Featured Collections: Arcadia Project

Featured Collections: Arcadia Project 


The Archives at NCBS (https://archives.ncbs.res.in/) is a public centre for the history of science in contemporary India. Over 250,000 processed objects across 30+ collections are in various forms, ranging from paper-based manuscripts to negatives to photographs, books, fine art, audio recordings, scientific equipment, letters, and field and lab notes. The 2000-square-feet state-of-the-art physical centre at NCBS includes space for research, processing, exhibitions, recording, and a leading-edge storage facility with monitors for temperature, light, humidity, air quality, water, fire, pests, and noise. The Archives has one underlying philosophy—of enabling diverse stories—and operates on four broad verticals. One is to strengthen research collections and access in the history of science in contemporary India. The second is to push the frontiers of research in archival sciences in India, forging intersections with scholarship in law, ethics, information theory and the semantic web, for instance. The third is to build capacity and public awareness through education, training and programming, from high school to professional practice. And the fourth: to reimagine the archives as part of the commons through vibrant public engagement. 


In December 2023, the Archives at NCBS completed one year of a grant from Arcadia toward "Documenting the Contemporary History of Science in India". The intent of the grant is to collect, preserve and make available online endangered cultural artefacts related to the contemporary (~200 years) history of science in India. In its first year, we emphasised on the history of ecology and conservation. We have been processing more than 100,000 digital objects and 50 interview sessions from across over 20 collections, and across the country. The project continues through 2025, with a shift in focus to other branches in the sciences, developing digital prototype tools for sustained and diverse interpretation and access through linked open data and public annotation of archival material, and a re-granting programme to allow the development of smaller archives across India. Arcadia is a charitable foundation that works to protect nature, preserve cultural heritage and promote open access to knowledge. Since 2002 Arcadia has awarded more than $1 billion to organizations around the world.


The collections featured below have been collected, processed, and made available through generous support from Arcadia.



MS013 BS Madhava Rao

MS014 Wayanad Prakrithi Samrakshana Samithi (WPSS)

MS015 NL Char

MS016 CP and Kusala Rajendran

MS017 NV Joshi

MS018 Prakash Gole

MS019 RJ Ranjit Daniels

MS020 Aasheesh Pittie

MS021 R Prabhakar

MS022 AN Yellappa Reddy

MS024 KS Krishnan (Physicist)

MS027 Shripad and Nandini’s Papers of Narmada Struggle

MS028 Krishnaja AP

MS029 PK Sukumaran

MS030 Ashish Chandola

MS031 Navnirmiti

MS033 Carl D’Silva

OH002 Oral Histories - History of Science (assorted)

OH003 Oral Histories - Ecology and Conservation

OH004 Oral Histories - The Life of Science collaboration

BB010 Vigyan O Vigyan Karmee

LB001 Science Reporter Magazine

SD002 Small Donations - Ecology

SD003 Small Donations - Agriculture


For a complete list of all our processed material, please visit the central collections page:


Archives at NCBS: All Collections