of the author of "Khamsa", which would take place and be celebrated in 1941. Initially, it was supposed to function as a housemuseum of the poet-philosipher. However, due to the participation of the Soviet Union which then included also Azerbaijan, in the Second World War of 1941, the celebration of the anniversary of Nizami, like many other cultural initiatives, was postponed. While construction activities in the museum continued, the opening of the exhibition to the public was delayed until the end of the war, which took place in May 1945. Over time, this important cultural and scientific institution, which turned into a museum reflecting not only one great poet, but the entire Azerbaijani literature, began to be built in the mid twentieth century by the joint efforts of prominent Azerbaijani scholars. This process was closely attended not only by literary scholars, but also historians, art historians and archaeologists. From the very beginning, the founders of the museum looked to the future and envisioned the future of this place as the one that represents and promotes the literature of Azerbaijan from ancient times to the present day. This is evidenced by the exhibits collected from the first year of the construction of the museum, paintings and sculptures commissioned by individual Azerbaijani artists, manuscripts and archival documents. Details about the years of the museum foundation are accurately reflected in the company's first book of orders. This first handwritten Book of the Orders was started on October 1, 1939 and completed on December 12, 1940. The last entry on the front cover of the book states that it should be kept for 75 years. However, these pages contain the names of so many worthy people who have done a lot for Azerbaijan, so many interesting details about the history of the Nizami Museum that such documents must be kept for indefinite time. The article describes the socio-political, cultural and intellectual environment of the period when the National Museum of Azerbaijani Literature named after Nizami Ganjavi was founded on the basis of the news from the Book of Orders, memories of living witnesses and other documents stored in various archives.

Keywords: museum of Azerbaijani Literature, author of "Khamsa", anniversary of Nizami, entire Azerbaijani literature, prominent Azerbaijani scholars, memories of living witnesses, archive documents, socio-political, cultural and intellectual environment