Other States

Portugal shares 400-year-old archival material with India

Under a new agreement to promote cooperation in the field of archiving, Portugal has handed over a collection of documents known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to India.

The National Archives of India has received the digital copies of 62 volumes. The collection is an important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia.

The volumes were originally part of 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.

The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and documents trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbouring kings in South Asia and East Asia.

Moved in 1777

In 1777, these 62 volumes, consisting of over 12,000 documents (pertaining to the period from 1605 to 1651) were shifted from Goa to Lisbon.

In Portugal, the documents were printed under the title Documentos Remetidos da India (Documents sent from India) by the Academy of Science at Lisbon between 1880 and 1893. The original volumes have remained in Lisbon ever since.

Gap filled

The gap in the collection of the Goa State Archives was filled on May 17 in a handing over ceremony in Portugal.

The event was attended by K. Nandini Singla, Ambassador of India to Portugal, and Teresa Artilheiro Ferreira, chief of division, Cultural Agreements and Cooperation Programmes Unit, Camoes.

Silvestre de Almeida Lacerda, director general of books, archives and libraries, presented a set of digital images to Raghvendra Singh, Secretary to the Government of India and Director General of Archives.

Ms. Singla said that ever since the visit of the Portuguese Prime Minister to India in January, there was a lot of synergy between the countries in diverse fields, ranging from technology to education and from civil aviation to football. Culture was an important area where cooperation in the areas of shared heritage and legacy was cherished by both countries, she said.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 3:22:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/portugal-shares-400-year-old-archival-material-with-india/article19127493.ece

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