Arewa House Archives is a public trust that safeguards records vital for the government, the citizens and the general researchers. For the government it’s a major source of information, which enables government officials to base their actions on precedent, policies and administration. For the general public, records formed the basis of their rights and privileges. And for the researchers it is useful for interpretation of the past for the benefit of the present and future.

The archival services of Arewa House is developed on the basis of the report prepared by its first Director, Professor Abdullah Smith, in 1970

Thereafter, systematic efforts were made to develop the Arewa House Archives. Presently, many people with private collections of papers, were identified archival arrangements were made whereby such papers are kept strictly on the conditions provided by the endower

The uniqueness of the Arewa House Archives lies in the fact that it serves as the custodian of the Premier’s office Records, a source material uniquely indispensable to the study of contemporary Nigeria.



As an academic institution the goal of Arewa House Archives is to provide institutional continuity and sustainable documentation – on Northern Nigeria. It is primarily concerned with procuring, preserving, analyzing and discussing issues of national and international interest, particularly as they affect the development of Northern Nigeria.



Arewa House Archives holds numerous records of the Premiers office and the Secretariat Northern Provinces, (SNP). These include: Correspondences, Treaties, Intelligence reports, confidential reports, Assessment reports, Political, Educational, Economic development, Agricultural, Chieftaincy and Religious matters, Boundaries and land matters, Personal files, reports of Constitutional conferences, Laws and Administrative records.



Government Publications are also housed in the archives. These include; Hansards (Legislative debates of the defunct National, Northern, Eastern and Western House of Assemblies/House of Chiefs); Legislative proceedings, policy papers, General orders, rules and regulations, Memoranda, Minutes and Notes, Gazettes of Federal and Regional Governments, Reports of the Committees of enquiry, Special reports, Annual reports, Government white papers, Audit and financial reports, Speeches and Addresses, Economic and Commercial developments, Agricultural, Administrative, Industrial development, Public lectures, Constitutions and Laws. Other documents include: Transcripts of news broadcast, of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation. Local daily newspapers, magazines, journals and bulletins of the past are also amongst the records available in the Arewa House Archives.


  • A few of the collections in it holds are:
  • Colonial Records of the Secretariat Northern Provinces 1900-1957
  • Records of the Premiers Office 1959-1966
  • Legislative debates of defunct Assemblies/House of Chiefs 1948-1966
  • Legislative proceedings, policy papers, speeches and addresses 1948-1966
  • Gazettes of Federal and Regional Governments 1900-1967
  • Reports of Committees of Enquiry, audit and final reports 1900- to date
  • Photographs
  • Transcripts of the news broadcast of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation 1959-1966
  • Professor John E Lavers Collection
  • Professor Philips J Shea Collection
  • Dr Mahmud Modibbo Tukur Collection
  • Newspapers, Daily, Weekly, National and Regional from 1939- to date



Arabic manuscripts in form of Correspondences, Jurisprudences, History and Poetry are also kept. Arewa House has a long history of work in the area of Arabic/Ajami manuscript preservation and has initiated many programs for the procurement, conservation and preservation of these manuscripts. The collections contained varieties   include copies of the Holy Qur’an, works of Qur’anic sciences, Hadiths (reported from the Prophet and the Imams), Tawheed or theology, Islamic law, prayers and sermons, mysticism, philosophy, ethics and politics, biographies, history, geographical works, Arabic and Fulfulde and Hausa grammar, lexicography and philology, poetry and prose, anthologies and other literary works, alchemy, astronomy, traditional medicine, traditional pharmacy and pharmacology, and most importantly a large body of correspondences on Mahdism, etc