The National Archives of India Record Centre started functioning in Pudducherry with effect from 01 January 1979 as a result of an agreement reached between the Government of Puducherry and Government of India in order to acquire and offer proper storage facilities to the French Archives. After functioning for a couple of months in Romain Rolland Library, the Record Centre was shifted in September 1979 to a rented building located at Rajaji Nagar, Lawspet. From 1980 onwards efforts were made by the Record centre to centralize the remaining portion of pre 1954 French Archives available in different Departments of Puducherry Government. The Government of India, Department of Culture decided to build a functional building of the South Zonal Record Centre of the National Archives of India. For the same purpose, 1.03 hectares of land was acquired in 1984 at Thattanchavady village of Puducherry and the functional building was constructed with cold storage facilities for the records. The new building was started in 1995.
In this Record Centre, approximately 1,50,000 historical documents, bound volumes, printed publication, palm leaf manuscripts, microfilms etc. are available for research. The main functions of this Centre are to collect the non-current records of various Central Government Offices located in South India under the authority of Public Records Act, 1993 and Private Archives and to preserve them in scientific manner, prepare reference media and make them available to scholars for conducting research. Already most of the French Archives of pre 1954 period were received in the Centre. Besides, some private archival collection is also acquired. A vast collection of Palm Leaf Manuscripts and Maps/Plans were housed in this Record Centre.
The Research Room is open on all working days, Monday to Friday from 09.15 a.m. to 05.45 p.m. for the Research Scholars and others for consulting records. List of Records Holding and some of the interesting and significant documents are given below.