Bringing history home for Odisha scholars and researchers

Odisha Uncategorized

Bhubaneswar, May 16, 2018: A delegation of the Indian
National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)  on Wednesday met  National Archives of India Director General (DG)
Pritam Singh here and handed over a memorandum 
with the request for transferring many Odisha related documents and
records from New Delhi.
The National Archives of India, which just completed its
125th anniversary, is under the Ministry of Culture and has a Regional Office
at Bhopal and three Records Centres at Jaipur, Puducherry and Bhubaneswar.
The three member delegation led by INTACH State Convenor
Amiya Bhusan Tripathy, Bhubaneswar Chapter Convenor Baikuntha Panigrahi and Projects
Co-ordinator Anil Dhir met the DG and appraised him of the difficulties faced
by scholars and researchers  who have to
go to Delhi to  access the records.
The New Delhi office is holding many important and valuable
records pertaining to Odisha, many of them have not even been listed. In the
memorandum, they specifically mentioned that the entire records of the Orissa
State Agency (1917-1947) in 18 Volumes, the Balasore Factory Records and The
Bengal Public Consultations in 22 Vols are of great importance, and the only
copies are in Delhi.
According to AB Tripathy, the lack of proper access to
records and documents, both from the National and the State Archives is a big
hindrance for proper research and writing correct history. He said that if the
originals could not be brought, the digitized version and microfilm copies
could be easily made available. He stressed that a proper catalogue and listing
of the Odisha papers should be made and published as a book.
Anil Dhir stressed that important documents like the
original Will of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in which he had bequeathed the
Koh-I-Noor to the Jagannath Temple should be displayed at the Bhubaneswar
centre. He said that the dearth of proper records was an impediment when the
history of the Na’Anka Durbhikshya was being written by him. He said that many
important documents relating to the Paika Revolt too are there.
Dhir said that the India Office Library at London has the
biggest collection of Orissa related papers, especially of the Colonial period
including a vast collection of Palm Leaf Manuscripts which have all been either
microfilmed or digitized. They have been classified under the Private Paper
Series and are available to scholars on-line in the Continent and America. The
National Archives of India too should make arrangements for on-line access to
these records. 
According to Dhir, he has seen a huge collection of Odisha
related material at the William Carey Library at Serampore, many of which are
missionary accounts, Jagannath Temple records, maritime and military records
and botanical, geological and zoological studies. Even the Asiatic Society at
Kolkata has a huge collection of maps, papers and photographs relating to
Odisha. Besides this, important Odisha related papers were lying boxed in the
Tamil Nadu Archives at Chennai and the West Bengal State Archives; no one knows
what they contain.  
Baikuntha Panigrahi said that the only copies of the
‘Daridra Nian’ by Gangadhar Mishra, a proscribed literature are there at the
Delhi Office of the National Archives. He said that the National Archives
should make its publications available at the Bhubaneswar Centre and also take
up the printing of many rare and out of print Odia books. He also stressed that
the Orissa State Archives too should catalogue and list the huge number of
stored documents and take steps for the easy dissemination of these
The Director General said that the National Archives was in
the process of digitising nearly 3 crore documents and assured that he would
prioritize the important Odisha papers. Dr MA Haque, the Deputy Director of
Archives and Dr Lalatendu Das Mohapatro, Assistant Director too were present at
the meeting.

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