The Kerala State Archives has in its custody a rich and enormous collection of documents dating back to 1424 A.D.  These include Palm leaves, Bamboo splints, Copper plates, Paper records and Microfilms.  These records are in various languages such as English Malayalam, Old Malayalam, Tamil, Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu, and Malayanma etc. The important record series are mentioned below.

Directorate of Archives, Thiruvananthapuram
1Secretariat records

a)  Cover system files (1728-1913)
b)  Confidential section files (1913-1956)
c) General section files (1904-1949)
d) Education section files (1907-1956)
e) Account section files (1922-1949)
f) Local government section files (1921-1949)
g) Legislative and Assembly section (1919-1949)
h) Development section files (1921-1956)

i) Revenue and Devaswom sections (1908-1940)
j) Judicial section files (1904-1949)
k) Public Works Department files (1904-1938)
l) Industries department files (1958-1983)
m) Cochin files (1897-1938)
n) Madras files
l) Maps and plans

2.  Malabar Collectorate records (1803-1898)

These records were acquired from Tamilnad Archives. Malabar was under the rule of British and their Headquarters was in madras.

3.  Microfilm rolls (458 nos.)

This collection includes those acquired from India Office Library and records, London and microfilms prepared under Central assistance scheme from central Archives, Trivandrum, regional Archives, Ernakulam and Directorate of Archives, Trivandrum.


The Directorate of Archives has a reference library with more than 10000 books.  The collection include old and rare books on multifarious subjects, Legislative assembly proceedings, Census reports, Research journals, Gazettes, Proscribed publications, News papers etc;

Central Archives, Trivandrum

The Central Archives, Trivandrum one of the Regional offices of this Department has in its possession a prestigious collection of Palm leaf records which is the largest one in Asia.  This consists of more than 11000 churunas (palm leaf records kept in bundles each of which consists of about 2004-2005 for the scientific preservation, indexing and digitization of these records.  Some important record series are mentioned below.

Palm leaf records

1)   Oluku (These are land records showing the extent of land and ownership details.  Huzur Oluku, Taluk oluku, Nilam oluku, Puthuval oluku etc;)
2)   Vilangipper records (These records show the details of land given as gift) (1837-1839)
3)   Huzur khajana eradavu (These are treasury accounts)  (1818-1873)
4)   Pathivinpadi anu (These records relate to the assessment of tax (1818-1839)
5)   Ayakkettu (The details of land in possession of each tax payer is shown in these records) (1802-1939)
6)   Thandapperu (The details of tax assessed on each tax payer is shown) (1839)
7)   Huzur thirattu (Records showing the revenue receipt and expenditure of the state).  (1798-1873)
8)   Taluk thirattu & Jamabandi rayasam (Records showing the revenue receipt and expenditure of each taluk)  (1819-1870)
9)   Huzur rayasam (Orders issued by Diwan on administrative matters)  (1844-1876).
10) Boundary disputes (Correspondence between the Diwan of Travancore and Cochin on boundary disputes and certain letters sent to
the British Resident on the above matter.)  (1793-1873)
11) High Court records (Judgements and decrees issued by the Hon. High Court of Travancore.)  (1816-1873)
12) Records of Head Sircar Vakil (Judgements issued in connection with adoption, family pension etc;) (1814-1877)
13) Alleppy port records (The details of export and import of food grains etc;)  (1812-1873)
14) Nittus (Royal orders and proclamations issued to Heads of departments on administrative matters) (1756-1873)
15) Mathilakom records  (These records relates to the Sree Padmanabhaswami temple.  Travancore was a temple-state.
Hence the administration of the state and temple were interrelated.  These records contain valuable information on state matters.)

Paper records

1) Kandezhuthu records of Travancore (Survey records) (1891-1910)
2) Ayakettu memo (Guidelines for imposing tax)
3) Jamabandi rayasam (Correspondence relating revenue matters)  (1874-1906)
4) Kandezhuthu eraili records (Details of land given as gift with tax exemption)  (1895-1905)
5) Judicial records (1865-1905)]
6) Sanitation department (Register of birth and death) (1896-1906)
7) Police (1893-1905)
8)  Huzur treasury (1871-1908)
9) Ponnumvila case records (Land acquisition records)  (1889-1907)
10) Travancore Government gazettes (1862-1949)
11) Cochin government gazettes (1867-1848)
12) Travancore-cochin Government gazettes (1949-1956)
13) Kerala government gazettes (1956 onwards)
14) Fort Saint George gazettes  (1833-1948)
15) Mysore Govt. gazettes (1908-1922)
16) Regulations and Proclamations of Travancore (1835-1945)
17) Administration reports of Travancore (1892-1940)
18) Almanac (1849-1949)
19) Committee reports (1912-1945)
20) Civil list (1918-1949)
21) Census reports of Travancore (1891-1941)
22) Census Reports of Travancore-Cochin (1951)
23) Show-case records (The important Palm leaf and Paper records relating to the social, cultural, economic and other incidents in
Travancore history are exhibited in a separate hall in show cases)


Records of the Erst while Cochin State are preserved here.  Records in cadjan, copper plate, bamboo splints,
paper etc, include in the collection.

1.  Palm leaf records (1818-1905) (Land records)
2.  Cadjan Grandhas (1625-1806) 
3.  Service Files (paper records of Dutch and British period)  (1684-1869)
4.  Garsonic Manuscripts (1607)
5.  Persian records (1725-1835)
6. Portugese records (1793)
7.  Urdu records (1857)
8.  Boundary disputes (1816-1891)
9.  Marathi, Gujarathi, Kannada records (un deciphered)
10.  Konkini records
11. Coppu plates (1625-1675)
12. Bamboo splints (1630-1690)
13. Diaries of abdicated Maharajah (1895-1914) Sri. Rama Varma
14.Paliyam Records


Records of erst while Malabar district which was under the direct rule of British are housed in the office.

1.  Board’s proceedings (1840-1880)
2.  RD is file of District Collector, Malabar (1880-1956)
3.  FD is file of Malabar Collector (1918-1954)
4.  R and D disposals of Dy.. Director of Panchayaths (1905-1961)
5.  DD is files of the Civil Supplies department (1947-1956)
6.  FD is file relating to Kozhikode-Cannore railway extension (1892-1902)
7.  Survey and settlement records (1776-1940)
8. Fort St.George Gazette (1832-1956)
9.  Gazette of India (1864-1924)
10.  Malabar District Gazette (1858-1956)
11.  Judicial records of North and South Malabar (1886-1940)
12.  Records relating to the Dutch Period – 89 original written in old Malayalam (1782-1792)
13.  An appreciable collection of records consisting of both cadjan and paper acquisitioned from
the Beevi of Arackal Palace, Cannannore who held way over theregion in the past. (1846-1856)
14.A vast collection of publications consisting of very valuable and rare items of reference books
i.e. Acts Administration Reports, Census reports, Mannuals, Regulations, Reports,
Agricultural Publications etc.


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

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 byAsst. 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.