Archives, which aims at centralization of non-current public records of a Government or an Organization, constitutes an interface between Administration and Society. It is true that the purpose of records production and management within the current Administration differs from the purpose for which archival institutions exist. While records are ephemeral tools of administrative work, archives play a pivotal role in mapping out the history of an organization. KOPTs Maritime Archives and Heritage Centre seeks to preserve the documentary heritage of the premier Port in India. The Port of Kolkata is inseparably linked with the urban development of the city. The trading settlement of Kolkata grew into the capital of British India. Port system and urban development reinforced each other. The story of the Kolkata Port thus symbolizes the commercial and political power of the British in India. With the termination of the British rule, the Port system in Kolkata became an integral part of nation building programme of Independent India.
The Maritime Archives aims to provide an opportunity to know the history of this grand organization from its inception to its present status, to understand its ethos and to appreciate the quality of the people who formed it. Kept in the repository are thousands of documents, maps, charts, photographs, memorabilia and audio visual recordings of organizational development of the Kolkata Port Trust.
The Kolkata Port records convey invaluable archival material for reference and research. It is a storehouse of information for the employees, Research Scholars and seekers of knowledge who are really interested to know the perspectives of the maritime past of the Hooghly. It inspires and obviously motivates the Kolkata Port Trust employees to realize that there is a tradition that they can hold on to, that they can fall back upon.
This repository of information is aptly housed in a 100 years old heritage building, Fairlie Warehouse on Strand Road, which was the hub of commercial activity a century ago. For the benefit of those who would like to have a preliminary glimpse at the Archives without physically coming to the Centre, a click on exhibition panel will provide a view of the exhibition panel. Hindi version of the book on History of Kolkata Port by Prof. Nilmoni Mukherjee can also be viewed by clicking History of Kolkata.