In 1966 the All-Union Scientific and Research Institute for Records and Archives Management (VNIIDAD) was created within the system of the Main Archival Administration at the Council of Ministers of the USSR (GAU USSR). An official birthday of the Institute is on March 2, 1966, when the corresponding Regulation of the USSR Council of Ministers was issued.

VNIIDAD was to carry out scientific and research work (NIR) in archival activity and records management. And as a result of its work the Institute had to develop methodical recommendations on archival activity and records management in all institutions of the Soviet Union.

Since 1991 there was a new period of activity in VNIIDAD. Formation of the Russian statehood, market relations, the undertaken archival reform and new archival legislation demanded serious scientific analysis of a state of Russia’s archival system, its problems, possible spheres of development. In such situation the role of VNIIDAD as a unique scientific center of the field has considerably increased.

After collapse of the USSR and formation of the Russian Federation all functions on archival activity management in the country were transferred to a specially created body – Rosarkhiv. VNIIDAD, renamed to the All-Russian Scientific and Research Institute for Records and Archives Management, was included into its structure, together with other federal archival institutions. The abbreviation did not change – VNIIDAD, however, the Institute gradually changed its identity.

Currently, VNIIDAD is under the jurisdiction of the Federal Archival Agency, exercising over the Institute the functions and authorities of the founder. VNIIDAD as a scientific institution carries out the research, scientific and information, methodological, educational and expert activities.

The main structural units of the Institute are departments, realizing the research, editorial and publishing activities, as well as centers for the information, educational, consulting, expert services. Now, more than 80 employees are working at the Institute, including Doctors and Candidates of Sciences. VNIIDAD specialists are the first-hand developers of regulatory legal acts and scientific and methodological recommendations.

In archival activity the Institute has developed rules, methods and regulations of work of state organizations’ archives. A number of documents’ lists, regulating selection of documents for archival storage, was formulated. The most important spheres of research work of the Institute are the following: solution of theory and practice on documents appraisal and acquisition of archives, creation and development of finding aids system and its theoretical and methodical base, classification of archival information. Specialists of VNIIDAD are successfully engaged in solution of questions, concerning archival activity economy, preservation of archival documents and use of them.

In records science and documentary support of management the Institute is working at theoretical researches, connected with studying of information essence of a document, its properties and functions, processes of document’s creation and also formation of documentation systems. Researches on history of recordkeeping and terminology of records science and documentary support of management are carried out. Also researches of applied character are directed to generalization of practical experience on elaboration and implementation of technologies of work with documents, including electronic records and electronic records circulation systems (corporate information systems), development of organizational bases of creation of records management systems.

The Institute successfully cooperates with the International Organization for Standardization, participates in development of major international standards on records management and informs international professional community about its principles of the Russian records managers, concerning records management and standardization.

Recently the themes of the Institute’s scientific researches are closely connected with the changes, happening in information technologies, more and more wide dissemination of electronic records and significant expansion of electronic records circulation. The works in improvement of documentary support of management, preservation of archival documents, development of automated archival technologies, functioning of electronic archives are very important.

The Training center of professional development on archival activity and documentary support of management, which provides retraining and advanced education of personnel in the specified areas, is successfully functioning in VNIIDAD. In 2003 The Institute has acquired a status of basic organization for retraining and professional development of personnel on archival and records science, documentary support of management of the CIS countries by the decision of the Council of Government Heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

VNIIDAD is engaged in training of scientific and pedagogical staff in postgraduate courses. The Institute provides internships and work placements for university students.

The Institute provides archival organizations and organizations in other sectors with normative and scientific and methodological literature on archival activity and documentary support of management.

The Academic Council of VNIIDAD includes leading experts from the Federal Archives Agency, VNIIDAD and other organizations to discuss and improve the quality and efficiency of the Institute's research activities.

As part of its editorial and publishing activities, in July 2018, the Academic Council of VNIIDAD established a scientific information and analytical journal "Herald of VNIIDAD" as a platform for professionals to share the results of their research work, exchange views on actual professional problems, ways to solve them, ensure scientific communication, involve young scientists in research work and promote the obtained results into the work of archival institutions, records management services and educational organizations. According to the recommendations of the Presidium of the Higher Certification Commission under the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia, by Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia from December 22, 2020, № 443-p, the journal "Herald of VNIIDAD" is included into the List of peer-reviewed scientific publications, in which the main scientific results of theses for the degree of PhD and Doctor of sciences must be published.

The Institute provides consulting and expert services. It is the organizer of scientific and practical activities in archival science and records management.