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'He who holds the key to Delhi, holds India', this legend appears to have tempted many ambitious conquerors to have their Capital at Delhi. And, there is no doubt, each one of them contributed to its growth. Though Delhi, as capital, changed site at least seven times, it has shown remarkable continuity. Delhi has witnessed a number of prominent dynasties and rulers in its journey of transformation.

In 1857, a mutiny broke out in India to get rid of East India Company's rule. During this mutiny, Delhi played a mentionable role and tried to emancipate from the clutches of Britishers. The Government now passed from the hands of the East India Company to the British Crown. The seat of the Government remained at Calcutta, Delhi relegated to a secondary position.

In 1911 at a Royal Durbar held in Delhi, King George V on 12 December 1911 announced transfer of capital from Calcutta to Delhi.

In order to preserve the rich documentary heritage of all the events witnessed by the historic city of Delhi, an archival institution was the need of that hour. Therefore, Department of Delhi Archives was established in 1972 on archival standards and later shifted to its present building in 1986.