Balochistan is the largest of the four provinces of Pakistan and possesses a rich variety of languages, resources, civilization and culture. The province is located at the geographical intersection and cultural crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East. As a result, it is one of the richest areas in the country in terms of antiquities, archaeological sites, and historical archives.
Balochistan Archives is an executive agency of the Government of Balochistan which serves as the main repository for official records and documents of historical significance. Archivescontain evidence of financial and legal commitments, provide information about significant historical events, and help protect the civil and legal property rights of the citizens. In short, archives are the pillars on which the foundation of history stands and, therefore, require preservation and special care.We are the guardians of the most significant national and provincial level documents in Balochistan Province. Currently, we hold more than 20,000 files, printed papers, books, and manuscripts pertaining to the colonial and post-independence period in Balochistan. The Directorate of Archives is part of the Department of Culture, Tourism, and Archives. The Director, Balochistan Archives, reports to the Secretary, Culture, Tourism, and Archives Department.
On the recommendation of the Department of Archives of Pakistan, the Government of Balochistan initiated action for the establishment of Directorate of Archives during the financial year 1976. In 1985 an Archivist was appointed, who subsequently had the distinction of being the first Archivist in Pakistan having been awarded a Master’s degree in archives administration from University College London. This Directorate started functioning in the Balochistan Civil Secretariat’s Record Room. The first Director of Archives was Abdul Aziz Luni, a civil servant, from 1988-1990. He was followed by Mr. Habib Ahmed Khan, a professional archivist from 1999. Noted Balochi poet and critic Ata Shad also served as Director of Balochistan Archives briefly.
In 2008, the Directorate was moved to its newly built premises in the Noori Naseer Khan Cultural Complex on Spinny Road. The building has a covered area of 40,482 sq. ft. including a basement, ground floor, and first floor. However, the more important records are still housed in a special room on the ground floor of the Balochistan Secretariat.
As the custodian of public history and cultural memory, Balochistan Archives performs several important functions:
Acquisition/collections of important archival, cultural and education resources, which are presently lying in different departments, divisional & district headquarters of Balochistan.
Management and preservation of the archival records of the Government.
Utilization of records for historical research, administration and planning purposes.
Development of a record management system so that all departments should transfer their all non-current records/files to the Directorate of Archives & District Headquarters for proper weeding, classification and maintenance.
Preparation of finding aids, guides for easy access of the researchers, historians, journalists and general public.
Acquisition and preservation of private collections of historical importance such as important tribal families’ papers.
Maintenance of oral archives i.e. collection of sound recordings of speeches, interviews of eminent provincial leaders.
Microfilming of sensitive records of government and other private records of national importance.
Acquisition of government printed material/ publications, newspapers and periodicals and their maintenance.
Maintenance of archival library for use of research scholars and readers.
Organizing seminars, exhibitions, and short term practical training courses for awareness about archives and its importance.