The Manuscripts and Scientific Documentation Department holds over 100,000 items. The Department includes three collections: personal archival collections, the photographic library, and architectural graphics.

The archival documents of the personal collections contain handwritten copies of theses and working materials related to them (bibliographic references, photographs on the topics of theses), handwritten copies of monographs, scientific articles, reports, preparatory materials for scientific research, personal correspondence, and pictorial materials.

The personal funds also include documents of pedagogical activities: lecture courses, teaching aids, and methodological documents.

The photographic library of the department contains over 60,000 negatives and photographs. Its first collection of negatives (over 4,000) consisted of two subjects - wooden house architecture in the Neo-Russian style and the Kaslino art castings from private collections. Since 1999 the Library has housed a unique collection of negatives and photographs which were collected by the Art Industry Research Institute and donated to the All-Russian Decorative Art Museum after the Institute was closed down.

In 2020, a collection of architectural graphics was donated to the museum by the heirs of Alexei Viktorovich Shchusev.