The Madras Legislative Council and Assembly were formed by the British government, as the upper house and lower house of the then Madras Presidency. Post independence, after the formation of Republic of India in 1950, the Madras Presidency became the Madras State. Subsequently, the state was renamed as Tamilnadu in 1969 and the Council and Assembly came to be called as Tamilnadu Legislative Council and Tamilnadu Legislative Assembly respectively. In 1986, with the abolishment of Tamilnadu Legislative Council, Tamilnadu has become a unicameral legislature system. Roja Muthiah Research Library (RMRL) currently holds the published volumes of proceeding of Madras Legislative Council from 1921 to 1937, debates of Madras Legislative Council from 1937 to 1956. RMRL has also identified the volumes of debates of Madras Legislative Assembly from 1960 to 1966 and also few volumes from the pre independent era and added to its collection.
The proceeding of the councils would be a primary source for studying the discussions happened in the council sessions including discussion on budgets and question and answer sessions. These are very valuable resources to understand the then socio economic situation of this region on the view of the members of the council. The debate volumes also help us to study the discussions on the bills amended and the debates and arguments that went on for and against them during the middle part of twentieth century, a period which is politically significant for India. As the material span for more than 60 years including both pre independence to post independence period, this would be an important scholarly material to gain insights about the social history of the period. This period faced a lot of political changes and still a lot of researches are undergoing in understanding the socio political history of the period.
We have also identified and selected around 33 volumes of Madras Legislative Assembly Debates from post independent period. RMRL has already digitized the Madras Legislative Assembly Debates from pre-independent period till 1960 and these volumes are in continuation with these volumes. On digitization, these volumes will add value to researcher in getting grasp of the research material.
Considering the scholarly value and a need to preserve the content of the material for posterity the material would be taken up for digitization. Also, these materials have not been available in digital format elsewhere which raises the need for preservation.