Introduction on Exhibition
To promote archival awareness among the people, the National Archives of India has been organizing thematic exhibitions since 1973. The first exhibition entitled March towards Freedom (1919-1947) for the public was organized in February 1973 on the occasion of silver jubilee of our Independence. In 1978, International Council on Archives recommended for the Celebration of Archives Week all over the world. In pursuance of recommendation of ICA, Dr. S. N. Prasad, Director of Archives, moved a resolution in the 30th meeting of the National Committee of the Archivist, which met at Aurangabad, that Archives Week should be celebrated throughout the country. An exhibition entitled Our Heritage was organized in the department in August 1978 as a part of first archives week celebrations. An International Archives Week was also celebrated in 1979 by organizing an exhibition entitled Archives and Child. In order to bring the common man close to the archival heritage, the department introduced an Open House Programme wherein the visitors were taken on a conducted tour to conservation, preservation sections and repository of records in order to gain first hand knowledge of the presentation of records. The first open house programme was organized in January 1981 and a small display of documents on a social issue viz Sati-Widow burning and Widow Remarriage was also on view along with the conducted tour.
During the span of last five decades, the archival exhibitions on freedom struggle, prominent personalities, social evils, historical events, archival practices, contemporary national and international events, etc were displayed. The National Archives has also participated in the International Events and an exhibition entitled Druzba- Dosti was organized in 1988 under the aegis of Festival of India in Russia.
A new experiment of mounting the exhibitions outside the premises of the department was made in 1994 when an exhibition entitled Lahuluhan Baisakhi was displayed in the complex of historical Jalianwala bagh at Amritsar as well as in the state capital. Further, two more exhibitions entitled Azad Hind Fauj se Azadi Tak on the Birth Centenary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Dandi-Yatra on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the historic march was prepared and sent across the country for display in 1997 and 2005 respectively. The condensed versions of these exhibitions was also sent to various State Capitals.
On the occasion of five hundred years of Indo-Turkmenistan Relations, an exhibition entitled Dhaga Prem Ka: Bairam and Rahim was sent for display to Ashghabad, Turkmenistan in September 2000. Two exhibitions for International Forum, entitled Chalo Delhi based on Indian National Army and Subhas Chandra Bose and Journey of Girmitya: Movement of Indentured labours from India to Mauritius were also organized at Singapore and Port Louis, Mauritus in 2003 and 2011 respectively. The Department also got the privilege of mounting archival exhibitions on the occasion of three World Hindi Conferences at Paramaribo(2003), Suriname (2007); New-York, USA(2007) and Johannesburg, South Africa(2012).
The National Archives of India also organized number of exhibitions in joint collaboration with Indian and Foreign Institutions, the first among them was Shanameh: The Everlasting Heritage of Persia, and was followed by an exhibition on Fort William College Collection:- A Collection of Rare Oriental Books, Calligraphy, The Holy Quran, Fascinating Documents from National Archives of India all in collaboration with Iran Culture House, New- Delhi between 2010- 2013.The exhibition Beyond the Frame: India in Britain, 1858 - 1950 was organized in collaboration with British Library, British Council, The Open University and Arts and Humanities Research Council, London in National Archives of India in November-December 2011. The Department also collaborated with Indian council for Cultural Relations and organized two exhibitions entitled Indo-Oman Relations on the occasion of Joint Academic Symposium on India and Oman – Prospects and Civilization in February - March 2011 and Civilization Link Between India and Southeast Asian Nations during the ASEAN Summit 2012. On the occasion of meeting of the Heads of National Archives of IOR-ARC Countries, at New Delhi an exhibition on Documentary Heritage of IOR-ARC Countries was organized in collaboration with Ministry of External Affairs from 25-26 September2012.
Besides, National Archives of India have also got privilege for organizing permanent display of archival exhibitions on the occasion of birth centenary of Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan in 2002 at his ancestral house at Sitabdiara, Balia as well as in the premises of Mahila Charkha Samiti, Patna. An exhibition entitled Mohan to Mahatma has also been organized in the pergola of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Smiti, New Delhi which was opened for public viewing from 2 October 2015.