Historical Background

The Directorate of Archives and Archeology is the oldest Archives in the country. Established on 25th February 1595 by the famous historian Diogo do Couto, who was also its first record keeper, the Archive was named as “Torre do Tombo do Estado da India”. The oldest Portuguese record is of the year 1498.


It contains source material relating to history of European expansion in Asia & Africa especially the rise, fall and decay of the Portuguese sea borne empire of India (1510-1961) and the attempts made by the Asian & African powers to oust the Europeans from Asia & Africa. Besides, there are records pertaining to Village Communities, a good collection of files pertaining to the freedom struggle of Goa, registers of Baptism, Birth & Death, Deeds & Wills as well as some very useful records from churches in Goa. Most of the records are in Portuguese & Marathi (Modi) though quite a few documents are also in Sanskrit, Persian, English, French & Vietnamese. There are some Canarese records in the Goykanadi script, though the language is Marathi. There are also Swahili letters penned almost 300 years ago which comprise the oldest corpus of Swahili prose so far discovered.

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