राष्ट्रीय अभिलेखागार
National Archives
of India
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Frequently Asked Questions
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1. What is the National Archives of India ?

The National Archives of India is the repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars. It is an Attached Office under Ministry of Culture. It was set up in March 1891 in Calcutta (Kolkata) of the Department of Culture as the Imperial Record Department and subsequent to the transfer of the National Capital from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911 it was shifted to its present building in 1926.

2. What are the activities of National Archives of India ?

Preserving the records of Govt. of India in its custody, and regulating the Access and Records Management policy of the Govt. as per the provisions of the Public Records Act, 1993. Preparing Inventories, Indices, Catalogues and other reference media of the public records as well as private records of eminent personalities received for safe custody. Providing training in various aspects of archival science at professional and sub-professional levels. Bringing Archives closer to the public through Exhibitions, Seminars, and Outreach programme and spreading awareness about the importance of our Heritage through display of select documents of popular interest in the Museum of National Archives of India. Providing financial assistance to State Archives, Museums, Libraries and Voluntary Organization and Individuals for proper Upkeep , Publication and Microfilming of rare manus / books in their custody.

3. What is the chronological range of records housed here ?

The Records housed in the National Archives of India are in regular series from 1748 onwards though there are stray records of the earlier period as well. The earliest record in the custody of the Department are the Gilgit MSs. Going back to the 6th Century A.D.

4. When was the present building of the National Archives of India built ?

The present building was completed in 1926 although transfer of records was completed only by 1937.

5. What are the kinds of records available here ?

Non-Current records of the Government of India, Private Papers of eminent personalities, Microfilm Rolls acquired from various countries. Besides English, the records are in Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Modi, Urdu etc. Apart from paper, records are also available on palm leaf, birch bark, parchment etc.

6. What is the process for registration for research in National Archives of India ?

A person who intends to consult the public/private records is required to apply to the Director General in the prescribed form, available in the Research Room alongwith supporting documents. Foreign nationals are required to submit letters from their sponsoring institution as well their diplomatic mission in India.

7. Is the National Archives open for public viewing ?

Yes, With prior permission from the Director General of Archives.

8. What kind of training is imparted by the National Archives of India ?

The School of Archival Studies of the NAI imparts training in One year Diploma Course in Archives Keeping as well as short term Certificate Courses at professional and sub-professional levels, like Repair and Servicing of records, Records Management, Reprography etc. For details please click Training.

9. What facilities are provided to research scholars visiting National Archives of India ?

National Archives of India provides different kinds of Finding Aids like Guides, Indexes, Catalogues, Deive Lists, etc to scholars visiting the Research Room to consult records. Microfilm readers are also available for the benefit of scholars. National Archives of India also offers facilities of Plain paper copy, Microfilming and Photocopying of documents on payment of moderate charges. On line facilities for access to records are also made through the Research Room of National Archives of India.

10. Does the National Archives of India acquire private collections as gifts ?

National Archives of India acquires private collections of eminent personalities etc through gifts or purchase.

11. How many records can a scholars requisition at one time ?

10 requisition slips can be submitted at one time subject to the maximum of 30 slips in a day.

12. What is the normal time for delivery of records to a scholar ?

It Takes approx. 2 to 3 hours to deliver a requisitioned record to a scholar.

13. What is the relation of National Archives of India with State Archives ?

National Archives of India has no administrative control over the State Archives. However, it tenders professional and technical advice and assistance to states for proper management of records and their use for historical research and development of Archives. National Archives of India also provides financial assistance to State Archives for proper up-keep, publication and microfilming of rare manus/books in their custody.

14. What are the reprographic rates in the Department ?

The National Archives of India provides a number of Reprographic Services on payment of moderate charges. Plain paper copies are available at Rs. 3/- per copy for Indian Scholars. For Indian students however, the rate is Rs. 1.50 per copy. Similarly, rate per exposure negative microfilms is Rs.6/- for Indian Scholars and Rs.40/- for Foreign Scholars. Detailed Schedule of rates can be seen on the Rates for Services.

15. What are the important publications of National Archives of India ?

National Archives of India is bringing out scholarly publications based on the valuable series of records in its holdings. Some of the important publications of the Department are Fort William - India House Correspondence, Selections from Educational Records, Index to Foreign and Political Department Records, Catalogue of M.R.I.O. - Miscellaneous maps of the Survey of India, Guide to Records in National Archives of India, National Register of Private Records, Proceedings of the Indian Historical Records Commission, Deive List of Persian Correspondence etc. The Department also brings out a bi-annual Journal "The Indian Archives". Complete list is available on the Publications List.

16. Does the Department undertake search of material on request by scholars ?

Yes, on payment of prescribed fees.

17. What is the e-mail address of N.A.I. ?

E-mail : archives@nic.in

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