Archives play a pivotal role in preserving the history of any organisation. The idea of establishing a storehouse of Tata records was originally conceived by JRD Tata: while assigning the task of penning the group’s history to mark the centenary celebrations of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata’s first venture – the Empress Mills in Nagpur – JRD felt the lacuna of not having a central repository of records.
TCA is responsible for preserving the rich history of the Tata group for future generations. It is a goldmine of information, a repository of important documents – correspondence, photographs, awards, trophies, medals, citations, paintings, video and audio clips, etc amongst other material that relate to the genesis as well as development of the Tata organisation and its manifold activities.
One of TCA’s main aims is to provide an insight into the group’s history right from its inception and to appreciate the quality of the people who shaped it. The archives not only provide employees with an insight into the history and tradition of their organisation but also serve as a central point of information for researchers and students.
The records of Jamsetji N Tata and JRD Tata hold a place of pride in these archives. The exhibition hall displays the life of Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata (1839-1904), founder of the house of Tata with a special focus on his industrial ventures and philanthropic work. The display has been categorised into several sections that include the Tata family, phases of Jamsetji’s life, three textile mills, Esplanade House, Indian Institute of Science, Tata Iron and Steel Company, Taj Mahal Hotel and the Tata Electric Companies.
TCA has brought together scattered records that were under the custody of various offices of the Tata companies. Some of the records date back to the early years of the last century. The documents are first fumigated and then laminated for special protection. To keep pace with the rapid changes taking place in the field of information technology, TCA has initiated the computerisation of its reference material. Important and much-thumbed records are entered into computers and also microfilmed. The carton boxes used to keep the documents are made to order and termite-proof. History lies treasured in these carefully preserved files at the archives.