Filing System and Record -2

 In India the oldest indigenous method of record keeping was that of village accountant. He used to tie the records together with little or no arrangement in a bundle made of cotton cloth. For the classification, he was depending on his memory. In the cutcheries (a public office for administrative or judicial business), such bundle system was followed quiet recently. The records were arranged either by dates or receipt of despatch.  The received papers were invariably placed in one bundle and the copy of despatched papers in another. A connection between these two was established only by means of annotated entries. Miscellaneous papers which were numerous and sometimes important were not treated on any definite principle. In some cases, they were made into separate bundles by themselves but they were frequently neglected and were the source of much trouble and confusion. When there were several distinct series of correspondence, as for instance, in the case of Thasildar dealing with superior authorities, or with revenue inspectors, a set of date bundles was put aside for each such series, thus forming a rough classification. When the office was large enough to require a reference system, this was obtained by ledgers corresponding to the date bundles, each paper being posted in the ledgers. To find a paper, the eye must run through the ledger, there was no other method of reference. On the obstruction of records there was no check, other than that of the ledger. There was no system voucher for records taken out for use. The introduction of British Rule in India had a little impact on in the districts had merely taken over the native system, miscellaneous improvements had grown up when the administrative machinery gradually increased. The addition of serial numbers to the dates was an invention of the British.

                 Paste books and copy books were the evolution of records management system devised by the British. Accordingly, the received papers were pasted into books and the despatched papers were copied into the books. This method would be suitable to an office where only one or two persons had to use the records. It was obviously unsuitable where the records had to be dealt with simultaneously by many persons. Then the subject index system was devised in the offices supervised by Europeans. It consisted of keeping the papers separate and not formed into books, yet of grouping them together into subject and hence tying them up. But registers carrying items from the received or despatched entries into the bundles where they were to be found. This system was also not successful and it did not last long. The alphabetical index system, an invention of the Europeans, was introduced but it too did not work properly, when the volume of records increased rapidly due to the formation of different departments, new method of record keeping such as disposal number system was experimented. Under the disposal number system was experimented. Under the disposal number system, the records were arranged serially in date wise of every year according to the department which created the records. The National Archives of India, Delhi and Tamilnadu Archives, Madras follow the system.