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The National Archives

The National Archives houses the collective memory of the nation's history. It has in its store, an array of rich and diverse records which are of significant interest to one and all. These records are invaluable for historical, genealogical, cultural, administrative and legal purposes, among others. As a Government Department, the National Archives serves as the nation's repository of public records. It sees to it that an efficient and economical management of the records of the Government of Mauritius throughout their lifecycle, is carried out. It also caters for the preservation of those public records of archival value for current and future use by the Government, citizens of Mauritius and international users.

Our Mission

The mission of the National Archives is to provide the nation with a National Archives which fulfills its historical and cultural roles, i.e to collect, preserve, make accessible the collective memory of the nation, for the benefit of the present and the future generations, for research and exploitation purposes.

Our Vision

The vision of the National Archives is to meet the challenges of the 21st century, both as preserver and provider of information, in line with modern concepts and technologies.

Objectives

Its objectives are to:-
  • preserve the collective memory of the nation;
  • promote an awareness of this collective memory for the purpose of research;
  • produce and publish documentary materials for educational purposes and for the public at large;
  • release after a given period official records for public research; and
  • provide effective and efficient services to its users.

Holdings

Its current holdings include:-
  1. Records of the French Administration: 1721- 1810.
  2. Records of the British Administration : From 1810 - onwards
  3. Notarial Deeds as from 1724.
  4. Copies of maps and plans from 1502 onwards.
  5. Specimen of every issue of postage stamps and currencies.
  6. Minutes of proceedings from Municipalities and District Councils.
  7. Special collection materials including lithographs, photographs and seals.
  8. A collection of rare books and private papers.

Users of National Archives

Users of the National Archives are:-
  • Members of public who wish to know about the history of our country;
  • Students from secondary and tertiary education sector of Mauritius doing research projects;
  • Local and international scholars;
  • Government officials of various Ministries and Departments seeking information of an administrative and legal nature;
  • Tourists looking for family related information;
  • Historians who wish to write on various aspects which have marked the history of our country;
  • Individuals and genealogists who try to build-up their family tree; and
  • Cultural organizations and NGO's who are looking for information related to their respective objectives.

Acquisition

Acquisition of records of archival value constitutes an important aspect in building-up the archival collections at the National Archives. Acquisition is made in accordance with the National Archives Act No.22 of 1999 and Government Notice 140 of 2001. This is effected through several means:-

  • Legal deposits (See our Section on Legal Deposits);
  • Purchases;
  • Exchanges with other information centres (local and foreign);
  • Gifts and donations from private individuals and organizations; and
  • Transfer of public records of enduring value which have been appraised by the Public Records Appraisal Committee.

Oral History Unit

The purpose of an Oral History Unit is to promote the recording, preservation and the use of recorded memories of the past of individuals who have been directly or indirectly associated with or were witnesses of past events. This Unit was set-up in 2005; it has produced recordings of 'Cyclone Carol', the history of Mauritian railways, among others.

Last Updated: 14 September, 2017
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