At a Glance
The Archive stewards more than 5 terabytes of digitized archival-quality data. The collections contain four hundred hours of oral history and hundreds of thousands of documents and photographs of the labour movement in India.
Dr. S.K. Sasikumar
The Archives of Indian Labour was set up in July, 1998 as a collaborative project of V.V. Giri National Labour Institute and the Association of Indian Labour Historians. The Archives of Indian Labour is dedicated to the cause of preserving and making accessible the fast depleting documents on the working class with the belief that,
"Archive is to society what memory is to human beings"
The Archives was instituted in order to address the urgent need for preservation of rapidly decaying documents and material on labour and to provide for greater public access to the same. It has long been felt that documents and data on Indian Labour now and in the past, are being irretrievably lost.
This was primarily due to neglect and lack of an organised initiative to preserve these documents in India. Hence to overcome this lacuna of adequate documentation of the life and labour of the working class, the Archives of Indian Labour was constituted with the long-term objective to act as a specialised repository of records and voices of the workers, and contain textual, visual and oral records on labour in India.
The archive, apart from being a repository of sources and documents also builds collections and initiates research in the field of labour history. The collections are generated through projects commissioned at the programme and institutional documents donated by various organisations. Documents related to labour movement (generated by workers' organisations, state and business enterprises) are preserved at the archive, in addition to personal narratives, memoirs and video and audio material. The archives combine this effort with an effective public dissemination system of which the offline and on-line access to the digital archives is a major component.
- Integrated Labour History Research programme was set up in July 1998.
- Digital Archives of Indian Labour formally inaugurated on 1 May 2002.
- Technology Upgradation Project initiated in 2010.