Archival activities in India began in 1891 when the old Imperial Record Department, now known as the National Archives of India, was founded.
In 1950 the University of Mysore constituted a Regional Committee for Survey of Historical Records; and the present Directorate of State Archives came into existence on 3.11.1972.
The Karnataka State Archives is a repository of non-current records of the Government and holding them in trust for the use of Administrators and Scholars.
"Archives" and "Records" are often used as synonymous. Records are testimonies in writing of day-to-day transactions of individuals and institutions, whereas Archives refer to non-current records of enduring value permanently kept in proper custody for the use of scholars.
Archives do not concern Government records alone. They include Ecclesiastical (Religious) Archives, Business Archives, Industrial Archives and other Private Archives.