How it all began… More than a century ago Moscow’s Honorary Citizen, entrepreneur and benefactor V.F. Arshinov signed a contract with a famous architect, F.O. Shechtel, under which a new special building for a research institute was to be built for his son, Alumnus of Moscow University and a student of V.I. Vernadsky. In 1904 the foundation of the building on Bolshaya Ordynka was laid, and that marked the beginning of VIMS history. A young researcher, later professor, RSFSR Honoured Worker of Science, V.V. Arshinov gave his institute a Latin name “Lithogaea” – “lithoidal Earth”. He defined the aim of this first and one-of-a-kind private research institute in Russia as study and assessment of national mineral resources.