Access Guidelines

Archives at NCBS: Access guidelines 

Rev 2: Feb 15 2024


Thank you for your interest in the Archives at NCBS!


Section 1: How to find and view material
Visit to get an overview of collections, or jump directly to the full catalog:
Many archival objects will have associated digital objects on the catalog. For those that don't, see Section 2


Section 2: Research viewing requests
For those archival objects that do not directly have associated digital objects on the catalog, either:
(a) Click the 'Request' button on the catalog page to get more information on viewing them. 
(b) OR Fill up the Researcher Application form: Email the signed (digital is fine) PDF file to

The application form needs the archival record identifier, which is in bold, and in the top section of the catalog page. For instance, refer to the identifier, MS-012-1-1-1-7 for the file on correspondence between MB Krishna Rao and Leslie Coleman on April 4, 1952 ( We share the naming convention below to help researchers understand records at the Archives at NCBS. But this knowledge is not necessary to make requests!

MS: Manuscripts 
012: 12th manuscript collection at Archives at NCBS - Leslie Coleman Papers
1: Series number (Correspondence)
1: Sub-series number (Letters to Leslie Coleman)
1: Box or container number or location
7: Folder or sub-container number

If you are able to come in person, we can share the physical material with you. If you are not able to come, we will set up an online drive to give you access to the material. This gives you access to view the material similar to other digital objects on our website, but it does not give permission to reproduce the material or quote from it. 


Section 3: To use material in any form of publication
Please fill up this 'Material Use' form: Email the signed (digital is fine) PDF file to 

Section 4: Visits in person to the Archives
The Archives at NCBS is open between 10am and 5:30pm, Mon to Fri (weekends by appointment). We can be reached +91-80-6717-6011. For an informal visit, please tell the NCBS campus gate security staff that you wish to visit the archives. For visits to view archival material, please send us an email ( with your researcher application form at least three days before the first date when you wish to come to campus. Please do glance through the Researcher Application form before arrival for regulations at the archives:

While there's no limit to the number of folders you can see, the archives issues five folders at one time to the researcher's desk. Only pencils are allowed at the researcher's desk. Since we have digital copies of most of our collections on our servers, ask us if you need digital copies for reference and avoid taking photographs with phones in a way that might damage the material.


Section 5: Our Policy for Online Access to Digital Objects
The Archives at NCBS aims to make much of its archival material freely accessible online while also being attentive to the legal and ethical concerns of donors and rightsholders. Some objects on our site may not be accessible digitally and will state that they have 'restricted access'. While this is not an exhaustive list, here are some of our broad policies for making material accessible to the public through digital objects:
1) We aim to comply with any legal restrictions imposed by donors in their Deed of Gift or Consent Forms, or any copyright restrictions that may have been established on third-party published material.
2) India's Public Records Act (1997) allows for public records older than 30 years to be made available to the public through national and state archives. For a lot of our archival material from private donors, we try and align with this Public Records Act and provide access to digital copies of records that are older than 30 years and without sensitive information. This is applicable to most correspondence and administrative documents, and third-party documents across collections.
3) The following kinds of records will typically have restricted access. Users can still make direct requests with the Archives at NCBS and these will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. By November 2024, we aim to update catalog entries for restricted records with embargo periods:
(a) Any third-party material that has explicit directives on it for restrictions (like some archival cartographic material)
(b) Audio-visual material that includes sensitive content relating to humans 
(c) Records that the Archives at NCBS appraises as containing sensitive content (like some contact information, recommendation letters)
(d) Records with content that the Archives at NCBS feels would harm the rights of indigenous, vulnerable or marginalised communities.
(e) Financial, medical or legal records that have been appraised to have archival value, but with sensitive content

The Archives at NCBS recognizes that there are still circumstances where some digital material may be removed from public access. If you know of specific circumstances that apply to any of our archival material, please visit our Take Down Policy page and help us in ensuring fair access to material: