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The museum was founded in 1995 as a result of the expansion of the Department of Fine Arts' Cabinet for Architecture and Urban Planning, whose rich collection of archival materials became the initial collection of the museum.
The museum collects, stores, and explores relevant documentation and data from the history of Croatian architecture, and puts special emphasis on collecting materials from the period of Croatian Modernism, i.e., from the turn of the twentieth century until the present. A number of architectural plans are kept within the individual archival units. The collection has about 18,000 copies of various archival materials: plans, drawings, models, photographs, slides, correspondence, and other documents related to the history of Croatian architecture. The data on the museum holdings have been computerized and are available to all researchers.
The museum has no permanent exhibitions; it organizes periodical exhibitions in order to present both its holdings and relevant architectural creation of individual authors or periods.
The museum also promotes modern architecture and develops the culture of dialogue within the profession by organizing thematic exhibitions and panels; it also engages in extensive publishing activities.