The Centre was founded in 1970 by Dr. Appasaheb Pawar, the founder Vice-Chancellor of Shivaji University, He was a great scholar of the Maratha History. He had brought to light hundreds of original documents of the Maratha History and published them in a series of volumes, viz.
- Records of Tarabai Period : – 3 vols.
- Records of Jijabai Period : – 2 vols.
- Persian Records : – 1 vol.
The main objective of the Centre is to collect and publish the source material on the ‘Social History of Maharashtra’, especially the source material on Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati of Kolhapur, a great Social Revolutionary of the 20th Century in India.
Dr. Pawar was the first Director of the Centre and he had collected thousands of original documents from the State Archives, Kolhapur and India Office Library, London. He edited and published the first volume of the series entitled Rajarshi Shahu Chhatrapati Papers.
Since 1983 Dr. Vilas Sangve, a veteran scholar of Sociology and Jainology published and edited next 8 volumes of Shahu Papers, completing the series of 9 volumes. The Xth volume comprising of his introductions to his 8 volumes is being published soon.
Since April 2007, the Centre has started Research Projects in various directions. We are still having hundreds of documents of Shahu Period unpublished. We have been classifying and editing those documents. About 3 to 4 volumes of these documents would be published within next three years. The Centre has decided to publish the cultural and social History of Maharashtra, especially, that of Kolhapur. Hence, it has launched an ambitious project of five volumes of History of Kolhapur. Viz.
- Kolhapur :- Historical &Geographical
- Kolhapur :- Social
- Kolhapur :- Cultural : (Part I)
- Kolhapur :- Cultural : (Part II)
- Kolhapur :- Agro – Industrial
Hosts of scholars have been invited to participate in this project and it will be completed within the period of three years.
The third important project of the Centre is to publish the Index of nearly 2000 Modi Documents, pertaining to the Maratha History. Period of these documents ranges from 1664 A.D. to 1850 A.D. Dr. Appasaheb Pawar had collected those documents from various sources of families . We are in possession of those records. The work of their cataloguing is almost completed and a detailed ‘Descriptive Catalogue of Modi Documents’ would be published soon.