The museum is a collection of rare war photographs of Tsarist Russia of the late 19th – early 20th centuries. The exposition features photographs of the guardsmen of the oldest guards regiments of Tsarist Russia (Life Guards). Photographs were awarded the Emperor’s medals and foreign awards. Some of the photographs are hand-colored with retouching, which is not common today.
Anton Samarin, the founder of the museum, was fond of the history of Russia since he was a little kid. He collected, bough and exchanged antiques a lot; he spent a lot of time and money for this. Meanwhile, a decent collection of photographs was being collected. Buying interesting and rare things at various auctions and tender bids, Anton replenished his collection. Then he found a good place in his city and opened the Museum of Rarities in Kuznetsk.