25 years of cataloguing 137,000 Moghul documents

Since 1961 a team has been hard at work in India cataloguing 137,000 documents from the Moghul era (Moghuls are descendants of Genghis Khan).  The team has dwindled in size to only 4, because there are only 4 people who can read them.

In an article in the Globe & Mail Stephanie Nolen says “It is very often argued that the institution of archiving began with the British – the authority keeping a record of their activities – but here is such a large collection of documents which are essentially archival,” said Mushirul Hasan, director of the National Archives. The Moghuls, descendants of Genghis Khan, controlled the subcontinent for nearly 300 years. They nurtured arts and literature as well as waging war, and left a staggering legacy in India that includes the Taj Mahal and other monuments.

Many are ‘farman,’ or imperial orders – the Emperor Aurangzeb, for example, buying elephants and camels to wage a military campaign, allotting land to a loyal subject, hiring civil servants and collecting taxes.

What do you document?  The oldest documents being catalogued are 354 years old! What would your records have to say about you some 350 years from now?  How do you document your knowledge management?


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