Archives of Contemporary India

Supported by HDFC LTD.


Sachidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan, ‘Agyaye’ Papers (1931-1987)
Hindi writer, poet and journalist

The Archives had the privilege to receive a large collection of the private papers of the famous Hindi writer, poet and journalist, Sachidanand Hiranand Vatsyayan, ‘Agyaye’ (1911-1987) from Vatsal Nidhi. The collection contains correspondence with family and friends, contemporary writers and poets, journalists, publishers and political figures. There are diaries, notebooks, drafts, manuscripts, press clippings, pamphlets/booklets, photographs and drawings. One of the free thinkers of the Hindi literary world, his papers are most significant for the study and research of trends in modern Hindi literature in the twentieth century.

Anil Dharker Papers (1989-2002)
Writer, editor and columnist

Rani Dharker has donated a valuable collection of her brother's papers. The collection consists of Anil Dharker's columns, 'Tube Watch' in the Sunday Times of India, 1994, 1999-2002, 'Sunday Review' in the Sunday Times, 1994, 1997, and 'Out of my Mind' in Mid-Day, 1989-1990. There are also some brochures of Mumbai International Literary Festival.

Dileep Padgaonkar Papers (1958-2016)
Author and journalist

Latika Padgaonkar has donated the precious collection of the papers of her husband Dileep Padgaonkar. The papers are of great importance for the study of contemporary international politics and journalism. The collection includes his articles and writings on various themes including literature, culture, food, gastronomy, France and French novelist Andre Malraux. There are transcripts of his interviews and photographs with several Indian and French personalities such as R.K. Laxman, S.H. Raza, Stephane Hessel, Jean Bhownagary, Jeanne Moreau, George Whitman, and others. Feedback and congratulatory correspondence related to his book Under Her Spell and French award, the Legion d’Honneur are also part of the collection.

Achin Vanaik (1978-2012)
Academic & author

Achin Vanaik has donated a most valuable collection of his papers comprising writings by him on seminal national and international issues and printed material on nuclear weapons and security, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), Indo-US nuclear deal, Nepal, West Asia and South America. The collection also includes Times of India press clippings (from 1978 onwards), issues of magazines by Greenpeace, and Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (CNDP). The papers are of immense value to scholars interested in international relations, national security, foreign policy, nuclear weapons and global politics.

Ranoj Basu (1947-1985)
Former Permanent Secretary, AICC

Ranoj Basu has donated a collection of INC reports and bulletins to the Archives of Contemporary India. The collection traces the history of Indian National Congress and primarily consists of Congress Bulletins (1947-1985), Reports of the General Secretary of INC (1983-2010), AICC publications ‘Congress Marches Ahead’ (1970-2017), Election Manifestos of INC (1980-2009), and some other publications of the Indian National Congress. The papers provide very useful source material for study and research on the contemporary history of India and the Indian National Congress.

S.P.K. Gupta Papers (1980-1992)
Author & journalist

S.P.K. Gupta has donated a rich collection of papers pertaining mainly to his tenure as a PTI correspondent in the USSR in the 1980s. There are rare issues of Soviet Land magazine, Music in Russia, and Problems of Communism magazine, Soviet documents (APN releases) and press clippings. There is also material on China, U.S.A. and Afghanistan. Besides, there are notes, articles and other papers on scientists J.B.S. Haldane, Kolachala Seetaramayya, Yellapragada Subbarow and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar. The collection covers the period 1980-2005 and is a valuable source material for researchers interested in the study of international relations, medicine and journalism.

S.P. Shahi Papers (1960-1982)
Wildlife conservationist

Rishika Shahi has donated a significant collection of her grandfather S.P. Shahi’s papers to the Archives for study and research on wildlife conservation. The collection comprises rare wildlife photographs, negatives and slides captured by S.P. Shahi between 1970 and 1975. In addition, the collection includes the book Backs to the Wall: Saga of Wildlife in Bihar, India and an article on Indian Grey Wolf by S.P. Shahi.

