The Department of Archives is the oldest Archives in the country. Established on 25th February 1595 by the famous historian Diogo do Couto, who was also its first record keeper, the Archive was named “Torre do Tombo do Estado da India”. The oldest Portuguese record is in the year 1498.
It contains source material relating to the history of European expansion in Asia & Africa especially the rise, fall, and decay of the Portuguese sea-borne empire of India (1510-1961) and the attempts made by the Asian & African powers to oust the Europeans from Asia & Africa. Besides, there are records pertaining to Village Communities, a good collection of files pertaining to the freedom struggle of Goa, registers of Baptism, Birth and death, Deeds and wills as well as some instrumental records from churches in Goa. Most of the records are in Portuguese & Marathi (Modi) though quite a few documents are also in Sanskrit, Persian, English, French & Vietnamese. There are some Canarese records in the Goykanadi script, though the language is Marathi. Swahili letters penned almost 300 years ago comprise the oldest corpus of Swahili prose so far discovered.