Some Recent CRL Acquisitions Related to Colonial India

Researchers often use CRL's Acquisition Programs to gain access to material that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Spencer Leonard, a student pursuing a joint-degree Ph.D. in South Asian Languages and Civilizations and History at the University of Chicago, used this program to obtain access to copies of manuscripts from the Asian and African Studies room of the British Library. The British Library holds the massive East India Company and India Office papers, the archival legacy of three and a half centuries of British commercial and colonial activity in South Asia and the East Indies more generally, as well as substantial manuscript collections, in both Asian and European languages.

Specifically, Leonard requested CRL acquire microfilms of two of the large European manuscripts collections. These under-studied materials illuminate internal dynamics of the East India Company both in Britain and in Bengal in the 1760s, the period during which the Company consolidated its control over what is today Bangladesh and the Indian provinces of West Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. CRL acquisition of a very substantial part of the Verelst and Sutton Court collections allows for patient investigation here in America, and Leonard reports that this has contributed substantially to his research. He also plans to request that CRL acquire the remainder of these collections, as he knows their presence in the U.S. will "undoubtedly contribute to the growing body of scholarship emanating from the country's research universities on the long and varied course of British imperial rule on the South Asian subcontinent."

Recent CRL acquisitions of material in this field follow.

Adam Matthew Publications

British Library

Gale Group

  • The Newcastle Papers from the British Library, London
    The Papers of the Duke of Newcastle document in detail a period for which few other substantial series of records exist aside from the Hanoverian State Papers Domestic. Included in this set are Newcastle’s correspondence through the time period Britain competed with France for superiority over colonies in North America and India.

More information about CRL and South Asia Microform Project (SAMP) collections and activities is available in the Spring 2005 Focus issue.