Visit to the State Archives

The History Club of St Joseph’s Boys High School is one of several Clubs which provides students an opportunity to discover and learn from the past. The objective of the Club is to go beyond the textbook and learn about historic places, people, events and things.

At the start of the new academic year members of the Club numbering about forty along with their teachers Ms Gowri Mirlay Achanta and Ms Evelyn Priya decided to visit the State Archives to learn more about how the past is preserved.

The State Archives office is situated at the south entrance of the Vidhan Soudha. The staff and students were met by the Director, Dr Ambujakshi and other members of the department. Dr Ambujakshi has a PhD in History and she willingly shared her vast knowledge with the students and their teachers.

She explained that all official documents from 1799 have been preserved in these Archives and treated with great care. Each page is covered in very fine tissue paper thus protecting the page but still ensuring that the writing is visible. The books and documents are treated with chemicals every three months in order to preserve them. The Director explained that in order to write History one has to have credible evidence - provided by original documents.

The documents in our Archives pertain to the rule of the Mysore Maharaja, the British rule and Post Independence Government records. Many of these documents have been digitized and are preserved in the form of micro films.

Dr Ambujakshi proudly displayed the original Treaty which was drawn after the Fourth Anglo Mysore War in 1799. It was thrilling to see the huge pages, the beautiful calligraphy both in English and in the court language of Persian. The Imperial seal could be seen clearly and it looked very well preserved. The students were shown documents with the signature of Sir M Vishveshvariah the Dewan of Mysore. The Director invited the students to visit the Archives again. The staff and students were very grateful for the knowledge gained through this trip and look forward to another visit.

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