Research Rules


1. “Ordinarily all records in the Tamil Nadu Archives whether confidential or non-confidential, which are more than thirty years old will be made available for bonafide research. The records of the last thirty years are treated as current records and are thus not open for research. Inam fair Registers, Old Settlement Registers, Field Measurement Books and Field Maps, etc will not be made available for research purposes as these records relate to individual holdings. Such of the records as have been classified as “SECRET” in the past will be scrutinized by the Special Commissioner & Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research, who will decide whether to make them available for research or not. In case of any doubt he shall refer the matter to the Government. Copies of Government orders relating to the last thirty years which were placed at the disposal of the press or notified in the Gazettes can, however, be examined. For purposes of research connected with personal family affairs also, the old records of non-confidential and or non-controversial nature and published materials, available in the Tamil Nadu Archives may be made available for consultation subject to the production of documentary evidence to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research about the purpose of the research on such family matters.”

2. (a) A Person wishing to examine the records should apply in writing to the Special Commissioner & Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research in the form prescribed for the purpose.

(b) The following are accepted as bonafide Research Scholars.














Ordinary and Corresponding members of the Indian Historical Records Commission.

Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors, Professors and Researchers of recognised Universities in India.

Post Graduate Research workers of recognised Universities, who produce a certificate from the Vice-Chancellors or the appropriate professors/Reader of his/her University, or the professor of an autonomous college who is research guide or supervisor or the Principal of a Post Graduate College, or who produces any further evidence that the Special Commissioner may consider necessary.

Post-Graduate researcher who produces documentary evidence to the satisfaction of the Special Commissioner & Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research about the purpose of his/her research.

Any official of the Government, accepted by the Special Commissioner as Research Scholar when the work is undertaken with the approval of the Head of the Department of the applicant.  In this case a “No objection Certificate” from the Head of the Department should be insisted, with a view to see that the research would in no way be prejudicial to the discharge of his duties.

Any other person, accepted by the Special Commissioner on Special grounds.


(c) An enrolment Fee of Rs. 200/- will be collected from the Scholars before permission is granted.

3. Application from aliens must be accompanied by







Certificates from Diplomatic or consular representative in their countries of origin or in India to show that they are Bonafide research students along with a letter of introduction from their sponsoring institutions,  (or)

Proof of their having been permitted access to the records in the National Archives of India during the preceeding six months (or)

Whose research project is cleared by the Government of India.  Application from aliens not accompanied by the certificate of proof as mentioned above will not be considered.


4. (a) All applications will be disposed of by the Special Commissioner & Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research in accordance with the rules drawn up from time to time by the Government unless he considers that any particular application should be referred to Government for orders.

(b) Permission to have access to records granted to a Research Scholar will be valid for a period to be specified by the Special Commissioner in his written order granting permission. It may be renewed within the date of its expiry. In this case, no fresh recommendation is necessary. If the application for the renewal of permission is made after the date of expiry of the previous permission it will be treated afresh and the production of necessary certificates will be insisted in such application.

5. The Government reserves the right to refuse or to modify any application.

6. Inspection of records will be allowed only in the Tamil Nadu Archives.

7. The Research Hall of the Tamil Nadu Archives is open on all days of the year except on holidays, which shall be notified by the Tamil Nadu Archives well in advance. The number of such notified holidays shall not exceed 15 in a year. 

8. The hours of admission are from 8 A.M. to 8.00 P.M. on all days except on Saturdays, Sundays and other Holidays which are not notified as closed holidays to the Research Hall under the Rule 7 above, when the hall will remain open from 10.00 A.M. to 5.00 P.M.

9. Persons not wishing or being unable to examine the records themselves should apply to the Special Commissioner who will, where possible arrange for a search to be undertaken on payment of the fee prescribed then and there.

10. A set Indexes, Press Lists and other Finding Aids have been kept in the “Research Hall” for ready reference and easy consultation. To requisition documents, the Scholar has to fill in a requisition Form available in the Research Hall and put it in the Wooden tray or box allotted for each record stack kept in the Research Hall. These requisitions will be cleared by the staff concerned thrice a day at 10.30 A.M., 12.30 P.M. and 3.30 P.M. (on working days only) and the records requisitioned will be supplied in the research hall. A card called, “Record Issue Card” will be supplied to each scholar of records issued to him/her, and the number pending with him/her. This record should be shown to the staff at the time if issue of records or receiving, and returning of records by Scholars, and the staff would make necessary entries in the card. Since the stacks remain closed on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays, scholars are advised to get their documents in advance. When a Scholar has finished with a document, he/she could hand it over to the staff. Those wishing to have documents kept out for their use should inform the Assistant of the Research Hall who will be provided a separate shelf for purpose of storage.

11. No person may have more than ten documents at any point of time. Efforts will be made, however, to relax this rule, when there is no rush or heavy attendance in the Research Hall. If a record is in fragile condition then it will be made available only after it has been duly repaired.

12. Smoking is strictly prohibited in the rooms, where records are perused or kept. The books and other materials shall be handled with great care and caution. No one shall write on documents or put one document on top of another or lay notebooks or papers on them. Any defect or damage to document or book should be pointed out to the officer on duty in the Research Hall at the time of taking it. Big folio volumes should be placed on book rests and handled carefully. No mark shall be made on any record with pen, pencil or any other means. Notes are allowed to be taken only with a Pencil or Ball Point Pen. Absolute silence will be maintained in the Research Hall. Across the table discussion with fellow Research Scholars is totally prohibited.

13. No photographic reproduction or Microfilming or tracing of records shall be made by any persons without written permission of the Special Commissioner. The Special Commissioner shall not give such permission, if it appears to him that the process of photographic reproduction or microfilming or tracing is likely to cause damage to the document.



Any person, who has used the Tamil Nadu Archives records for Historical Research and has published works based on these records, is required to deposit in the Tamil Nadu Archives free of charge, one copy of his work as soon as it is submitted to his/her University or as soon as it is published.



A Security deposit of Rs. 500/- (Rupees Five Hundred only) will be collected from the applicant before permission is granted.  The deposit amount will be refunded in full after one copy of the work is deposited by the Researchers.


Provided that the Special Commissioner & Commissioner of Archives and Historical Research may exempt any applicant from the payment of security deposit for the reasons to be recorded in writing.

15. Permission to consult the records may be withdrawn by the Special Commissioner at his discretion for sufficient reasons, such as willful breach of any of the foregoing rules, persistent disregard of office authority, damage of any sort to any record or article belonging to the Tamil Nadu Archives, conduct, language or any other matter offensive or likely to be offensive to the staff or to other Research Scholars. It will be open to the Scholar aggrieved by the order to represent his case to the Government of Tamil Nadu.

16. In case of any doubt or dispute concerning these rules and their interpretations, the decision of the Government of Tamil Nadu would be final and binding.


1. G.O.Ms. No. 682, Education (W1), dated 22nd May 1986. (R.Dis. 18884/RH/84)

2. G.O.Ms. No. 743, Education (W1), dated 4th June 1990 (R.Dis. 4777/RH/90)

3. G.O. Ms. No. 120, Education (W1), dated 31st January 1991

4. G.O. Ms. No. 265, Higher Education (D2), dated 18.9.2002.








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