The National Archives of India (NAI) is the repository of the non-current records of the Government of India and is holding them in trust for the use of records creators and general users. It is an Attached Office of the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
The National Archives of India (NAI) was established as the Imperial Records Department in Calcutta (Kolkata), the erstwhile capital of British India on 11th March 1891. It was transferred to New Delhi in 1911 and the present building at the crossing of Janpath and Rajpath was completed in 1926.
To help in spreading a feeling of national pride in our documentary cultural heritage and ensuring its preservation for posterity.
The National Archives of India is the custodian of all `Public` records of the Government of India and are available for use of `bonafide` research. Access to the records in the National Archives of India is governed by the provisions of Public Records Rules, 1997. Indian researchers are required to submit a letter of introduction from their sponsoring University/Institution and foreign nationals are required to submit a letter of introduction from their diplomatic mission in addition to a letter of introduction from their sponsoring University/Institution. Researchers may seek permission to consult the records in the prescribed application format to be filled up at the time of enrolment.
The rich research-oriented Library provides a wide range of services to scholars, trainees, government agencies, and other interested users. It presently has in its custody over 1.9 lakh publications comprising Rare Books, Reports, Parliamentary Papers and Debates, Monographs, Gazettes, Gazetteers, Travelogues, Native Newspapers, Journals etc. which constitute a most valuable supplementary source of information to the material contained among official records. These publications cover a variety of subjects like modern history and politics, culture, demography, archives, economics, social science, gender studies, tribal studies etc. With the rapid strides being made in information technology, the Library is gearing itself to adopt modern technology to facilitate the task of scholars and make its services more user friendly.
The Abhilekh PATAL portal for Access to Archives and Learning is an initiative of NAI to make its rich treasure of Indian Archival Records available to one and all at the click of a button. Abhilekh PATAL is a full-featured web-portal to access the National Archives of India’s reference media and its digitized collections through the internet. It is ‘work-in-progress’ and both the reference media and the digital data will be regularly augmented.
Abhilekh is a Sanskrit term used in India for records since ancient times. PATAL is a Sanskrit term for a board, platform, or a surface, has been used as an acronym for Portal for Access to Archives and Learning.
The Online Reference Media contains more than 2.7 million files held by the National Archives of India. The Digitized Collections contains over 71792 digitized records for online access.