Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is one among the foremost institutes of national importance in higher technological education, basic and applied research. It was established in 1959 by the Government of India with technical assistance from the Federal Republic of Germany, in the city of Madras, today Chennai, Tamil Nadu. IIT Madras was the third institute to be set up under the IIT system and the institute has established itself as a premier centre for teaching, research and industrial consultancy in the country.
Main Entrance, IIT Madras campus. Source: Photo taken by the Archive Team (Nov. 2019)
The Archive Project was inaugurated as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of IIT Madras in September 2019. The Archive of IIT Madras aims to preserve the institutional memory through the acquisition and preservation of records documenting teaching, research, administration, and the lives and activities of students, faculty and employees. The archival records of IITM are not only crucial for the history of the institute but also for the history of science and technology in general. As of now, the project is in its initial state, and the Archive Team is working simultaneously on several tasks.
Our work focuses on establishing an archival repository on campus, where permanent records will be kept and made accessible for research and to the public. The Archive will facilitate the study and understanding of the history of IIT Madras and its people. Preserving the archival records of IIT Madras, and making them accessible to researcher and the public, is also important for understanding the broader history of higher education and science and technology in independent India and beyond.
We plan to open the Archive of IIT Madras as a unit with permanent premises and visiting facilities in 2022. Please contact us at email@example.com and we will assist you with your query.
To know more about archiving and the progress of the archival project at IIT Madras, click here.
Records kept in one of the units at IIT Madras. Source: Photo taken by the Archive Team (March 2020)
The Archive at IIT Madras will preserve the rich historical records of IIT Madras and its people and make them accessible to researcher and the public. We are committed to provide resources for writing the history IIT Madras, but the history of science, technology, and higher education in general.
We understand archiving not as a product but as a process that connects to producers and users of archival records as well as a wider public that facilitates a dialogue about history. The Archive will not just be an administrative unit but a vibrant hub that enrols a variety of academic fields and students in research and teaching projects with its own outreach program.
Repository: Archives, University of Tubingen, Germany. Source: taken by the Archive Team (June 2019)
It all began in 1956, when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India, was on an official visit to West Germany and was offered assistance by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, to set up a higher technological institute in India. This resulted in the signing of the first Indo-German Agreement in Bonn in 1958, for the establishment of an Indian Institute of Technology at Madras. The Indo-German agreements provided for the services of German professors and foremen, training facilities for Indian faculty members and the supply of scientific and technical equipment for the establishment of the Central Workshop and laboratories at IIT Madras. In 1959, the Institute was formally inaugurated by Prof. Humayun Kabir, Union Minister for Scientific and Cultural Affairs. Dr. A. Lakshmanaswamy assumed office as the first Chairman of the Board of Governors and Dr. B. Sengupto as the first Director of the Institute. The Institute was declared as an 'Institute of National Importance' by the Parliament of India in 1961.
In 1973, Shri C. Subramaniam, Minister for Industrial Development and Science and Technology, inaugurated the Industrial Consultancy Centre. The same year, the first IBM System 370 Model 155 digital computer was dedicated to the Institute. 1974 witnessed the commencement of the fourth Indo-German Agreement with the objectives of setting up inter-university partnerships in R&D projects and strengthening of the industrial consultancy service. The Employees Welfare Scheme was introduced in 1975 and evening D.I.I.T courses were started for the benefit of engineers in and around the city.
Foundation stone of IIT M, kept at the Heritage Centre. Source: Photo by the Archive Team (Jan.2020)