India and Portugal have signed a protocol of cooperation in the field of archives. The agreement has been signed between the National Archives of India and the Ministry of Culture of the Portuguese Republic in Lisbon, Portugal.
As a part of the Cooperation, the Torre do Tombo (National Archives of Portugal) has handed over digital copies of 62 volumes of the collection known as ‘Moncoes do Reino’ (Monsoon correspondence) to the National Archives of India. These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes which is the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives. The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and covers the period from 1568 to 1914. These volumes serve as the most important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia and their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers as well as their relations with neighbouring Kings in South Asia and East Asia.
In 1777, 62 volumes out of the 456 comprising over 12,000 documents, belonging to the period from 1605 to 1651 were shifted from Goa to Lisbon. At Lisbon, these volumes were subsequently got printed under the title ‘Documentos Remetidos da India’(Documents sent from India) by the Academy of Science at Lisbon between 1880 and 1893. Since then the original volumes had remained in Lisbon.
After a gap of 240 years, Director General of Books, Archives and Libraries has handed over a set of digital images of the missing volumes of the Moncoes do Reino series to India.
From 1505 to 1961, some territories of India remained under Portuguese State of India (Estado da India) or Portuguese India (Índia Portuguesa). The Indian empire of Portuguese was mainly confined in isolated colonies in both East and West Coast of India and was part of Portuguese possessions in Asia, East Africa and Pacific.
Earlier, during the visit of Prime Minister of Portugal to India as the chief Guest of 2017 Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in January, India and Portugal had signed sixmemorandam of understandings (MoUs) including in defence cooperation.