The collection of printed sources and visual materials is one of the largest in the entire collection of the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum. It includes a research library, a sector of fine arts materials and rare books. The history of this collection began in 1885, when the Artisanal Museum and the book depository were established at the Moscow provincial zemstvo.

During the pre-revolutionary years and the first post-revolutionary decade, the collection was enriched with graphics by artists, working in the Artisanal Museum: S.I.Yaguzhinsky, S.V.Malyutin, V.A.Vatagin, A.M.Vasnetsov, B.N.Lange, K.P.Prussov, E.G.Telyakovsky, Z.D.Kashkarova, A.Suvorov, N.D.Bartram, which is now kept in the fund of fine arts materials. It was during this period that a unique collection of books on decorative, applied and folk art was put together.

In 1932, the Research Library of the Art Industry Research Institute was formed on the basis of the book depository of the Artisanal Museum. The uniqueness of the library lies in the fact that all materials stored there (books, journals, albums and tables) are oriented towards the research and creative practice of artists and masters of folk decorative and applied arts. The most precious part of the library's collection are hundreds of unpublished colored handwritten sketches (often in a single copy), made by the Institute's employees during scientific expeditions and in the field conditions. They document monuments of folk art and examples of folk crafts. For example, field research in the Arkhangelsk region in 1957 - 1958 (art historians I.P.Rabotnova, V.M.Vishnevskaya; artists L.A.Kozhevnikova, Z.A.Arkhipova) allow to study in detail northern paintings of Verhnyaya Uftuga, Shenkursk, Mezen, Pinega, their regional features, stylistic diversity. Albums of artist V.Yakovleva demonstrate research of embroidery traditions of different Russian regions, their distinctive stylistic features and techniques. Albums prepared by her were published in 1954 - 1959 in the All-Union Cooperative United Publishing House.

Expedition reports and albums of sketches were deposited in the library of the Institute as scientific and methodological materials available to its specialists, artists, and craftsmen. Information about the expeditions was published in the journal "Soviet Ethnography". On the basis of the carried out researches the Institute regularly issued collections of the Art Industry Research Institute works from 1962-1991. A total of 31 issues were published.

After the Art Industry Research Institute was liquidated in 1998 the library and the entire archive were transferred to the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum, thus considerably expanding the museum's collection with valuable specialized materials. As a result, a unique collection of scientific literature on decorative, applied and folk art was formed.

Fine Arts Sector. The collection was started in 1994 and by now it has grown into a unique collection of paintings and drawings. The main part of the collection consists of one-of-a-kind sketches by famous masters, who worked in different kinds of decorative and applied arts, and by contemporary artists. The chronological range of the material is from the first half of the 19th century to the present day. The collection of the rare publications sector also contains the most valuable and significant collections of rare books.

The collection of the department of printed sources and visual materials contains unique scientific collections - books, albums, journals, author's drawings, expeditionary sketches, which are of great scientific and artistic value and give wide possibilities for methodological, research, exhibition and publishing activities as a museum.