Report of the Secretaries Committee on RBI Archives PUNE visit

On 04.06.2018 at 02:30 PM, the Secretaries Committee visited the RBIA, Pune


  1. The Principal, College of Agricultural Banking

  2. Sri R.P. Sahoo, Chief Archivist, RBIA

  3. Sri Manmohan Singh, IAS, Special CS Revenue (lands), GoAP.

  4. Sri Nagulapalli Srikant, IAS, Secretary to Government (Poll.) GAD

  5. Sri K.V.V.Satyanarayana, IRAS, Special Secretary, Finance, GOAP

  6. Sri D. Venkataramana, Secretary to Government, Law Department.

  7. Sri K.Harsha Vardhan, IAS, Deputy Secretary Higher Education Deptt.

  8. Sri V.Rangaraj, Director (i/c), AP State Archives, Hyderabad.

  9. Sri K.Brahmam, Assistant Secretary, GAD.

  10. Officials of RBIA, Pune.



            Sri R.P Sahoo Chief Archivist has escorted the committee. The Reserve Bank of India Archives (RBIA), Pune earlier known as Central Records and Documentation Centre (CRDC) was established on 24th August 1981 with the twin objectives of

            (i) serving as a repository of non-current permanent records and

            (ii) as Central Archives of the Reserve Bank of India for research purposes.

Being the Central Archives, RBI Archives has been assigned the responsibility to act as a nodal agency in respect of records management in RBI.  It is functioning under the Department of Economic and Policy Research (DEPR), Central Office.  The College of Agricultural Banking has been providing administrative support to the RBI Archives since its inception.


2.     Main Functions of RBIA

  • Receipt of non-current permanent records of RBI having historical and legal value closed more than 12 years back or for such lower period as may be fixed by the Central Office of the concerned Department.

  • Scientific conservation and preservation of records, photographs and paintings.

  • Maintenance of Archival Library by procuring three copies of all publications of the Reserve Bank of India such as books, reports, journals, manuals etc.

  • Preparation of reference media such as indexes, catalogues in respect of records and publications.

  • Providing research facilities t scholars and students

  • Microfilming and digitisation of records.


3.     RBIAis built as a dedicated buildingfor archival purposes i.e. museum, maintenance of various records in halls, records repair room, fumigation room, micro-filming rooms, record stitching rooms, scholar rooms etc. It has two floors each of 10,000 sft.

4.     Process of keeping records in RBIA


Boxes specially made (hand-made paper by Khadi and Village Industries Board) that are acid-free should be used, as the general card-board paper boxes are no longer capable of supporting or protecting archival records adequately.  The decision to use acid-free boxes should take into account the nature and value of the records. When records are placed into archives boxes, care must be taken to ensure that boxes are neither overfilled nor underfilled. If too many records are placed in one box, damage will occur as they are forced in and out. On the other hand, if there are too few records in a box, they will bend and slump, and eventually become curved and distorted.Records must be placed in boxes that are large enough to accommodate them without damage. Archives boxes in a variety of sizes and formats are available to meet the diverse storage requirements of archival records.

        (B) RECORDS

Loose (i.e., unbound) records that are currently stored in boxes without folders should be placed in acid-free file folders for support and protection.Records must be placed in acid-free file folders or envelopes that are large enough to accommodate them safely. The documents must be neatly aligned so they will support one another.


Documents that do not properly fit into their folders, boxes, or other containers without being rolled or folded should be considered oversize. These include maps, drawings, blueprints, posters, large ceremonial documents, lengthy petitions, and other records that may have been previously folded or rolled to allow them to fit into a particular container, as well as documents whose edges are being broken or curved because they extend beyond the edges of folders. Oversize records may become curved, pleated, or otherwise distorted if they are housed in folders and boxes that are too small.


Caution must be exercised when handling tightly rolled or folded records, especially if the paper is weak, stiff, or brittle. If such documents are forced open, they may break or tear. If records resist gentle attempts to open them, they should be left in their folded or rolled state until they can be safely humidified and flattened by a conservator.


No marks or information should be written directly on archival records without authorization by supervisors.

       (F) DUSTING

Maintaining a clean storage environment is an ongoing responsibility that will do much to preserve archival records. Shelves, archives boxes, and the exteriors of bound volumes should be dusted as needed to prevent dirt from being transferred to records during handling.         


Torn or exceptionally brittle records that are encountered during holdings maintenance activities should be placed in polyester sleeves sealed along two adjacent edges to protect them during handling and to prevent further damage.


No attempt should be made to separate documents that are held together by paper or wax seals or wafers, or that are adhesively attached with lines or dots of paste or glue. If such items must be separated to allow for the safe handling, use, or filming of the records, they should be sent to a conservation laboratory where the removal can be accomplished safely without damaging the surface of the paper or losing written information. In some instances, a seal or wafer is integral to the integrity of a document and may contain important information and, therefore, should not be removed.


Photographic materials (prints and negatives) that are to be retained within files of textual records should be placed in polyester sleeves. While good quality paper envelopes and sleeves provide appropriate storage for photographic materials in many situations, polyester film is more suitable in instances where photographs interfiled with textual records will be provided to researchers without gloves or other handling or viewing aids.

5.   Material required for archiving records

(a) Archival Bond Paper

(b) Acid-free handmade folders

(c) Brushes dusting

(d) Uneven folders for any size of the document

(e) Cotton gloves white

(f) Paper clips

(g) Polyester sleeves

(h) Spacer Boards

(i) Storage containers.

6.    The team has visited the Records Rooms and observed that age-old records are maintaining with clear visibility. The Committee also observed that the processing rooms i.e., paper repair room, stitching room, fumigation room, micro-filing room which are being maintained at RBIA Pune.  The RBIA has provided all the required machinery and material and service rendered through outsourcing basis, but not regular employees.  The regular employees are very limited in number having diploma / degree in archival subject.  The Committee felt that utmost care must be taken at higher level what records should be archived in micro-filming, and what records should be archived permanently or for a limited period, keeping in view the cost involved in various methods.  For decision in archiving a record shall be taken at higher level.

7.    Other observations of the committee are:

        (i) A private Archives Society of Andhra Pradesh should be promoted for the state.

        (ii) The websites of Australia, Korea, Japan and Netherlands can be seen to understand the state-of-the-art.

        (iii) Outsource certain routine activities under supervision.

        (iv) Establish a digital wing

        (v) Train the departmental staff regularly on archival

        (vi) Make museum part of the archives

        (vii) The archival value of a record will be based on Historical value/ Legal value/ Vital importance to organisation

        (viii) The archives will cater to a) retrieval requests b) RTI requests and c) Research scholars

 (ix) The workflow involves Reception → Registry (accessioning) → Fumigation → Preservation (Repair section handles archival lamination etc. and cleaning, deacidification) → Digitalisation and microfilming