India Post has today issued a commemorative postage stamp on National Archives of India. Earlier a postage stamp was released on National Archives in 1992.The genesis of the National Archives of India may be traced back to the year 1860 when Sandeman, the Civil Auditor, in his report stressed the need of relieving the offices of congestion by destruction of the papers of routine nature and transfer of all valuable records to a ‘Grand Central Archive’. Imperial Records Department (IRD) came into existence on 11 March 1891 which was located in Imperial Secretariat Building at Calcutta (Kolkata). Professor G.W Forrest was made its Officer in Charge. His main task was to examine, transfer, arrange and catalogue records of all the Departments and to organise a Central Library in place of various Departmental Libraries.
Subsequent to the transfer of the National Capital from Calcutta (Kolkata) to New Delhi in 1911, Imperial Records Department (IRD) shifted to the present building in 1926. After independence, the IRD was rechristened as National Archives of India and Head of the Organisation was designated as Director of Archives from Keeper of Records. For the first time, records were thrown open for bonafide research in 1939 and by 1947 all pre 1902 records were available for consultation. A Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) was established in 1940 to conduct researches into problems relating to conservation which was, Dr Sen’s visionary contribution. Thus, National Archives of India marched towards the path of progress after independence to play a more dynamic and inspiring role in the archival field of the entire country. It witnessed manifold expansion of its activities since then in the field of accession of public records, acquisition of private papers/ collections and library material, records management, research and reference, publication, training, conservation, reprography, outreach programmes, coordination at national and international level and expansion of office at regional areas. At present National Archives of India is an attached office under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office at Bhopal and Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.