The National Archives is responsible for acquiring, preserving and providing public access to the documentary heritage of the nation (in all formats); and guiding in the management of all government records throughout the public
The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago provides services that build, maintain and provide access to Trinidad and Tobago’s records to sustain a free, open and democratic society and to support the cultural and intellectual
life of all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.
The National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago was formally established in 1960 with the appointment of the first Government Archivist, Enos Sewlal. However, agitation for the establishment of an archive began earlier following the Red House fire of 1903, in which many government records were lost. With the urging of the Trinidad Historical Society, a Standing Records Committee was created in 1937 with oversight for the appraisal, disposal, accommodation and preservation of records in all Government Departments. Eventually technical advice was sought by the Government, led by Prime Minister, Dr. Eric Williams and in 1958, Dr. T. R. Schellenberg, Assistant Archivist, U.S.A. and Mr. Clinton Black, Government Archivist Jamaica, were contracted. Among their recommendations, only two were implemented – the establishment of an archival institution and the appointment of an Archivist.
For Government, we are the custodian of the public record, guiding in its management to strengthen democracy and good governance. We acquire, manage, preserve and provide access to records deemed to be of enduring
archival value and national historical and cultural significance.
For citizens, we are the custodians of the nation’s documentary heritage and provide free access to over 200 years of Government’s and the nation’s irreplaceable historical documents and records in all formats,
to support citizens’ claims to their rights, empowerment, discovery and identity. These records also support their academic, genealogical, legal and other research. As primary sources of our history, written and oral, archives
provide evidence of our past - decisions, actions and memories that shaped our nation. They help tell the stories of our rich history and heritage.
The current Government Archivist is Avril Belfon who was appointed in 2010. She is also the President of the Caribbean branch of the International Council on Archives (CARBICA).
NATT's core functional areas are: