Introduction to the Publication Programme

The Publication programme of National Archives of India was started in 1942 on the recommendation of the Research and Publication Committee of the Indian Historical Records Commission. It was taken up under the guidance of Shri S.N. Sen, Director of Archives and as per recommendation of the Committee, the publication scheme was launched in two categories:


  • In-extenso publication of the records 
  • Selections from English and Oriental records.


Since then, the department is regularly bringing out varied types of publications on the principles suggested in the publication scheme. However, few publications were also brought out by the department prior to the regular publication programme. Besides the aforementioned, the department collaborated with Universities and learned societies and sponsored the publication of selections from Orme Manuscripts (Annamalai University), Punjab Akhbars, 1839-40 (Sikh History Society), Elphinstone’s Correspondence 1804-1808 (Nagpur University), Ochterlony Papers 1818-25 (Calcutta University) and the Foreign Department Newsletters, entitled North-Western Frontier and British India 1839-42, 2 Volumes (Punjab University). Similarly under this programme a volume each of Bengali, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit and Telugu documents in the custody of this department have also been sponsored and published.

The Committee on Archival Legislation under Dr. Tara Chand recommended in 1960 that the practice of publishing the full text or abridged summary of record series in its entirety or selection from them should cease as soon as the programmes in hand have been completed and the privilege of full publication should be extended to only such special collection as may relate to a phase of history of which there is little or no knowledge. As for the publication of Education Records, the Committee recommended that the entire task of their editing and publication should be taken out from the National Archives of India and should either be given to an appropriate branch of the Ministry of Education or entrusted to any suitable institution. Later on, the work of publication of the selection of Education Record Series was transferred to the Zakir Hussain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

A major change in the publication policy occurred in 2010 when Prof. Mushirul Hasan, Director General of Archives, decided to reprint rare books under the Archives in India: Historical Reprints Series in the Public Private Partnership Programme. In addition to this, the Publication Committee suggested that the Public Records, Private Papers of eminent personalities and collection from Oriental Records available in this department, should be edited and published with the help of eminent academicians for the use of scholars and interested users.

The department has so far brought out priced and non-priced publications. The brief details of the publications brought during the last seventy years have been incorporated in this catalogue.