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   Computerization of Department of Archives, Maharashtra  
 

The Maharashtra State Archives is under the Administrative Control of the Cultural Affairs Department of the Mantralaya since the 28th June 1993. Prior to that it was under the control of the General Administration Department. It is headed by Director of Archives, who is assisted by the Assistant Directors of Archives.

The Maharashtra State Archives has its head office at Mumbai and regional offices at Kolhapur, Pune, Vidharbha and Marathwada. These Archives are the outcome of the retirement of non-current records of the different Government since the past three centuries embodying experiences of the people who built up history. They are preserved for posterity because of their continual utility for the necessary governmental processes, for protection of public and private rights and above all for research by scholars and students.

The Maharashtra State Archives is considered as the oldest of the existing institutions of its kind in India. It was founded in 1821 and has in its custody the earliest manuscript of 1630.

The main function of the Maharashtra State Archives is to acquire and preserve old records and cater to the needs of administrative departments. The routine work of the department involve attending to requisitions for records received from Government Departments, supply of certified copies of retracts from the printed records to public.

The most important function of this department is to make available records for bonafide research scholars for saving the valuable time of the research students, reference tools such as handlists, catalogues, indexes etc. are being prepared. Facility to give Xerox and Microfilming copies of records to the Scholars and public is available in Mumbai Archives.

 

The other functions of the Maharashtra State Archives are:

- Preservation and Management of Records

- Reference Service

- Survey and Acquisition of Records

- Publication of Records

- Exhibitions of the historical documents and photographs

- Inspection of Public and Private records on Districts and Taluka levels

 

An application software developed and commissioning for Maharashtra State Archives consists of the following features:

- Scanning the different types of very delicate and fragile documents such as Rumal, Diary and Files
   
- Configurable: Contrast, Brightness, Paper source
   
- Well-defined file structure for saving scanned images for easy indexing
   
- Secure archival and back up facility on compact discs
   
- On demand retrieval of documents
   
- 100 CD Juke box interface
   
- Bilingual application; RDBMS used is SQL Server 7.0 and Visual Basic 6.0 under Win NT

 

 

The System workflow is as shown below:

 

 

C-DAC has also developed a portal for the Department of Archives which incorporates the following features:

- General department information

- Net exhibitions

- Photo Gallery

- On line search tool

- Scholar registration

- Central/Regional repositories

- Publications, library, bulletin board etc

The application has been developed keeping the needs of Dept. of Archives in mind like handling of extremely valuable, old and fragile documents. The hardware proposed is state-of-the-art and has proven to be ideal for these types of applications.