Indian Libraries and Archives
A researcher’s experience in 2011
A researcher of pre 1800 military history,who was not connected with an academic institution, in 2011 wrote "I did visit the Madras Archives ...with little clue as to where to go. There was no Index and no one to help barring a few students of history who were wrestling with their own difficulties. All the archives at Madras were stacked high and one could not reach any of them except through a request put into the Librarian!! This could take up to a 24 - 48 hour period --- and one came out from there feeling quite dusty, suffocated, coughing and sneezing". Regarding the Maharashtra State Archives he wrote "To my many queries to them, I did get replies which were primarily to become certified to be able to use the Archives. There was, however, no reply as to whether there was an index to the contents of the Archives. In my correspondence with them over an extended 6 months it became clear that there were no researchers who would be able to handle any requests for people who could not physically access the Archives and so were not able browse through relevant documents".
- National Archives of India
- How the National Archives of India Is Actually Destroying History by Choodie Shivaram 24/05/2017. thewire.in.
- A review of the National Archives of India, New Delhi by Derek L. Elliott Faculty of History, University of Cambridge posted 18 September 2012 dissertationreviews.org
- National Archives of India, a review by Erica Wald April 2006 London School of Economics’ Archives Made Easy: India, now an archived website
- National Archives of India is an “Attached Office” of the Ministry of Culture.
- Also in Delhi is the Delhi Archives: Articles Patparganj battle to TOI editions, story of Delhi in rare papers by Manimugdha S Sharma Oct 1, 2017, Times of India. Delhi’s past preserved, byte by byte by Manimugdha S Sharma Oct 1, 2017. Times of India.
- Centre for Armed Forces Historical Research (CAFHR) part of the United Service Institution of India (USI) may be a source of advice about location of military records
- The University of Chicago Digital South Asia Library’s Libraries & Archives in South Asia (LASA) Wiki
- American Historical Association’s Archives Wiki has some entries for India
- ICA International Council on Archives has some entries for India
- Directory of Indian Government websites has a page Art and Culture including some Archives and Libraries
- Ministry of Culture
- West Bengal State Archives
- Directorate of State Archives, Kolkata part of the Higher Education Department Government of West Bengal. The website has a “User Service” category which includes Research Rules. The latter states Non Indians : Aliens and foreign scholars are required to “produce letters of introduction from their Embassies/Legations in New Delhi/Kolkata and from their universities/institutions”.
- A review of State Archives of West Bengal by Cleo Roberts, Department of Architecture, University of Liverpool May 2, 2016. dissertationreviews.org. Her visit was in 2015. "Seeking advice is best done in person on registration. Emails and phone calls are often unanswered".
- Archive Review: Kolkata And Dhaka by Dharitri Bhattacharjee, Department of History, The University of Texas at Austin October 15, 2012 sagarjournal.org. Includes West Bengal State Archives (3 locations); National Library, Alipur, Kolkata; National Archives, Dhaka; Dhaka University Archives, Old Dhaka.
- West Bengal State Archives, a review by Erica Wald September 2007 London School of Economics’ Archives Made Easy:India, now an archived website
- Asiatic Society Library
- List of State Archives
- The National Library, Kolkata is a “Subordinate Office” of the Ministry of Culture
- See article under West Bengal State Archives, above
- The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society, a part of the St. Xavier's College building Calcutta
- Article Treasure trove wastes away by Sreecheta Das Monday , 27 August 2012. telegraphindia.com. Archive in the Calcutta Writers’ Building
- Directorate of Archives, Government of Maharashtra
- A review of the Maharashtra State Archives in Mumbai [Bombay] by Oliver Godsmark, Department of History, University of Exeter November 30, 2015. dissertationreviews.org
- Article dated Friday, 25 November 2011 about the collection of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai and the Maharashtra State Archives livemint.com
- Article What lies inside the secret state archives [Mumbai]? Mid-Day.com 10 October 2010
- Tamil Nadu Archives, Madras
- A review of the Tamil Nadu Archives (TNA), Chennai, India by Derek L. Elliott Faculty of History, University of Cambridge posted 12 March 2013 dissertationreviews.org
- Tamil Nadu State Archives, a review by Erica Wald October 2006 London School of Economics’ Archives Made Easy: India, now an archived website
- Tamil Nadu Archives from TANAP a website about the Archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC or Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), 1602-1796.
