Government of Nepal

Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation

Department of Archaeology

National Archives

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The collection of the National Archives contains approximately 50,000 documents (including loose leaves). Of them, 30,000 manuscripts dating from as early as the 9th century are written on traditional Nepali paper, palm leaf, birch-bark or different kinds of colour-coated Nepali paper. A number of manuscripts are written in gold or silver ink. The texts in the collection are in different languages and scripts, most commonly Nepali, Sanskrit, Newari, Tibetan, Maithili, Hindi, and Avadhi. Some of the texts take the form of legends or myths, moral stories, dramas, or hymns; while others contain relating to astrology, medicine, philosophy, religion, and the like. There are also a large number of Thyasaphus (concertina-type paper documents) from the medieval period, written in one or another of the Newari scripts. The National Archives also houses a vast and varied collection of about 8,000 rare Tibetan manuscripts and block-print documents dating from the 11th and 12th centuries through the 19th century, and relating to oriental history, culture, and religion.

The collection of the National Archives contains various other types of historical documents, such as royal decrees, orders issued by the government, treaties, and sundry types of historical letters (Shyaha Mohars, Lal Mohars, Khadga Nisas, Sanad Sawals, Chitthipatras, Sandhipatras, Ekchhapatras, Dwichhapes, Rukhas, and Eshitihars). In addition, there are a number of copper-plate inscriptions and approximately 3,000 rubbings (primarily from stone). Representing the modern period are huge collections of records compiled by government civil servants and national newspapers.