Archives ::

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Different Faculties::

Records Management:
Records Management simply means creation, control and disposal of records. One of the pre-requisites of a good record management is to ensure that records are neither prematurely destroyed nor kept for a period longer than required. All government records when become twenty-five years old are bound to be appraised. Consequently two sets of records emerge—Keep (K) and Destroy (D). Hence only ‘K’ records are transferred to archives. Archivists play a vital role in the whole process appraisal along with the staff member of the record creating agencies.
Conservation Unit:
Care for valuable archival records is a public obligation. The Conservation Programme of State Archives includes (i) Preventive measures or preservation whereby all factors which are detrimental to the record materials are eliminated (ii) Curative measures through fumigation and deacidification (iii) Restorative measures to bring the document back to the condition as it was before by adopting tissue repair, lamination, full-pasting, binding etc. and (iv) Duplication or Reproduction through microfilming, Xeroxing and Digitizing old and brittle records.
The modern method of reproducing documents i.e. digitization has been adopted by the State Archives extensively in recent years. Reproductions of records are done basically for archival preservation and for supplying scholars copies of records on payment.
Research Room:
Old records reflect the origin and growth of a government and are the main source of information on all its activities.
The information contained in the records is primarily required by the administrators to take appropriate decisions. These records also happen to be very useful for both researchers and historians for analytical presentation of historical fact. Because of its unique nature, access to archives is restricted. (Please see Research Rule).
Reference Media:
Reference Media is a general term applied for the whole range of devices through which archivists keep track of the records under their possession. The archival professionals describe their holdings in Guide Book, Inventories and Lists. Preparation of Reference Media is therefore an important job of an archivist.
Certify Section:
Government records are the ultimate proof for all permanent civic rights and privileges and the immediate proof for all temporary property and financial rights, considered in the Court of Law as the most authentic evidences. State Archives issues Certificates on the basis of the Electoral Rolls and Calcutta Gazettes preserved in this Archives at a very nominal rate to persons, apply for such documents necessary for legal suits.
Training Courses:
State Archives conducts Three Months' Training Course each year on Conservation and Archives Management for the deputed candidates and fresher, where both theoretical and practical classes were taken by the senior archival officers and employees of the Conservation Unit.
The State Archives Library, being primarily a reference library, normally caters to the needs of the research scholars, trainees of State Archives and staff members in connection with their official work. The total number of holdings of this library is approximately nine thousand. It provides access to government publications, rare books, old journals, cartographic records (approximately 1000 rare maps) and recent publications on Social Sciences with a searchable catalogue. For the preparation of theme based catalogue, tailor made software has been installed in the computer of the said library at Bhawani Dutta Lane.
Private Collection:
For analytical research, official records are not considered the only dependable source. Records of business houses, cultural bodies and institutions, personal correspondences and papers of eminent personalities are counted as valuable source materials to supplement the official version. In view of the increasing importance of private papers as source materials for higher research, in 1980 this office has embarked upon an ambitious project of collecting private papers from eminent personalities/families of Bengal. These papers, though small in quantum, contain valuable information on the socio-economic and political development of Bengal during 1859-1947.
Photo Archives:
In West Bengal State Archives, there is a vast reservoir of unexplored visual records of the Intelligence Branch. This collection of around 42,000 glass and film negatives and photographic prints, containing intercepted letters, pamphlets, articles, posters and photographs of the political activists (20th century), may be considered as a unique adding to the wealth of the archives. A permanent Photo Gallery, at 43, Shakespeare Sarani was inaugurated during the celebration of Annual Archives Week in 2004.
Police Archives:
A Police Archives Wing was created under the jurisdiction of State Archives in 2007 to bring the de-classified records of the Intelligence Branch in Archives. With a retired IPS officer, as Director and one retired professor, as Additional Director, this wing continued to work till December, 2010.
Publication Unit:
The problem with the existing archival records is extreme brittleness which affects the longevity of and accessibility to records. Therefore extensive publication program is required to preserve and unfold its rich heritage. It was initiated by the Imperial Record Department as early as 1899. Publication of records has received a lot of support from IHRC and the National Archives of India, under the Scheme of Financial Assistance. During the last few years, the State Archives of West Bengal has published several important publications, which have earned special recognition and have been sold out in significant number. So far the State Archives has eight (8) major publications to its credit. The State Archives Review is its first journal, published in 2004.
Exhibition Cell:
As a part of generating archival consciousness in the society, every year State Archives observes an Archives Week when exhibitions on relevant themes of Indian History are held along with seminars. In addition, roaming exhibitions are also organized as and when required and also on invitation at different locations.
Central Assistance:
State Archives serves as the nodal agency for processing applications of different government and non-government organizations, seeking financial assistance from the Central Government for preserving old and rare documents, books and manuscripts under their possession. Teams of archival officers visit those repositories to assess importance of collections preserved by the applicants.