Central Archives to be museum

Structural restoration of two buildings on the Central Archives premises at Fort will be completed by Onam. Conservation of the main building will be taken up next.

The renovation is part of a ₹3-crore Plan project to convert the archives into a museum.

The Central Archives has one of the biggest collections of palm-leaf records in Asia. These include land records, treasury accounts, tax records, and revenue and expenditure records of the erstwhile Travancore, administrative orders, port records, judgements by the erstwhile high court of Travancore, royal orders and proclamations, and records related to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

The archives also house bamboo split records, copper plates, and paper records.

Since the Archives are located on the premises of the old jail, structural conservation of the buildings is necessary to transform it into a museum. Work began a few months ago. The roof, foundation, walls — all will be restored without damage to the original structure. Keralam–Museum of History and Heritage is the implementing agency for the department. Minister for Archives Kadannappally Ramachandran reviewed the work recently.

Better care

The palm-leaf records will be moved to a new building that will come up on a one-acre plot allotted to the Archives Department adjacent to the Oriental Research Institute and Manuscript Library under the University of Kerala, Karyavattom. The palm-leaf collection from the regional archives in Ernakulam and Kozhikode too will be shifted to the building, envisaged as a research centre for palm-leaf records, for their better care and conservation. An amount of ₹15 crore had been set aside for the research centre in the 2018-19 State Budget, while ₹2.5 crore has been set aside in this year’s Budget.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 10:00:12 PM |

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