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PUNJAB STATE ARCHIVES (Patiala & Chandigarh)

Punjab State Archives, initially known as Record Office, came into existence in 1925 at Anarkali Tomb, Lahore. After the partition of India, Punjab was also divided into East Punjab and West Punjab. Punjab Records Office of East Punjab was reorganized at Simla in 1948 with only nearly 21000 files. On the other hand, when the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU) was formed in1948, the old Munshi Khana of Patiala State was reorganized and was renamed Punjab Province and records of both were also amalgamated at Patiala and the Department was renamed as the Department of Archives, Punjab. At present, nearly 10 lakh records are in the custody of the Punjab Archives.

Punjab archives have illustrated manuscripts, including copies of Ain-I-Akbari, Zaffarnama of Guru Gobind Singh,Shahnama of Firdausi, Adi Granth of 1666,tales of Laila Majnu, rare Tibetan palm-leaf manuscripts etc. Besides manuscripts, there are a number of paintings of the British era, including battles of Anglo-Sikh wars, paintings of Maharaja Ranjit Singh period, miniature paintings, prints of the paintings of Emily Eden etc. Most of the manuscripts have illustrations done in both Mughal and Pahari styles of painting. The paintings mostly depict the British era. Documents contain Royal Orders of the Maharajas (Princes) of princely States, treaties, sanads etc.

The modern era has not been missed either. There are important documents about Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru (the first Prime Minister of India) when he was sent to Nabha jail (Punjab) along with DR. Kitchlew and Mr.A.T.Gidwani. Letters of Pt. Nehru, his father Pt. Moti Lal Nehru, Dr. Kitchlew and other nationalists also form part of the collection.Records related to Freedom Movements which include Nankana Sahib Tragedy, Jallianwala Bagh Tragedy, Jaito incident, blowing off Kukas at Maler Kotla, etc are also available. Punjab Government Gazettes since 1857 are part of the records. Khalsa Darbar records of Maharaja Ranjit Singh are one of the important collections of the Department. Chamber of Princes series, Bhandari collections are important private collections.

An Archival Building was partially constructed at Chandigarh in 1995 and now all the records related to Punjab from 1803 -1959 have been preserved in this building at Plot No.3, Sector 38-A Chandigarh. The records related to eight erstwhile princely States i.e. Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Malerkotla, Kalsia and Nalagarh from 1708-1947 at Pralekh Bhawan (old Commissioner & D.C. Offices), The Mall, Patiala.


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