The GULAG History State Museum was founded in 2001; the exhibition was opened in 2004. The Museum’s founder, Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, a well-known historian, writer and public figure, was himself a prisoner of Stalin’s labor camps.
The museum collection comprises a documentary archive, letters and memoirs by former GULAG prisoners, their personal belongings and a collection of artworks by former GULAG inmates and contemporary artists offering their own vision of the subject.
The exhibition is dedicated to the history of the rise, development and decline of the Soviet labor camp system, an instrumental and integral part of the Soviet state machinery in the 1930s – 50s, and its political, administrative and economic role. The exhibition room also displays personal cases of various people who fell victim to the Soviet repressive policy and were sentenced to labor camp imprisonment.