Nikolay Shavrov

Nikolay Shavrov

Nikolay Shavrov (1858-1915) – Russian biologist, founder and the first director (1887-1909) of the Caucasian Sericulture Station. Shavrov was born in Ukraine (then part of the Russian Empire), city of Mykolaiv. He studied at the Imperial Lyceum of Moscow and later in the University of Moscow on the faculty of natural science. Shavrov worked in the Tbilisi Chamber of Control in 1882-85. From there, he was sent to Europe to be introduced to sericulture stations in Austria-Hungary, Italy and France. Shavrov moved to Moscow upon his return in 1886 to work in the Ministry of State Property, where he was commissioned to study the condition of sericulture in the Caucasus region and to contribute to its improvement. His research let to the creation of the Caucasian Sericulture Station in Tbilisi. Shavrov was the first director of the station and was in charge of it for over 20 years, managing both educational and scientific departments.

Shavrov was distinguished by his diligence and devotion to his work. Vladimir Ivanov (Nikolay’s assistant and second director of the station) recalls seeing Shavrov working at his desk late into the night and returning very early the next morning, a routine that lasted for months. Shavrov never missed any expeditions or events organized by the sericulture station. Due to this fact, many people associated sericulture to his name and in some Caucasian villages he was even called “Silk Cocoon General”.

Shavrov devoted his work not only to sericulture, but also to other fields of agriculture. He published a total of 82 scientific works and collaborated with various magazines and newspapers.

One of Shavrov's significant contributions was his involvement in the creation and enrichment of the Silk Museum collections. The objects gathered during his trips and expeditions still form a major part of the museum’s collections.