Dilip Simeon Papers (1926-2002)
Labour historian & social activist

Dilip Simeon has donated a valuable collection of his papers to the Archives of Contemporary India. The papers provide deep insight for research and study of global labour movements and economic history. The papers comprise articles and research papers published in various academic journals and edited volumes relating to labour history, national movement, economic history, tribal issues, caste, gender & society. Theoretical articles on conflict resolution, Marxism, documents on Narmada Bachao Andolan, book reviews and printed material are also part of the collection. The collection also comprises his father E.J. Simeon's personal papers which include files pertaining to his days at the Indian Army and as Headmaster of schools such as Cathedral & John Connon School, La Martiniere, Doon School and Sainik School.

Vinay Kumar Srivastava Papers (1970-2020)
Social Anthropologist

Prof. Kumkum Srivastava has donated a very valuable collection of her husband’s papers to the Archives of Contemporary India. The papers include his correspondence with contemporaries, research material on anthropological theory and methods, field notes, handwritten notes, diaries, articles, journals, and audio cassettes of his field work. His papers are of immense value to scholars interested in the study of urban anthropology, pastoralism, ecological movements, medical anthropology, death, witchcraft, tribal societies and ethnography.

Raza Tehsin Papers (1976-2015)
Wildlife conservationist
The collection donated by Raza Tehsin himself to Archives of Contemporary India comprises invaluable source material related to several projects conducted by him like Chanderia Project (1988-1991), Rampura Agucha Project, Development at Moti Magri, and Fishes of Jaisamand. There is correspondence with the editors of various journals and organisations including Maharana Pratap Smarak Samiti, Burhani Foundation, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, Wildlife India (Udaipur), and State Council of Educational Research and Training. Also includes, several published and unpublished articles, reprints of research papers in journals and press clippings. Some personal notebooks and handwritten notes on faunal surveys are also in the collection. Apart from these, photographs/negatives also form a part of the collection. The papers provide an insight into the research and development of wildlife conservation in Rajasthan.
Prosenjit Dasgupta Papers (1970-2020)
Wildlife naturalist scholar & writer
Prosenjit Dasgupta has donated a very rich and valuable collection of his papers for research to Archives of Contemporary India. It includes dozens of his field diaries and notebooks meticulously maintained since the early 1970s, beautiful portraits of India’s wildlife, tribal life in Bastar, along with thousands of photographic slides, audios/videos and other relevant papers. These archives form an invaluable repository for all scholars and researchers interested in studying natural history of India’s forests and wildlife, the evolution of key wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves of the country, tribal life and folk culture of central India (especially Bastar) as well as the material heritage of Kolkata itself.
D. K. Lahiri Choudhury Papers (1950-2015)
Elephant expert, conservationist, scholar, researcher and academician
The family of Prof. D.K. Lahiri Choudhury has donated a most significant collection of his papers to Archives of Contemporary India for research and study. The collection includes his field notes, diaries, draft manuscripts and proofs of his books, his stunning and rare portraits of India’s wildlife especially his beloved elephants along with thousands of photographic slides, research papers, articles, maps, his literary and academic works, heritage study works, and numerous rare articles and papers related to India’s wildlife by other scholars that he meticulously collected over his entire life, and other relevant documents.  These archives form an invaluable repository for all scholars and researchers interested in studying the natural history of elephants in India, elephant ecology and problems afflicting the species in India, conservation issues in post-independent India, the built heritage of Kolkata and other conservation issues afflicting India’s wildernesses and wildlife.

Nandita Haksar Papers (1980s-2020) 

Lawyer, human rights activist & writer
Nandita Haksar has donated the valuable collection of her papers to Archives of Contemporary India comprising transcripts of interviews with Naga leaders, numerous articles, press clippings, research material collected for her books, letters exchanged between her parents and notes by her mother. The papers also comprise material related to human rights cases, adivasis, migrant workers and refugees, Burmese activists, Northeast India, Kashmir and Amnesty International. She has also donated her collection of books to Ashoka Library.