- Archives and Historical Research, Government of Tamil Nadu
- Secrets of Tamil Nadu's Archives Madras Musings Vol. XX No. 22, March 1-15, 2011 "...it became compulsory that any researcher wanting to gain access had to be affiliated to an educational institution"
- Assam State Archives Dispur, Guwahati, Assam. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
- Four Archives in Mizoram, India by Kyle Jackson, Department of History, University of Warwick, May 25, 2015. dissertationreviews.org. Mizoram is one of the seven Northeastern states of India, bordered by Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to its east and south, Bangladesh to its west, and the states of Manipur, Assam, and Tripura to its north.
- Libraries and Collections In Balochistan Balochistan Archives
- A review of the Historical Archives of Goa (Panaji, Goa) by Brian Wilson, University of Chicago posted 23 January 2014 dissertationreviews.org
- Gujarat State Archives
- Archives Department, Government of Kerala The Central Archives is at Trivandrum, with Regional Archives at Ernakulam (Cochin) and Kozhikode (Calicut)
- Article Kerala Regional Archive to get records from Mumbai The Hindu 25 November 2010
- A guide to Kozhikode archives October 5, 2011 The Hindu
- Treasure trove of history but victim of government neglect by by V.K. Jayanthan 21 June 2015. The Thalassery (Tellicherry) Revenue Reference Library. manoramaonline.com
- A review of the Institute Français de Pondichéry, India by Luther Obrock, (Department of South & Southeast Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley) posted March 13, 2014. dissertationreviews.org
- A review of Three Archives in Pakistan by Ali Usman Qasmi, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) October 5, 2015. dissertationreviews.org. Includes the Punjab Archives, Lahore.
- Punjab Archives Lahore sindharchives.gov.pk
- Article dated 8 July 2011, The Tribune, Pakistan by Sonia Malik gives details of records held at the Lahore Museum in respect of over 100,000 Indian soldiers who served in the British Army during the First World War.
- Some Archives in India and other counties from the BBC’s Next Steps- Tracing your Asian roots on the Indian subcontinent.
- Some Archives in India from Moving Here- Tracing Your Roots
- What a way to annihilate history! by Fozia Nazir Lone 26 February 2008 Greaterkashmir.com. Article about the Jammu and Kashmir State Archives in 2007. Regarding the records in Srinagar, "My real worry started when I was informed that the documents are not catalogued and the records in the boxes have got mixed up during the ‘pesticidal operation’ in late 1980s. The employees in the archives literally refused to enter the ‘hall’ due to health risks".
- Article Dust consumes Kashmir’s precious documents by Faheem Aslam 5 March 2011 Greaterkashmir.com
- "Atman's Atma: A Mauritian's search for his Indian roots" by Rajnish Sharma, now an archived webpage. This article, which appears to date from 2004, is about tracing the Indian origins of an indentured labourer sent to Mauritius to work on a sugar plantation. c 1896. The subject of the article was appalled by the condition of the archives both in Lucknow and Chapra (Uttar Pradesh)
- A series of four Blogs by Dinyar Patel. The New York Times: Global Edition: India
- In India, History Literally Rots Away 20 March 2012
- Repairing the Damage at India’s National Archives 21 March 2012
- India’s Archives: How Did Things Get This Bad? 22 March 2012
- The Parsis, Once India’s Curators, Now Shrug as History Rots 23 March 23, 2012
- "Survey of libraries in Bangladesh, provinces of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura in India conducted by the CSAL - A Report" by Abhijit Bhattacharya, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta 5 May 2006
- Indian Courts, a Government of India website.
Other countries in the region
- A review of the National Archives of the Republic of Indonesia (ANRI) by Matthew Minarchek, Department of History, Cornell University, posted May 26, 2015. dissertationreviews.org
- A review of the National Library of Singapore by P.J. Thum, Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore posted April 17, 2013. dissertationreviews.org
- A review of the National Archives of Sri Lanka by Nadeera Rupesinghe, PhD Candidate, Institute of History, Leiden University, posted January 4, 2016. dissertationreviews.org
- By email to User:Maureene dated 23 August 2011
- By email to User:Maureene dated 21 August 2011