Shri.J.P. Biju
Directorate of Archives

          The State Archives Department was formed in the year 1962.  It functions as the custodian of all non-current records of permanent value of the State Government and various Departments.  Major responsibilities of the Department include custody, care and management of records received in  Archives, acquire documents of historical value, render technical advice , assistance on management and conservation of records to various departments and institutions.

          The  State Archives Department  has its Directorate at Thiruvananthapuram and three Regional Offices  each at Thiruvananthapuram,Ernakulam and Kozhikode with a total staff strength of 142 members. It started  its function as a separate section attached to the Education Department of the Secretariat . It was only in the year 1962 that the State Archives emerged as a separate department, independent of the Secretariat. This does not however mean that there were no organised archival repositories in the State prior to that period. In fact, there were two well-organised repositories one at Trivandrum and the other at Ernakulam popularly known as the “Huzur Vernacular Central Records” of the native States of Travancore and Cochin respectively. These organisations were directly administered by the State Government in the Public Department.

          In the year 1964, the 17th meeting of the National Committee of Archivists was held in Trivandrum under the auspices of the State Archives in which the Directors of Archives from different States participated. It was in this year that the Central Records at Trivandrum and Ernakulam with their staff were formally merged with the State Archives. These office were subsequently renamed as Archives, Trivandrum and Archives, Ernakulam respectively. A new Regional Office at Kozhikode termed as ‘Archives, Kozhikode’ was also formed in 1966. This was consequent on the transfer of the non-current records pertaining to the Malabar area, preserved in the Collectorate has come under the control of the State Archives Department. Thus, three Regional Offices came into existence. An Officer of the rank of Superintendent is now in charge of these offices.

          Besides the primary functions connected with the administration and scientific preservation of the record holdings already under its control, the activities of the State Archives largely extend to the following field also:

(1) Scrutiny of records that are mature for destruction in public offices as a precaution against the risk of records of archival or historical importance being lost.

(2) Issue of attested copies of public records to the applicants at prescribed fees (rules appended).

(3) Making available of the archival materials to research scholars connected with the subject of their research (Research Rules appended).

(4) Furnishing the required information to Government on various matters.

(5) Rendering technical advice to various State departments in matters of proper maintenance and up-keep of their record holdings.

(6) Survey and scrutiny of records of historical importance in private possession and their acquisition wherever possible.

(7) Participation in cultural exhibitions with a view to making the public more and more archivesl conscious.

(8) Bringing out a series of Publications entitled ‘Selections from Records in the Kerala State Archives and also publication of monographs on various important events in the history of Kerala.

The department has made much headway in all its varied activities in the past. There is a State level Archives Advisory Committee for giving  advice and guidance relating to  the activities of the department. It is headed by the  Hon. Minister  for Archives, Archaeology, Museum and Ports. As per G.O.(Ms) 190/73/Edn, dated 29-12-1973, the Regional Offices under this Department have been redesignated as follows

(1)  Archives, Trivandrum as Central Archives, Trivandrum

(2)  Archives, Ernakulam as Regional Archives, Ernakulam

(3)  Archives, Kozhikode as Regional Archives, Kozhikode



Sri P.Biju,
Directorate of Archives
Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram
Phone: 0471 - 2313759 (Dir) 0471-2311547(O)
Mobile: 8304999478

Assistant Director
Administrative officer

Smt. Elizebeth Sindhu John
Directorate of State Archives
Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram
Phone- 2311547 (off)

Superintendent Sri.S.Mohanakumar
Directorate of State Archives
Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram
Archivist Sri.R.Asok Kumar
Directorate of Archives
Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram
Phone- 2311547 (off)
Superintendent (Secretariate-Cellar) Smt. S. Parvathy

Officers of Regional Archives

Central Archives, Thiruvananthapuram

Superintendent Sri L.Ani
Phone: 0471 2478728
Archivist Smt.S.J.Ambika Devi
Central Archives,
Phone: 0471 2478728

Regional Archives, Ernakulam

Superintendent Sri.P.K.Sajeev
Regional Archives,
Phone: 0484 2369686
Archivist Sri E.V.Vasudev
Regional Archives, Ernakulam

Regional Archives, Kozhikode

Superintendent Sri. Shajimon G.B
Regional Archives, Kozhikode
Phone: 0495 2373701
Archivist Sri. Saji Kumar.R,
Regional Archives, Kozhikode
Phone: 0495 2373701

Heritage Centres

1. Heritage Centre, Kollam
2. Heritage Centre, Idukki
3. Heritage Centre, Thrissur
4. Heritage Centre. Wayanad
5. Heritage Centre, Kannur


1) To receive and preserve all non-current records of permanent value of the (a) State Government Secretariat, (b) various departments of state Governments, (c) all committees and commissions set up by Government, (d) The State Public Service commission (e) any records or papers of historical value with private individuals and institutions.

