A unique historical and ethnographic Museum of Zhangir Khan is in Uralsk. It refers to the new type of museums, which is created in independent Kazakhstan. History of the museum is unusual and may serve as an example of the successful implementation of social and civic initiatives for Kazakh culture development. A small university museum of West Kazakhstan Agricultural University named after Zhangir Khan was the basis of creation the museum.
The creation of the Historical Museum of the university began in 2003 by initiation of the University Rector and Professor K.K.Bozymov in order to socialize students and educate youth with the spirit of patriotism. The museum was opened in autumn of 2003, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the university. Historical background of the university, veteran teachers as A.A.Karasaev and A.D.Darbaev, B.B.Traisov, G.K.Moldashev and others contributed their history into preparation of the new Museum of the History. The former director of the Scientific Library of the University P.Zh.Isataeva gave valuable exhibits to the museum.
In order to support the implementation of the state program "Cultural heritage", which was proposed by the President in his Address to Nation in 2003, searching work began for developing the museum.
The museum began his work as a university on 1 March 2004, and it becomes as a structural subdivision of the West Kazakhstan regional historical museum. From the first day, all exhibits were taken under state protection and got a guarantee of safety. Additional state created conditions for further development. In 2008, the exhibition area of the museum has expanded to 327 sq.m. due to addition of two new halls.
Zhangir Khan was one of the first people who realized the consequences of the crisis of nomadic culture and trends of world civilizations. He took drastic measures and reforms in inner policy of Bukey Khanate. He finished the construction of Khan Bids and set it as an example of housing in 1827. Urbanization and professional education of society, the development of commodity-money relations, and other extraordinary steps led him to achieve political calm and ensure a high standard life. Graduates of his school became prominent figures of Kazakhstan, activists of Alash and Alash Orda Autonomy, deputies of the State Duma of Russia, educators and scientists, Heroes of peaceful and selfless work. The lexical Kazakh word - "Kazakhstan" was entered on published eponymous newspaper. The Zhangir Khan school (1841) gave a rapid growth surge of Khan Bids. The capital in the sand was turned into a large, commercial, industrial and administrative center with schools and multi-national centers. Since then, the school became a city forming and unifying the beginning of Kazakhstan.
The main aim and objective of Zhangir Khan historical and ethnographic museum was the creation of well-developed in a methodical and scientific terms, subject-documentary image of Zhangir Khan as a statesman, reformer and educator of the XIX century, and faith disclosure of old culture, life and Kazakh traditions.
Zhangir Khan hall takes the central place of exposition. His intense and fruitful activity was presented in this room by original documents, which found in 2004-2008 from archives and libraries of Kazan, Orenburg, Saratov, St. Petersburg and Moscow. Polyglot, politician and diplomat, philanthropist and devotee of science, all his thoughts were devoted to the welfare and prosperity of the Kazakh people. Enlightened mind, broad-minded and unbending allowed him to make an extensive business and scientific correspondence with prominent figures and scientists of Russia and Europe.
The ethnography hall presented works of folk arts and crafts, household items, horse harness and national costumes. Authentic ethnographic exhibits open visitors a unique world of material and spiritual culture of the nomadic people. Kiiz ui (yurt) is in the heart of the hall, which is on the background of the canvas "Aul is getting ready for toy". Yurt-Otau is for newlyweds, Zhasau - bride's dowry, household items and folk arts of Kazakhs supplement the exposition.
The hall of Bukey Horde has many documents and photographs of the XIX century, copies of books with printing of Zhangir Khan taken from the National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan.
From foundation day the museum takes an active part in the cultural life of Uralsk. During the ten years of work, the museum had more than 30 thousand people, and the museum staff provided 1335 excursions and 130 cultural events. The museum develops, and staff makes a great job on searching of new exhibits, creation of stands and improvement of exposition.