The Archive is based on materials from the museum's archival department. The department was established in 2000 for the storage, acquisition, accounting, and use of archival documents. However, materials began to be collected from the first day of the museum’s work back in 1944. The archive is responsible for the formation of new and the development of existing personal archives of art historians and artists connected with the museum. The main work on organizing documents began at the end of 2008. Today the archive contains over 1,000 files. These are mainly records dealing with the museum’s past work: reports on activities, Tagil artists’ personal files, correspondence with various institutions, documents on the study of artworks from the museum’s collection, a large collection of exhibition posters.
Artists’ personal creative documents form an important part of the archive. These include the records of Pavel Golubyatnikov, a student of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin who died in besieged Leningrad, as well as those of Mikhail Shemyakin, and Mikhail Kramskoy. In August 2015, the collection acquired the personal archive of the artist and architect Raisa Golyshko, a student of Ely Belyutin. The archive contains documents of the Tagil artists Yevgeny Bortnikov, Pyotr Bortnov, Vilen Mukharkin, and Viktor Mogilevich, donated by their family members. The work on replenishing files with information about Tagil artists and museum employees of different periods is constant.
The museum archive is partly public, with access open to researchers and university students whose research deals with museum studies, history, local history, cultural studies, and art history.