State Archives of West Bengal Research Rules, 2010

Higher Education,

6, Bhawani Dutta Lane Kolkata-73.



1. These rules may be called the State Archives of West Bengal Research Rules. They shall govern access to all records in the custody of the State Archives of West Bengal.

2. The following persons are accepted as bona fide readers/ researchers:


(i) Members of the Indian Historical Records Commission/ National Committee of Archivists/ Regional Records Survey Committee/ Indian Council of Historical Research;

(ii) Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Professors, Readers and Lecturers of recognised universities; Heads of research ccntres/institutes of higher education;

(iii) Any Central/ State Government official, provided his/her work is undertaken for public purposes on behalf of his/her Ministry/Department/Office and with the prior approval of Government;

(iv) Any Central/ State Government official undertaken research in his/her personal capacity, provided his/her work has the approval of the immediate superior officer;

(v) Any member of the tcaching/ rescarch staff of a Central/ State Government college/ research centre;

(vi) Any post-graduate research worker of a recognised University/ Institution/ Research Centre/ College, who produces a certificate from the Head of the Institution/ Research Supervisor or any other evidence as the Director of Archives may consider necessary in support of his/her bonafides;

(vii) Any other person who is recommended by the Director of Archives on production of satisfactory evidence;


(viii) Aliens and foreign scholars who produce letters of introduction from their Embassies/ Legations in New Delhi/ Kolkata and from their universities/ institutions.

3. (a) Admission to the Research Rooms will be regulated by tickets. An admission ticket will hold good for the period for which it has been, issued but may be renewed at the expiry of that period, at the discretion of the Director of Archives.

(b) All applications for admission tickets should be made in the prescribed form and addressed to the Director of Archives, Government of West Bengal. The prescribed form (a copy is appended – see Appendix I) is available at the office of the State Archives either at 6 Bhawani Dutta Lane, Kolkata 700 073, or at Block 2, Ground Floor, Writers’ Buildings, Kolkata 700 001 or 43 Shakespeare Sarani, Kolkata-700 017.

(c) All applications should be submitted with two stamp size photographs and authenticated documents as identity proof (such as voters’ I.D card/ Passport/ Ration Card).

4. (a) The Research Rooms are open throughout the year except on Saturdays, Sundays and Government holidays. The hours of admission are from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m.

(b) Tables in the Research Rooms may not be reserved.

5. (a) The Government reserve to themselves the sole right to decide whether any particular record or document shall be issued for inspection to the scholars. The Director of State Archives may refuse such permission in public interest and for safety of records.

(b) All records, confidential and non-confidential, of the Government of West Bengal, which are in the custody of the State Archives and which are more than thirty years old, are ‘open’ for inspection by bona fide readers/ researchers.

(c) Excerpts and notes taken from the confidential records beyond 1947 arc to be deposited in the Archives (with a list of sources) before they are released to the scholar after scrutiny by the Department concerned. Excerpts and notes taken from the non-confidential records of the ‘open’ period are released without scrutiny.

(d) Access to records which do not belong to the ‘open’ period and the release of excerpts/ notes taken therefrom arc subject to prior permission of the Department concerned.

(c) Excerpts from the Excise Department records which are beyond thirty years but not more than sixty years old should be released only after scrutiny by the Excise Department. Permission of that Department would also be required for publication of such records or of any work based on them.

(f) Maps and records relating to the boundaries between India and Nepal, India and Tibet, India and Bhutan, India and Pakistan, and India and Bangladesh may be made available for consultation keeping in view the security and defence of India and any part of the territory thereof. Papers relating to the activities of living persons arc not open.

6. (a) Records may be inspected only within the Research Rooms and in the presence of a member of the supervisory staff.

(b) Records which are of exceptional value or are unwieldy or fragile shall be examined on such conditions as the Director of Archives may impose for their safety and integrity. No such records in original shall be issued for consultation where duplicate copies exist.

(c) Not more than five documents including reference-media at a time and not more than ten documents in a day will be issued to a reader/rcscarchcr. Rule may be relaxed in a special case.

(d) Records and documents, as soon as done with, shall be returned to the officer-in-charge of the Research Rooms in person by the individual to whom they have been issued.

(e) Scholars may consult books, preserved in the library of the State Archives, on requisition. Books should be relumed to the Officer-in-Charge of the Research Room before leaving the Archives. Books may be consulted only in the Research Room. Copies of books arc not provided.

7. (a) Silence is to be maintained in the Research Rooms. Spitting and smoking are strictly prohibited and in no circumstance is it permitted to light a fire in any of the Research Rooms. No person shall chew pan or take any food/drinks while working in the Research Rooms.

(b) No umbrellas, sticks or bags shall be taken inside any of the Research Rooms.

(c) No typewriter shall be permitted in the Research Rooms. Transcription work can only be undertaken by the State Archives staff on behalf of the scholar on payment of prescribed fees as detailed in Appendix II.

(d) No tracing shall be made of any record or document issued to the scholar without the written permission of the Director of Archives. Copies of records are allowed with prior permission of the Director of Archives. Ordinarily, copyists arc not allowed except as a very special case ; the copyists should otherwise be eligible for admission to the Research Rooms.

(e) Records, documents and books must be handled with great care and should not be damaged in any way. Large folio volumes shall be placed on book-rests. No one shall lean on any of the documents or put one document on top of another or place upon them the paper on which he/she is writing. No mark of any description shall be made on any records. Any defect or damage to the records as detected by the scholar should at once be pointed out to the officer on duty in the Research Rooms at the time of borrowing. The scholar will be responsible for the records issued to him/her.

(f) Laptop use may be allowed subject to the permission of Director of State Archives and only for copying records upto 1947.

(g) Xerox copy of the records (upto 30%) may be supplied on payment of existing charges (Appendix-I) subject to the physical condition of records.

(h) Copying of records in C.D form is allowed on payment of existing charges (Appendix-I) and providing blank C.D.

8. The officer-in-charge of the Research Rooms are empowered to exclude persons from the Research Rooms for –

(i) breach of any of the foregoing rules and regulations ;
(ii) damage of any sort to any record or article belonging to the Government of West Bengal;
(iii) language, conduct, habits, dress or anything else offensive, or likely to cause offence, to other occupants of the Research Rooms:

Provided always that the exclusion of any person shall be notified in writing to the Director of Archives, Government of West Bengal, whose orders shall be final.

9. (a) Those who do not hold admission tickets have no right to see or have copies of the records of the Government of West Bengal in the custody of the State Archives. But persons requiring any information from the ‘open’ records or wishing to have any copies therefrom may apply in writing to the Director of Archives, Government of West Bengal, 6 Bhawani Dutta Lane, Calcutta 700 073, stating in full their occupation and the purpose for which the information is sought for or the copy of the record required.

(b) The Director of Archives may at his discretion supply such information to persons applying for information from ‘open’ records on payment of the prescribed fees (sec Appendix II).

(c) Information from, or copies of, the records required by the Government in connection with official business will be supplied free of charges.

10. (a) Information from records may be used for official or academic purposes other than research or publication with the prior permission of Director of State Archives and with proper acknowledgement.

(b) One complimentary copy of publication based on materials collected and consulted at the State Archives must be presented to the Directorate of State Archives soon after publication.

11. In case of doubt or dispute concerning these rules and their interpretation, the decision of the Director of State Archives, Government of West Bengal, shall be final and binding.