Bettiah was the capital of the little Kingdom of Bettiah, known asBettiah Raj, one of the great estates of North Bihar. It possessed arecord room or muhafizkhana. Since 1897, the Bettiah Raj was underthe Court of Wards, a colonial institution whose function was tooversee the administration of the estates which had no male heir tosucceed. The Bettiah Raj, still has its own officials who oversee dayto day administration of its landholdings and other assets, that arenot confined to Bettiah, but are in several parts of the country.Bettiah Raj's houses the official records of administrative and legalaffairs of the Raj for the past two hundred and fifty years or so,which are stored in two large halls having an storage space of 40,000and 72,000 cubic feet respectively, with a shelf space that is abouthalf a kilometer in length. It is in fact a rich repository of sourcematerials for the study of the agrarian and political history notonly of the Bettiah Raj, but beyond that also. The records are placedin bastas, which are individual bundles of records wrapped in cloth.The records includes rent registers and receipts, cash- books,village notes and settlement records, village maps, legal proceedingsand historical letters covering more than 200 years of history.Unfortunately, the order in which the records were classified is nowlost and most of them can only be found by sheer guess work or evenby accident!