The Indian Historical Records Commission was set up by the Government of India in 1919 as a consulting body, whose opinion would carry weight with the public and which would make enquiries and recommendations regarding (i) treatment of archives for historical study, (ii) the scale and plan on which the cataloguing, the calendaring and reprinting of each class of documents should be undertaken. (iii) the sums required for encouraging research among, and publication of records, (iv) selection of competent scholars for editing documents, and (v) the problems of public access to records (Department of Education Resolution No.77 dated 21st March, 1919). With a view to promoting active cooperation of the various State Governments in India as also the universities and learned institutions in the country in the activities of the Commission, the Government of India by their Department of Education, Health and Lands Resolution No.F 92-9/40-E, dated 10th September, 1941, took steps to reform the Constitution of the Commission providing for the inclusion in it of nominees of the various State Governments in India as also those of the Universities and learned Societies.

 2. The Commission has since its inception held Fifty-Eight Sessions and has contributed significantly to the growth of public interest in the conservation and use of archives. The Government of India do recognize that it was through the initiative of the Commission and its different Committees that many new sources of information have been brought to light and saved for posterity, many collections of documents have been published and made accessible to scholars, facilities for the use of records have been materially enhanced and a new conscience has been aroused in the public mind in respect of the sanctity of historical evidence. While the Government of India note with deep appreciation these and other achievements of the Commission, they do feel at the same time that much work still remains to be done and that a host of important problems are still awaiting to be attacked. Many records collections are still without any guides or hand-book let alone comprehensive descriptive lists, and very few repositories, public or private, have yet developed a well-articulated programme of documents-publication. Most of the collections still continue to be housed in primitive conditions and are subjected to the ravages of insect pests, moulds and other destructive agents. Very little systematic effort has been made to survey, describe, organize or make use of records in private custody, and particularly, those of institutional, religious or commercial provenance. Lack of trained archivists continues seriously to impede the archival work in the country and the training facilities available in the National Archives have hardly stimulated an adequate response among the owners of archival holdings. Government believe that these constitute very serious lacunae in the academic life of the nation and that greater and more whole-hearted cooperation between Keepers of Records and historical materials on the one hand and their use on the other is the only means by which these deficiencies could be removed.

3. In order to promote such cooperation the Government of India, in supersession of Ministry of Culture Resolution No.32-34/84-Lib. (P & A) dated 15.10.90 and all earlier Resolutions on the same subject, are pleased to sanction a reconstitution of the Commission on the following lines :-

The Commission shall consist of the following members: -

A. Ex-Officio Members


Minister of Culture,
Government of India



Secretary to the Government of India,
Ministry of Culture, New Delhi.



Additional Secretary to the Government of India
Ministry of Culture, New Delhi



Joint Secretary/Joint Educational Advisor,
to the Government of India, Ministry of
Culture, New Delhi.



Director General of Archives,
Government of India, National Archives of India,
New Delhi.



Deputy Director of Archives, Government of India,
National Archives of India, New Delhi

Joint Secretary

B. Nominees of the Government of India :

These shall be 20 eminent historians and archivists to be appointed by the Government of India on the basis of their specialized knowledge of the treatment of archives or their original contribution to the Post 1600 period of Indian History.

C. Representatives of the Central Government and Semi-Government Institutions, one each from the following agencies :

D. Representatives of State Governments/Union Territories

One nominee each of the State Governments/Union Territories having an organized records repository of its own, the nominee being invariably the custodian of the Archives of the State/Union Territory.

2. Regional Records Survey Committees :

One representative each of various Regional Records Survey Committees from States/Union Territories having no organized record repository.

E. Representatives of Universities teaching post-1600 of Indian History :

One nominee each from every such University in India teaching post-1600 period of Indian History and encouraging among, and publication of original records and co-operating with the Commission in organizing its own archives and in conducting survey and exploration of records in private and semi-public custody as mentioned here under: