While it is an archive that represents elite perspectives, the Sikkim Palace Archives, is also the first collection of local origin to be made freely and universally accessible for international scholarship, presenting a perspective of events and characters as experienced from within looking out. This provides a valuable contrast to the earlier need to rely very largely on colonial sources for the history of Sikkim, and indeed the collection adds considerably to the available sources on the history and culture of Sikkim, with very little duplication of material with that available elsewhere, namely in the British Library (Oriental and India Office Collection), and to a lesser extent in the National Archives of India and the Sikkim State Archives.
The Palace archives are much more concerned with the inner workings of royal government in Sikkim: Council meeting minutes, legal determinations, and innovations such as the introduction of animal welfare initiatives or standardised weights and measures are all found here. So too is private correspondence between Chogyals and Political Officers, which illuminates the inner workings of their relationship. Some of the material concerns Buddhist rather than secular government, in that it deals with such matters as the visits of high-ranking Lamas from Tibet, ritual duties to be performed, and astrological determination of auspicious dates for state occasions.
This collection contains the following 7 series.
- EAP880/1/1: Domestic Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/2: Foreign Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/3: Land Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/4: Religious Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/5: Palace Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/6: Miscellaneous Affairs, 1875-1975;
- EAP880/1/7: Correspondence, 1875-1975;