2) To organize professional training/re-orientation programmes for the officers in charge of Department and officers of the various departmental record rooms.

3) To assist departmental record officers to prepare ‘Retention Schedules for the records kept by them.

4) To render technical advice to various departments and institutions on management of records and their proper conservation.

5) To attend ancillary duties such as archival committees, commissions and creating archival consciousness in the state by conducting archives exhibition, seminars and workshops.

6) To make records available for administration and historical research.


The State Archives Department emerged as an independent Department in 1962.The  accession and Conservation of all non-current records of enduring value of the State Government  for  future reference is the basic function of this Department.Archives Directorate located at Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram is the central unit of this Department.There are three Regional Archives under this Department.They are

1) Central Archives, Fort, Thiruvananthapuram -23  Phone No:0471-478728

2) Regional  Archives ,Near Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam-11 Phone No:0484-369686

3) Regional  Archives ,Civil Station,Kozhikode


NATURE : Copper Plates , Bamboo Splints, Palm Leaves, Paper Records , Micro Films, etc.

CATEGORIES : Public Records, Private Records, Publications,etc


a) Records relating to the erstwhile princely State of Travancore (AD 1424-1885). These records are available at the Central Archives,Trivandrum.

b) Records of the erstwhile Cochin State ( AD 1567-1949). These include Both Cadjan and Paper records.This Collection is avaliable at the Regional Archives, Ernakulam

c) Records of the erstwhile Malabar District of the Madras Province1805- 1956) are available in the Regional Archives ,Civil Station Kozhikkode

d) Records transferred from Government Secretariat Cellar (AD 1728-1990) , Malabar Collectorate records (1803-1898) transferred from Tamilnadu Archives and digital copies of Malabar records transferred from Maharashtra Archives are available at Directorate of Archives,Nalanda ,Thiruvanathapuram


Records transferred from the various creating agencies are well arranged in the stack areas as per Archival Principles. Reference media for some of the series are also available.


The records are subjected to different chemical process and treatment for extending their longevity. The processes normally carried out are cleaning,  fumigation, de-acidification ,mending  and binding.


This specialized library is being developed.The collection includes,

a) Old and Rare books on multifarious subjects,

b) Assembly  proceedings ,Census reports, etc,

c) Research Journals, Gazettees and news papers.

d) Old rare boks relating to law


These records are open for research and reference to bonafide Research Scholars between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm on all working days.


Permission to refer the archival materials is granted to scholars for a period of six months on the recommendation of the Guide /introducing letter on Fee payment of Rs.460/-. Fee should be paid in cash through person/Money order payable to Director/DD. Cheque will not be accepted. The permission can be renewed for another six months free of cost. (Total one year) Digital camera will be allowed after permission on fee payment of Rs. 250/-.


Attested copies of archival Records can be obtained by the applicants by remitting the requisite fee.


a) Xerox copies of records are issued to bonafide scholars after remitting prescribed fee.

b) Microfilm copies of records are available for reference.

c) Photographs can be taken after getting prior permission


a) Exhibition of Archival Records are hosted periodically

b) Open Forums are conducted for School and College students as part of the Archival Awareness Programme

c) Seminars are conducted to arouse archival consciousness among target groups.

d) Original records are published as archival publication.These are available for sale at the Directorate and three Regional Archives. Books are also available at the sales counters of the Book Marketing Society.

e) Discussions with Teacher trainees at TTC,B.Ed and M.Ed level at their institutes are introduced.

f) Community Archives- Appraisal and Acquisition of important historical records from individuals and non-Government agencies.


The Head Quarters of the department is at Nalanda, Thiruvananthapuram and the Director is the head of the Department. There is an Administrative Officer, Assistant Director, Editorial Archivist, Archivist and Superintendent and conservation officer to assist the Director in discharging his administrative and technical duties. There are three regional offices functioning under the directorate one each at Thiruvananthapuram, Eranakulam and Kozhikode.

The organizational structure of the State Archives Department is given in the organization chart attached below.


