From Subjects to Citizens: Society and the Everyday State in India and Pakistan 1947 - 1964

Archives, Historical Resources and Links


Many of the government records pertaining to the Central Government can be found at the National Archives of India -

The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library houses an even larger collection of private and institutional papers from the colonial through to early independent India, and a very wide ranging newspaper collection on microfilm -

A rich collection of material on the civil services and administration can be found at the Indian Institute of Public Administration Library, see -

Uttar Pradesh

The main UP State Archives can be found at Kapoorthala, Mahanagar Extn, Mandir Marg. The UP Central Secretariat Library also contains useful material.

Some archival and research materials can also be found at some of the larger Universities in the state, for example, Banaras Hindu University, which houses on its campus the Bharat Kala Bhavan -

Also in Varanasi is the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, which houses a wide range of published Hindi materials -

A similar library in Allahabad, Bharti Bhavan, also contains a wide range of Hindi journals, newspapers and publications.

UP Government Sites


Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

Whilst many materials concerning Hyderabad State between 1948 and 1956 will be found in Delhi at the National Archives or the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Government of Hyderabad records are held at the Andhra Pradesh State Archives. The APSA are located in Tarnaka, Hyderabad - map

The reading room at the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram has a useful collection of 20th century material in English, Urdu and Telugu, which is particularly strong concerning communism and socialism in Andhra -

The State Central Library in Hyderabad also has a significant collection, including manuscripts, in English, Arabic, Persian and Urdu - map

Archived issues of the English-language paper The Deccan Chronicle can be read at their offices in Secunderabad - map

Archived issues of the Urdu-language paper Siasat can be read at their offices in Abids - map


Archival resources in Sindh are scattered and somewhat thin on the ground. However, there are a number of centres where relevant material can be located.

The Sindh Archives in Clifton, Karachi (, contain records mainly from the British period, and are particularly useful for the period up to 1936 (when Sindh became a separate province from Bombay). It is here that the Commissioner of Sindh records are now housed, and these are currently in the process of being indexed electronically by the Archives’ staff.

There are also some records from the period 1936-1947, including Sindh Legislative Assembly debates, as well as copies of correspondence between the Governor of Sindh and the India Office, London, during these years. Frustratingly, however, the Archives possess no official records for the period since independence – and for these it is necessary to go to Islamabad to see what is available in the National Archives ( and National Documentation Centre ( (though again it is not clear how much exists there in terms of, say, local level revenue or police files).

In addition, there is a range of official publications and private libraries in the Sindh Archives donated by well-known Sindhis past and present.

Local district records offices at Hyderabad and Sukkur also contain material dating from both before and after 1947, but this is organised in a haphazard fashion and, thus, presents challenges to researchers hoping to track down specific files!

Karachi does have places where it is possible to access newspapers dating from the post-1947 period. For instance, both Jang and Dawn have microfilmed collections which can be seen at their respective offices in the city. And the Pakistan Institute for International Affairs (PIIA) ( possesses useful runs of old newspapers and journals, in addition to, for example, census material and valuable secondary sources. Likewise, the Dr Mahmud Husain Library at Karachi University (

Both the Sindh Provincial Assembly and the Karachi Municipal Corporation have libraries that contain official government publications and reports relating to their activities over the years.

Away from Karachi, the main centre for historical researchers is the Institute of Sindhology ( at the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, near Hyderabad. Apart from old, and rare, Sindhi newspapers, it contains a good selection of secondary sources and official publications.

Jamshoro is also home to some of GM Syed’s private papers that are housed separately within the University grounds (in addition, there is also a GM Syed archive held in his ancestral village of Sann).