Nikolai Kharuzin was an ethnographer, archaeologist and historian. Born into a merchant family in Moscow in 1865, Nikolai Kharuzin, like his siblings Mikhail, Alexei and Vera, devoted himself to ethnography at an early age. He undertook research trips to the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Baltic States, Siberia and the Altai. On most of these trips he was accompanied by his sister.
He was a member and, from 1889 to 1893, secretary of the Imperial Society for Friends of Natural History, Anthropology, and Ethnography.
Together with Alexander Miller, he enforced the establishment of an institute of ethnology at Moscow University, where he gave the first lecture in ethnography in 1896. Not least because of this, Kharuzin is considered one of the founders of Russian ethnography.
He was also involved in the founding of the first professional journal for ethnography (Etnografitscheskoje Obosrenije), the first issues of which he financed himself. He died in Moscow in 1900.