India and Portugal sign historical agreement to promote cooperation in field of archives

Jun 21, 2017 14:45 IST

India and Portugal on 17 May 2017 signed a Protocol of Cooperation agreement to promote cooperation in the field of archives. The information regarding this was published by Press Information Bureau on 20 June 2017.

The agreement was signed between the National Archives of India and the Minister of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal.

The first set of documents were handed over to Raghvendra Singh, Secretary to the Union Government and Director General of National Archives of India.

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As a first step under this agreement, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India.

These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.  

The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia.  

In 1777, these 62 volumes, consisting of over 12000 documents and pertaining to the period from 1605 to 1651, were shifted from Goa to Lisbon where these were printed under the title ‘Documentos Remetidos da India’(Documents sent from India) by the Academy of Science at Lisbon.

After over 240 years, this gap in the record series in the collection of the Goa State Archives was filled when the documents were handed over to India.

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