The Kerala State Archives Department is setting up a museum for ancient manuscripts and documents in the Central Archives Building in Thiruvananthapuram. The 400-years-old building is currently being strengthened and renovated by Kerala Museum Department under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
The state government has already sanctioned Rs 3.52 crore for the strengthening of the building in the first phase of work. The work on the museum will commence thereafter in the second phase.
The building is one of the oldest heritage structures in the city. It served as a prison during the reign of the Travancore kings.
The Kerala State Archives department has a collection of over one crore ancient manuscripts comprising of palm leaves, bamboo splints, copper plates, paper records and microfilms. These records are in various languages such as Malayalam, Old Malayalam, English, Tamil, Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu, Malayanma etc.
Currently, these records are being digitalized. Thereafter these will be exhibited in the museum. Most of these records are more than 200 years old while there are some even older than that. Writing tools such as metal stylus etc from various eras are also there in the collection. The museum intends to introduce these records and material to the public for them to get an idea about our past. The museum will also facilitate research.