Administrative Officer

Assistant Director



Conservation Officer

Editorial Archivist

Central Archives Trivandrum

Regional Archives Ernakulam

Regional Archives Kozhikode


Very meagre information exists on the old systems of civil Government in Travancore or the administration of its laws and usages in early days. From the early records we learn that the State Establishment in the latter half of the 17th century consisted of one Valiya Sarvadhikaryakkar (Prime Minister) one Meleluttu Pillai (Head Accountant) one Rayasam Pillai (Head Clerk) and several Rayasams and Kanakku Pillais (Clerks and Accountants). The Minister and his establishment held office in the Palace and the Raja presided over them. Every question whether petty or important was submitted to the Raja’s decision without whose order nothing was to be executed. Later on, the whole Kingdom was made into three divisions each under a Valiya Sarvadhikaryakkar. These again were sub-divided and placed under Sarvadhikaryakkars.Each of these was again sub-divided into districts and a Karyakkar was appointed over each. The districts were sub-divided into Maniyams, Kelvis, Adhikarams and Pravarties and placed under charge of Maniyakarams, Adhikaris and Pravirtakars respectively. This system of Government continued more or less till the middle of the 19th century. It was in the year 1773, that the Prime Minister was granted the title of Diwan instead of Dalava.

In 1811 Col.Munro, the British Resident assumed charge as Diwan. During this period every department in the State including Huzur Kacceri (Secretariat) was reorganized. The designation of the Karyakkar, Tirumukham Pidicca Pillai etc. were changed into Tahsildar, Samprati etc.

The establishment of the Judicial Courts for the first time; the establishment of Chowkeys for the Collection of customs duties; the issue of Pattayams containing the extent, tenure etc., of each ryot’s holding; the compilation of a land register called ‘Pattayapper’; the abolition of many vexatious taxes; the censuring of the population of the State; the reorganisation of Police, Forest and Commercial departments; the prohibition of the purchase and sale of slaves; the arrangements made or the construction of bridges and jungars for through communication are other reforms with which Col.Munro’s name is associated.

As the Chief Executive Officer who conducted the administration of the State, the Diwan was the sole channel of official communication with all Heads of Departments connected with the State and with the British Resident. In the Huzur Kacceri which the Diwan’s office, he was assisted by a team of officers including a Chief Secretary, Education Secretary, Under-Secretaries, Sheristadars, Superintendents, etc., besides a Law Officer to Government, who was known as the Head Sirkar Vakil.

Later on for purpose of revenue administration, the country was divided into four Divisions. Each Division under an officer called a Diwan Peishkar who combined in himself the duties of a District Collector and Magistrate in British India. Each Division was sub-divided into a number of Taluks presided over by Tahsildars. They also exercised revenue and magisterial functions. The Village Officers subordinate to the Tahsildar were known as Pravartikar or Adhikari. The Village was the smallest unit of the administration in the country. The above is a short sketch of the system of administration that existed in Travancore during the earlier period.

(Adapted from the Travancore State Manual, Volume III (Nagam Aiya).


Reprographic Section  

           This department has a collection of 458 microfilm rolls.  These include rolls purchased from India Office Library, London and the remaining rolls wee taken from the selected records of the department under central gant in-aid programme.  In addition, Xerox Machine and a still photographic camera are kept here.  There is a photographer in charge of reprographic division in the department.

Conservation Wing

          Our repositories houses voluminous collection of valuable records (both paper and palm leaf and it is estimated that more then 50% of the total records (both) require urgent preservation treatments.  The conservation wing of State Archives is intrusted with task of maintenance of old and brittle records by following appropriate preservation techniques.  Conservation works mainly comprised the following treatments.

1.Checking and pagination, cleaning and removal of stains, flattening


3.De-acidification (Both wet and dry methods)


5.Lamination, tissue repair, full pasting, inlaying, guarding, stitching, binding etc.

The quantum of work on the Conservation wing can be increased only by creating well-equipped conservation units with enough supply of chemicals, raw materials equipments and with trained persons.  Presently the State Archives Department purchase raw materials from the following institutions.

(i).  National Archives India - Acceted foil and Tissue paper

(ii) Khadi & village commission Bombay – Handmade paper

(iii) Silk weaving factory, Sreenagar  - Chiffon


To discharge the functions properly the following activities are conducted in the Directorate and regional Offices.

I.  Record management section is one of the key sections of the department.  Record Management section in the department is supervised by the Archivist.  He is assisted by Asst. Archivist Grade-I, Asst. Archivist Grade-II etc., The following works are incorporated in the section.

1.  Appraisal and transfer of records from Government Secretariate and various departments to the archives as laid down in Archival Policy resolution 1976, The department staff conducted survey and scrutiny of records at the stage of weeding out and after appraisal and transfer those records which are having archival value to the department for permanent keeping.

2. Preparation of finding aids.  Finding aids like check list, subject list descriptive list, index etc, are being prepared by the staff working in the record management section.

3.  Arrangement.  This is the most in important area of work in this section.  Records transferred from various departments have to be arranged properly so that anybody can locate the required document easily.  Thus the staff working in the section will be very keen to see that the records should be arranged according to archival principles (Principle of Provenance).  For this purpose name of the department, year, subject are displayed on separate boards.  Further these records are arranged chronologically.

