The State Archives Department functioning under the control of Cultural Affairs Department is an independent department formed in 1962. The department functions as the guardian of all non-current records of permanent value of the State Government and various Departments. A State level Archives Advisory Committee headed by the Minister-in-Charge of Archives, guides the activities of this department. Formerly, the department was under the control of Education Department. The Department is headed by the Director of Archives.
The Directorate of the department is located in Thiruvananthapuram. It has three Regional Offices one each at Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhikode with total staff strength of 143 members. An Officer of the rank of Superintendent is in charge of these offices.
The Thiruvithancore Husoor Vernacular Records of 1887 and Central Records formed in Cochin (now Kochi) in 1901 pictures the history of State Archives Department. The first step towards the formation of such departments in all the states in India was taken at the 34th meeting of the Indian Historical Records Commission held in Thiruvananthapuram during the tenure of the EMS – led government in 1958. A new Regional Office at Kozhikode termed as ‘Archives, Kozhikode’ was also formed in 1966.
- Preservation of all non-current records of permanent value of the State Government and various Departments such as the State Public Service commission and making records available for administration and historical research.
- Organising professional training/re-orientation programmes for the officers in charge of the Department and various departmental record rooms.
- Assisting the officers of departmental record to prepare ‘Retention Schedules for the records kept by them and rendering technical support for the management and conservation of records.
- Conducting additional duties such as archival committees, commissions and creating archival consciousness by archives exhibition, seminars and workshops.
- The Kerala State Archives stands as a major pillar in the preservation, conservation and publication of archival records and historical documents.
- It organizes exhibitions and training programmes.
- The department is an 'A' Category member in the International Council on Archives, an International body of about 170 member countries in the world aimed to promote the Archival Heritage in the world.
- It is an institutional member in the National level associations like Association of Indian Archivists, Indian Historical Records Commission, National Museum Association and so forth.
- The Director of Kerala State Archives is a member of the grant Committee of the Government of India for allotting Grant in aid to various states/UTs in India for the preservation of the records.
- Exhibitions of Archival records are organised every so often.
- As part of Archival awareness programmes, the department hosts Open Forums for School and College students.
- Seminars are conducted to arouse archival consciousness among people.
- Original records published as archival publication are available for sale at the Government Press, Thiruvananthapuram and at the sales counters of the Book Marketing Society.
- Organizes discussions with Teacher and students in different educational institutes.
The Kerala State Archives organises professional training/re-orientation programmes for the officers in charge of the Department and various departmental record rooms.