Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation

National Archives

Ramshah Path, Kathmandu , Nepal


Kathmandu, Oct 3

The historical documents and artefacts at the National Archives are said to be at risk.

The National Archives at Ramshah Path will have to vacate the building where it is currently housed as per a decision of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers had on May 7, 2014 made a decision to shift the National Archives to the Narayanhiti Palace Museum to make space for constructing a garage for the Supreme Court.

Experts speaking in the 51st anniversary function of the National Archives on Wednesday expressed concern that the valuable artefacts and historical records at the Archives would not be safe if they were moved and transported elsewhere from their current abode.

Addressing the function, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Prasad Adhikari expressed the commitment that the artefacts and the historical records would not be moved from the Archives unless there is guarantee that these valuable artefacts would be cent per cent safe.

“The Ministry’s serious attention has been drawn on this issue. The National Archives would not be shifted frivolously. The matter should be considered 100 times before moving the National Archives. I will table a proposal in the Council of Ministers for reconsidering the decision if it is not necessary to shift the facility,” he said.

The Culture Minister stated that it was unbecoming of the Supreme Court, a body that is expected to give verdict staying the move if any other body required the National Archives to shift to another place, itself shooting letters time and again to the National Archives to vacate the place.

He stressed on developing the National Archives into a knowledge center for research and study.

Minister Adhikari also issued directives to the National Archives administration to preserve the artefacts by using technology and also to collect not-yet-recovered historical documents and artefacts.

Culture expert centenarian Satya Mohan Joshi also expressed his strong reservation over constructing a garage for the Supreme Court by vacating the present National Archives which has a collection of valuable artefacts of historical, cultural and archaeological significance.

“The present National Archives has been placed at the appropriate location with air conditioning facility. The collections in the archives would not be safe if they are moved away to another place from the current building which is earthquake resistant,” Joshi expressed his concerns, adding that shifting the National Archives would not be acceptable. He said rare texts like ‘Nawagrantha’, ‘Pragya Paramita’ are preserved here.

Recalling that the French historian Silva Levi had written the history of Nepal in two parts by consulting the documents at the National Archives, he drew the attention of all bodies to the need of preserving the artefacts here as it provides a rich collection of historical documents at one place to the researchers and readers alike.

Ministry secretary Krishna Prasad Devkota said the Archives could not be shifted as per the provisions in the Archives Protection Act 2046 and Archives Protection Regulations 2063. He suggested developing the National Archives into a center of study of history and culture.

Director General of the Department of Archaeology Bhesh Narayan Dahal said that the National Archives which has become a research center has also been generating good amount of revenue.

Archive’s officiating chief Shaubhagya Pradhananga said the Archive has the collections of 32,000 handwritten ancient documents (tadpatra, bhojpatra and neelpatra) since from the fifth century. Two hundred s books have been kept safely through the use of microfilming method.

An exhibition of the books and historic documents published by the Archive has kick started from today. At the expo to run till October 12, important manuscripts related to religion, Ayurved, astrology and tantra are available.

Precious hand-written documents like Saddharmapundarik dating back to the eighth century, the ‘Skandapuran’ belonging to the early ninth century and ‘Nyaybikasini’ belonging to the period of Jayashthiti Malla, one of the kings of Malla dynasty, are secured in the Archive.

Similarly, historic government documents such as Sanad, Sawal, Lalmohar, Syaha Mohar, Ekchhape, Dwichhape and treaties, the ‘Gorkhapatra’, ‘The Rising Nepal’, and archives of civil servants are stored in the Archive.

On the occasion, Minister Adhikari released the ‘Ajirnamanjari’, ‘Anupanmanjari’ and the book about study of Nepal-India historic documents. Commenting on the first two are books themed on Ayurved, Dr Sudan Kumar Poudel said they shared knowledge about the treatment of diseases like indigestion through the use of herbs easily available in rural areas of Nepal. Both books are edited y Dr Chhatrapati Dahal.

Commenting over the third book, Dr Rajan Khatiwada said the book was useful in learning the ancient customs and traditions of both countries. The book is the compilation of articles by various people. On the occasion, former secretary Durga Nidhi Sharma, Prof Jagat Prasad Upadhya and Prakash Dhakal were felicitated.