Art Projects Foundation came into existence in 2001, partly as a replacement for the Soros Center for Contemporary Art, which was active between 1994 and 2000. Its archive was transferred to the Foundation with the help of a grant from the Open Society Institute. In the 11 years it was managed by the Foundation, the archive saw the addition of new documents and publications donated by Moscow artists and art historians, and new material gathered by the staff. One of the main contributors to the archive was Yulia Ovchinnikova, an art historian and filmmaker who started documenting the Moscow art scene in 1994.
The archive contains documentary materials relating to contemporary art in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and other cities within Russia dating back to the late 1950s. Materials include documentary photographs and videos, articles published by newspapers and magazines, unpublished essays by artists and critics, exhibition posters, invitations and press releases. Video documentation from the archive allows us to trace the careers of particular artists and identify the general currents of the Moscow art scene. Footage from the archive has already enabled the production of a range of films including the seven-part Chronicles of Moscow Contemporary Art, and has been used in the making of many other documentaries and films about exhibitions in Moscow and abroad, as well as in educational events.