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HDFC Archives of Contemporary India

The Archives of Contemporary India was set up in 2017 with a vision to archive and preserve primary source material for the study of modern and contemporary history of India with major thrust on polity, economy and society. The basic aim was to create a major centre for historical and social science research in the country.

Keeping in mind the latest trends in social science research, the main focus of the Archives is to collect documents related to economic reforms initiated in the 1990s, science and technology, environment and climate change, women empowerment, social, educational and political developments in the country, growth of media in various forms and all other related themes.

Private Papers Collection

The Archives has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the collection of primary source material in the form of private papers from all over India. The archives team engaged with prospective donors in Delhi and undertook several outstation trips to facilitate the transfer of private papers to the Archives. In a short span of time, the archives achieved the distinction of acquiring the private papers of a former Prime Minister and President of India, eminent diplomats, journalists, authors, environmentalists/wildlife conservationists, historians, activists, artists, etc. A concerted effort was made to sort and list collections and prepare catalogues for the ready reference of scholars. A team of trained archivists fulfilled the task of preparing scholar-friendly catalogues.

Academic Research

The Archives enables research and facilitates engagement with academics based on content and research, and encourages students to appreciate primary source material through innovative use in curriculum. Workshops and talks are conducted for students to give them practical knowledge of archives and acquaint them with the basic principles of archival management.

The Archives engages and collaborates with various other archives in India and abroad for exchange of ideas and wider dissemination of historical research. Recently, the archives entered into an agreement with the Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Initiative “PCRes”, Center for Race and Gender, University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University for co-hosting the papers of Shah Commission on the Archives website and the Archive on the Legacy of Conflict in South Asia.

Relocation

The Archives has relocated from AC02 to AC04 basement. There is a reading room for consulting private papers and reprographic services are available for scholars. A preservation and digitization unit has also been set up. We propose to digitize the archival documents with the aim to preserve them for posterity and to make the collections available to scholars worldwide for historical research on the website of the Archives that is under construction.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka