The Archives are presently located in a temporary inadequate space in the basement of Sri Aurobindo Auditorium at Bharat Nivas, next to the Centre of Indian Studies. They act as the repository for all important letters, documents, publications and other papers, photos, slides and audio/visual material pertaining to the concept, planning, inauguration and progressive development of Auroville over the years, with emphasis on the experimental nature of work done. All the collected material has to be protected against the heat, humidity, dust and insects by air-conditioning and humidity control in the present temporary habitat, despite frequent power cuts and shortage of space. Available data is also being converted into digital format.
Under the careful and persistent guidance of Aurovilian General Krishna Tiwari, India, who lives in Auroville since 1976, the Auroville Archives was established in 1991 to keep a record of the progressive growth of Auroville over the years from its inception onwards, together with records of the difficulties faced and dealt with in the gradually evolving process of the township.
The Auroville Archives house not only the written records of the conception, planning and developmental growth of the township, but also material relating to:
different solutions tried out to surmount the difficulties which have arisen over the years
records of meetings among Aurovilians on different aspects of their attempts to find solutions
papers on all the multifarious activities that have occurred over the years
printed photographs, video records and thousands of photo slides
records of original research done in different fields such as alternative energy, building design, low cost housing, organic farming, development of organic pesticides and financial management, the latter with special emphasis on Mother's directives regarding 'no money exchange in Auroville'
The list is 'endless' and it was felt that all the records must be preserved to provide a base of research into the activities that have been undertaken - and will be undertaken - in this 'living laboratory', for posterity. Written, audio and photographic records are electronically stored in a database for permanent preservation.
In the absence of another suitable habitat, Auroville Archives are presently housed in a temporary improvised space in Bharat Nivas below the Sri Aurobindo Auditorium. No amount of ad hoc modifications and other changes in this fairly limited space can satisfactorily and fully meet the needs of the Auroville Archives as the township further develops and expands. Plans have therefore been submitted for a full-fledged Auroville Archives in the context of the planned Sri Aurobindo World Centre for Human Unity.
Presently more and more Aurovilians are using the Archives for study and publication purposes and an increasing number of visitors come to the place to study various aspects of their own research.
Visitors to this site are warmly invited to send any Auroville-related material they come across in publications or elsewhere, for inclusion in the Archives. Material may be addressed to:
Tamil Nadu INDIA