Primary Sources: Resources on South Asia

Area Studies: India is a platform for a wide range of digitized archival collections.

  • Colonial Discourses Series Three – Colonial Fiction, 1712-1933 includes fiction, poetry, drama, and general non-fiction from India, 1712-1933, sourced from the British Library.
  • Curzon, India and Empire – The papers of Lord Curzon (1859-1925) from the British Library include correspondence which documents all aspects of his involvement in the Middle East and South Asia.
  • The Empire Writes Back: Part One – Indian views on Britain and Empire, 1810-1915, from the British Library is a set of rare volumes, mainly printed in India, describing the experiences of Indians who traveled to Britain, France, and America between 1810 and 1915.
  • India During the Raj: Eyewitness Accounts – Diaries and related records describing life in India, 1712-1925.
  • India in the Age of Empire – The Journals of Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881) from the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
  • Indian Newspaper Reports, c. 1868-1942 – These printed reports consist of precis and extracts of articles from hundreds of Indian-language titles and English titles published by Indians, compiled for and published by the Indian government.

The Library recently acquired the following U.S. State Department online archives:

India from Crown Rule to Republic, 1945-1949: Records of the US State Department

India-Pakistan Conflict: Records of the US State Department, 1963-1966 (aka Records of the U.S. State Department: India and Pakistan, Political Affairs and Relations, February 1963-1966, Subject-Numeric File POL)

Pakistan from Crown Rule to Republic: Records of the US State Department, 1945-1949

 

 


Primary Sources: Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920

First page of war diaryThe Library has recently acquired Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920, part of the India Office Records held by the British Library (IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4115).

For generations of British and Indian Officers and men, the North-West Frontier was the scene of repeated skirmishes and major campaigns against the trans-border Pathan tribes who inhabited the mountainous no-man’s land between India and Afghanistan. This collection contains Army Lists; Orders; Instructions; Regulations; Acts; Manuals; Strength Returns; Orders of Battle; Administration Summaries; organization, commissions, committees, reports, maneuvers; departments of the Indian Army; and regimental narratives.


Primary Sources: East India Company Archives

Secretary's Office, East India HouseThe Library has acquired from Adam Matthew Digital their collection of East India Company records, which will be published in three modules. The module available now, “Trade, Government and Empire, 1600-1947” includes 932 volumes of the British Government’s India Office Records (IOR):

IOR/A: The East India Company’s charters, statutes and treaties
IOR/B: The minutes of the meetings of the Courts of Directors and Proprietors
IOR/C: The minutes and memoranda of the Council of India
IOR/D: The minutes and memoranda of the general committees and offices of the East India Company
IOR/Z: Indexes to selected documents in classes B and D

These records include minutes of council meetings, memoranda and papers laid before the councils, council resolutions, charters, text of legislation, correspondence, personnel lists, and printed monographs. The Nature and Scope section of the resource provides more details.


Primary Sources: The Archives of the Church in North India: Archival Collection

Archives of the Church in North IndiaThe recently acquired collection of The Archives of the Church in North India: Archival Collection is described on their website as follows: “A collaboration with Yale University, the online version of The Archives of the Church in North India comprises archival and printed material from the Gujarat Diocese of the Church of North India. The Archival collection includes:

  • Minutes of meetings, correspondence and other documents of the Irish Presbyterian Mission Council in Gujarat and relevant local committees.
  • Annual reports prepared by the Irish Presbyterian Mission Council that describe the achievements of the past year, including information about the financial situation of the IP Mission from 1851 to 1965.
  • Annual reports of the Missions’ Orphanage from 1870 till 1958.”

Trial: East India Company (digital archive)

The Library has a trial of the Adam Matthew Digital digital archive, East India Company, until February 23rd.

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947.

*Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

Please send any feedback you have about the resource to me at dorner@berkeley.edu.


Webinar Invitation: The British in India

painting of British troops in India Adam Matthew Digital is hosting a webinar on the British in India, featuring Dr. Kate Boehme, Research Fellow at the University of Sussex. Dr Boehme holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, for which her thesis analysed the development of Indian business networks in and around Bombay in the mid-nineteenth century. Her article “Smuggling India: Deconstructing Western India’s Illicit Export Trade, 1818-1870” was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in June 2015.

They will be using rare primary sources to revisit Britain’s complex involvement in India, from their earliest presence as traders on the Indian subcontinent in the eighteenth century, through to their military governance in the years that followed.

The webinar will be offered twice on August 31, 2016: at 7 am PST and 12 pm PST.

Register at http://amdigital-news.co.uk/2D0N-V909-FS52Y-F6HPA-1/c.aspx


Exhibit: “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” at Moffitt Library

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity won the National Book Award (2012) and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among many others, and has appeared on numerous “best books of the year” lists. It is also the common reading for this year’s On the Same Page program, and the focus of numerous public events and courses on campus this Fall.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers weaves together the stories of a dozen or more residents of a vast slum near the Mumbai airport, many of whom subsist by recycling garbage thrown away by others.

A new exhibit in Moffitt Library showcases the variety of library collections pertaining to the On the Same Page theme. There are the usual suspects: books, dissertations, scholarly journal articles, and government documents about slum dwellers and waste recyclers in India. Also included are a personal narrative in Marathi, maps (historical and contemporary), pictorial works, statistics, magazine articles, and articles about poverty in Mumbai published in The Times of India of 1876 and from the same publication in 2005. The exhibit also includes video clips from the Media Resources Center collection.

The exhibit will be up until mid-October.


Primary Source: The Meerut Conspiracy Trial, 1929-1933

In Spring 1929 a group of labor leaders and trade unionists were arrested and charged under section 121-A of the Indian Penal Code (Act 45 of 1860) for “conspiring to deprive the King of His Sovereignty of British India.” Labeled by the British government as Bolsheviks, only a few of the men were members of the Communist Party, which at the time did not have a strong presence in India. The preliminary proceedings, subsequent trial, and appeals together lasted four years, during which the accused garnered much public sympathy and the Communist movement in India gained more support.

The Meerut Conspiracy Trial, 1929-1933, a collection contained in British Online Archives, includes documents drawn from the British Library, Labour History Archive & Study Centre and Working Class Movement Library. They include India Office records, personal papers of one of the accused, papers of a Secretary of the Labour party that show widespread support of the accused, and a collection of books and pamphlets related to the trial.


Primary Sources: The Times of India (1838-2005)

The Library has recently acquired the historic newspaper The Times of India. Originally founded in 1838 as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce (1838-1859), it became the Bombay Times and Standard (1860-1861) after merging with two other popular newspapers. After another merger in 1861, it was renamed The Times of India (1861-present).

The searchable database includes content from 1838-2005.