Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation

National Archives

Ramshah Path, Kathmandu , Nepal


With its precious historical documents and artifacts, the national archives provide authentic sources of identity and intellectual tradition of the people and nation. They contain evidences of cultural, political and genealogical history of the past generation. Apart from informing the people about the ancient enlightenment and learning, they enable us to create national narratives, character and ethos. Archives are better sources of institutional memory and collective consciousness. Their preservation saves the posterity from relapsing into collective amnesia. This idea was leitmotif when the country observed the golden jubilee of the National Archives located at Ramshahpath in the heart of the capital city on Tuesday. It has a collection of 30,000 original scripts, 20,000 records and 8,000 Tibetan texts in addition to genuine materials related to Sanskrit, Newari, Maithali, Hindi, Tibetan and Bengali languages. It contains religious and philosophical books dating back to the 7th century and rare documents from around the world. For example, the 13th century ‘Karanya Biyog,’ ‘Skanda Puran,’ ‘Satdharma Kundalika,’ ‘Nyaybikasini’ belonging to the era of Jayasthiti Malla, red seals, treaties and letters have been kept in it. They need to be well protected by microfilming and by applying sophisticated modern technology. While addressing the celebration function, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba had rightly called for developing it into a research centre. The PM also urged the people to submit documents of significant value that are 25 years old to the Archive so that they can be protected and pored over by the future generation to find the deeds of their forebears.


The PM’s plea is commendable given that such a positive attitude will help in preserving the valuable records in the long-term. However, the National Archives that have been doing a praiseworthy job by preserving the ancient documents of history, culture, philosophy and religion, is now in a dilemma after the previous government decided to shift its office to another location three years ago so as to provide its 13 ropanis of land to the Supreme Court. Around 50,000 hand-written texts are likely to be damaged if they are relocated, according to the Archives officials. They have been asking the government to reconsider its decision to move its office to another place. PM Deuba and Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation have pledged to resolve this problem. The Minister of Culture informed that efforts were being made not to shift the Archives office to another location. It is bizarre that the previous government took a myopic decision to remove the office of the National Archives from its current location. It is a well-known fact that old and time-worn documents hardly survive when they are carried from one place to another. As noted culture expert Satya Mohan Joshi said, it is the nation’s responsibility to protect these priceless ancient documents that describe the knowledge, wisdom and courage of the people in the distant past when the concept of nations had not evolved and states were in their nascent phase. Now the PM and the concerned minister should see to it that their actions match their words so that our cherished history and civilisational tradition will not disappear.