4.  Survey and transfer of Private records.  Some records available with private individuals/institutions are transferred to the department.  In addition o the records management wind, separate publication and research wing is also functioning in the department.  The section is supervised by Editorial Archivist and he is assisted by Jr. Editor, Editorial Assistant etc., this section is entrusted with publication, conducting exhibition and seminars with the help of record management section.


The basic function of the Department is the Preservation of the Archival wealth of the State. This include collection Conservation, publication, Research and Preservation of public Records, Semi public Records and Private records of the State. Exhibitions, Seminar etc are organised to arouse Archival consciousness. Training programmes are organised to those working in record rooms to increase the efficiency.

The Kerala State Archives is a ‘A’ Category member in the International Council on Archives which is an International body of about 170 member countries in the world which is aimed to promote the Archival Heritage in the world.

The Kerala State Archives is institutional member in the National level associations like Association of Indian Archivists, Indian Historical Records Commission, National Museum Association etc.

The Director, Kerala State Archives is a member of the grant Committee of the Govt. of India for allotting Grant in aid to various states/UTs in India for the Preservation of the records.

Institutional Membership

The Kerala State Archives is a ‘A’ Category member in the International Council on Archives which is an International Body of about 170 member countries around the world which is aimed to promote the Archival Heritage in the world.

The Kerala State Archives is institutional member in the National level associations like Association of Indian Archivists, Indian Historical Records Commission, National Museum Association etc.
The Director, Kerala State Archives is a member of the grant Committee of the Govt. of India for allotting Grant in aid to various states/UTs in India for the Preservation of the records.
Projects and Programmes

1) Digitization of Records
2) Signature Museum
3) Freedom Memorial and Historical Museum on Freedom Fighters
4) Heritage Club
5) Heritage Award
6) History Quiz
7) Heritage Camp
8) International Archives Week
9) World Heritage Day

1) Digitisation of Records

Kerala State Archives has the highest collection of manuscripts in South India. In order to preserve the valuable data in the document, many modern methods has been adopted by the department. Digitization of these documents are one form of conservation . The digitised data of the palm leaves manuscript and paper documents are stored in a suitable Digital medium . A search engine software(e–Likhitham) has been developed for searching and retrieving the information from the data base. C-Dit , a government institution which is pioneer in this field and the technical counter part of Archives Department for many years has undertaken the work of digitization of Churuna document .

2)Signature Museum

‘Signature Archives’ is a new concept gaining wide acceptance among the Archival world. Department took initial steps for a full fledged Signature Museum. signature of renowned personalities and celebrities has been collected and displayed along with a profile of the personality.

3)Setting up of Freedom Memorial and Historical Museum on Freedom Fighters

In a view to commemorate the values of Freedom fighter department forwarded the project of setting up of a Freedom Memorial and Historical Museum of freedom fighters. Construction of Freedom Struggle Memorial was completed at Vattiyoorkavu, Thiruvananthapuram in the Peroorkada village office compound and also opened this for the public.

4) Heritage Club

To create Archival awareness among the coming up heritage club has been set up in many schools and are functioning properly throughout the state.

5) Heritage Award

The State Archives Department has instituted Heritage Awards which includes cash award and endowment at school level for the best 3 Heritage clubs in the State. The awards are given annually.

6) History Quiz

Kerala History Quiz Competition, a state level competition is conducted by the department every year with participation from different schools of the State.

7) Heritage Camp/Seminar

The department conducts 3 days camp for the Heritage club members of selected schools. The camp includes an exhibition of Archival materials collected by the Heritage Club members and provides hands-on experience on conservation and management of Archival Records.

To increase the Archival consciousness every year department celebrate the International Archives Week at various places in the state .


18th April is celebrated as “The World Heritage Day” . Department joint hands with this venture by lighting lamps of Archival Wisdom in the important historical places under its control.

RTI ACT (Right to Information Act)

Appellete Authority – Director, P.Biju

State Public Information Officer -Administrative officer , Elizabeth Sindu John

Assistant Public Information officer -R. Asok Kumar, Archivist,

Regional Offices
Assistant Public Information officer - Archivist, Regional Archives, Ernakulam
Assistant Public Information officer - Archivist, Regional Archives, Kozhikode

Citizens charter

Department has published its citizen charter in Malayalam which is available at the Directorate and 3 regional offices.

RTS ACT (Right to Service Act)

As per Gazette Notification No. 31 Vol.II dated 30.07.2013 has been issued by the Government regarding the RTs Act in the Department.