The Ardatov Local Lore Museum was opened in 1975. The permanent exhibition created in 1976 occupied the house that had been owned by M. N. Gernet, Doctor of History, legal historian (1874 to 1953). In 1990, the museum moved into another building, on Dyuchkova Street. It is situated in the town center and is a very important element of the existing historic environment.
The museum's collections amount to 19 thousand objects of Mordovian history and culture. In 2007, the museum staff did much work to build up a new permanent exhibition. The thematic structure is based on the principle of historical and chronological display: primitive communal system and Middle Ages, the land in the 18th and 19th cc., contemporary history of the land.
Archeological and palaeontological materials, contemporaries of life many thousand years ago are shown in one of the first display cases.
The central place of the exhibition is occupied by exhibits connected with the history of the foundation of the town, a portrait of Ekaterina II, an original copy of the Plan of Town of Ardatov of Simbirskaya Province approved in 1879 are displayed there.
Citizens of Ardatov took an active part in the peasant wars under the leadership of S. Razin and E. Pugachev. Information and images, samples of weapons let visitors imagine vividly the 17-18th c. events.
The permanent exhibition has a section dedicated to A. S. Pushkin. In 1833, when he was travelling back to Boldino from Orenburg where A. S. Pushkin had collected materials for his History of the Pugachev Rebellion, the poet passed by Ardatov and some villages of the area. Objects available in the museum's collections made it possible to create part of the poet's study.
The peasant lifestyle of the 19th century is shown in one of the museum exhibition halls. Local carpenters made a maquette of a log cabin with interior traditional for that period: long benches by the table, cradle, household utilities, homespun carpets on the floor. Many photos help to imagine what the town looked like in the late 19th and early 20 th cc.
The key position in the department of contemporary history is represented by the theme of war. The Ardatov museum's permanent exhibition displays many historic and documentary materials about veterans, our fellow-countrymen who took part in the World War I, Great Patriotic War, Afghanistan and Chechen wars