Sunday, September 28, 2008

Royal Asiatic Society--Finding Aids

The RAS has a nice collection of Persian manuscripts, so if you can't find want you want in the British Library, you might want to look here:

  • Codrington, O. "Catalogue of the Arabic, Persian, Hindustani and Turkish manuscripts." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (July 1892): 501-569.
  • Morley, W. H. A descriptive catalogue of the historical manuscripts in Arabic and Persian languages, preserved in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society. London 1854.

If you're looking for some of the source material for Tod's Annals and Antiquities of Rajast'han or the Central and Western Rajpoot States of India, start here. Particularly pleased to find documents in Sanskrit/Rajasthani relating to the Kachchawahas. Also includes some calendrical and astronomical treatises.

  • Barnett, L.D. "Catalogue of the Tod collection of Indian manuscripts." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, II (1940): 129-178.

If you're looking for visual resources, you can investigate the Colebrooke, Doyle, Mackenzie, Ram Raz, Tod and other collections:

  • Head, Raymond. Catalogue of paintings, engravings and busts in the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society. London: RAS, 1991.
  • Robinson, B.W. Persian paintings in the collection of the Royal Asiatic Society. London: RAS, 1998.

Other catalogues available for RAS:
  • Catalogue of printed books, published before 1932, in the library of the Royal Asiatic Society. London: RAS, 1940.
  • Cowell, E.B. and Eggeling, J.B. "Catalogue of Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts in the possession of the Royal Asiatic Society." Journal of the RAS (1876): 1-52 [Hodgson collection].
  • Filliozat, J. "Survey of the Pali manuscript collection in the Royal Asiatic Society." Journal of the RAS, series 3, no. 9 (i) (1999): 35-76.
  • Ricklefs, M.C. and Voorhoeve, P. Indonesian manuscripts in Britain. Oxford University Press, 1977. [Malay and Javanese MSS].
  • Wenzel, H. "List of Tibetan manuscripts and printed books in the Library of the Royal Asiatic Society." Journal of the RAS (July 1892): 570-579.
  • Winternitz, M.A. A catalogue of the South Indian Sanskrit manuscripts, especially those of the Whish collection, belonging to the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. London: RAS, 1902.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

British Library Shelfmarks

It can be helpful to know some of the shelfmarks for the British Library. Unlike the Library of Congress system, the BL marks books according to location (although some shelfmarks also indicate type of source, like ZA...ZK=periodical). You can plan your day better if you are familiar with some offsite shelfmarks, since those materials take longer to be delivered to the reading rooms.

1. Items that have shelfmarks with the prefixes listed below are available on the open access shelves of the listed reading room:

HLL, HLR, etc Humanities - Floor 1
HUL, HUR, etc Humanities - Floor 2
HUS Humanities - Floor 2 (Sound Archive)
MSL, MSS, etc Manuscripts Reading Room
MUS Rare Books and Music Reading Room (Music)
OI Oriental and India Office Collections
OPL, etc Social Sciences
RAR, RAX, etc Rare Books and Music Reading Room (Rare Books)

2. Newspaper Shelfmarks.

Shelfmarks of items held by the Newspaper Library are preceded by NL or NPL. These titles may be read only in the Newspaper Library Reading Room in Colindale, North London.

3. All material with the shelfmark DSC is held at the Document Supply service, Boston Spa. They take 24-48 hours to reach the Reading Rooms at St Pancras.

4. Science shelfmarks for books begin with (B) – e.g. (B) 004.6. Items from 2003 to date with these shelfmarks will be on open access

5. The 'Maps' shelfmark is self-explanatory. 'Maps OSD' refers to Ordnance Surveyors' Drawings. Maps.K.Top. indicates Maps from the King's Collection (that's what those books are in the transparent central tower of the library).

6. Some Historic shelfmarks (indicating original owner of material) at the BL:

Shelfmark range: 1.a.1. - 304.k.23.
Former owner: King George III (1738-1820)

657.a.1. - 666.a.69.
Sir Richard Colt Hoare (1758-1838)

669.f.3. - 669.f.27.
George Thomason (d. 1666)

671.a.1. - 688.l.9.
Revd Clayton M Cracherode (1730-1799)

Ashley.1. - Ashley.5711.
Thomas James Wise (1859-1937)

B.1. - B.746.
Sir Joseph Banks (1743-1820)

Burney.1a. - Burney.1001b.
Revd Charles Burney (1757-1817)

C.1.a.1. - C.16.i.16.
King George III (1738-1830)

Dex.1. - Dex.316.
John Furber Dexter (1847-1917)

E.1. - E.1938.; E.2103. - E.2143.; E.2255. - E.2271.
George Thomason (d. 1666)

Eve.a.1. - Eve.c.29.
John Evelyn (1620-1706)

File.1. - File.849.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

G.1. - G.20240.
Thomas Grenville (1755-1846)

Voyn.1. - Voyn.137.
Wilfred Michael Voynich (1865-1930)

Finding Aids for India Office Maps, British Library

1. Catalogue of manuscript and printed reports, field books, memoirs, maps, etc., of the Indian Surveys, deposited in the map room of the India Office. (London : W.H. Allen & Co., 1878.)

Maps 212.a.5.
Maps 7.b.65.

2. A Catalogue of Manuscript and Printed Reports, Field Books, Memoirs, Maps ... of the Indian Surveys deposited in the Map Room of the India Office. (pp. xxi. 672. W. H. Allen & Co.: London, 1878.)

W 4280
W 3879

3. A catalogue of maps, etc. of India and other parts of Asia / (London : Sold [for H.M.S.O.] by W.H. Allen, 1874.)

V 9765

4. Great Britain. India Office. A catalogue of maps, etc. of India and other parts of Asia / (London : [India Office] : Sold by W.H. Allen, 1876.)

V 9777

5. Great Britain. India Office. A catalogue of maps of the British possessions in India and other parts of Asia / (London : [H.M.S.O.] : Sold by W.H. Allen, 1870.)

V 9778

6. India Office Records A catalogue of maps, plans &c. of India and Burma and other parts of Asia / (London : [s.n.] : Arnold [distributor], 1891.)

W 4938(b)
W 4521

7. India Office. Registry and Record Dept. Catalogue of maps, plans, etc. of India : appendices, no. 43-[90]. (London : India Office, 1903-1916.)

Maps 64.b.54.

8. Survey of India. Survey of India map catalogue 1931 : extracts showing the holdings of the India Office Records, Map Room. (London : British Library, 1977.)

Maps 216.b.61.