Sunday, April 26, 2009

अठसठी इमारती (Athsathi Imarat)

The Athsathi Imarat (3-1/2 year Building Accounts) consist of account summaries for materials, wages, religious/charitable donations, and tehshil collections/expenditures for a specified period. Here is an example page, translation is below.


Vikram Samvat 1785

Expeditures: Materials/Wages

Observatory (जंत्र)
2802-11-0 [Rupees-Annas-Paise]

Materials (मसाला) used in Observatory]



Unslaked Lime


[list of materials continued on verso]

(Material at right of page: dedication to Rama, note that this folio belongs to Athsathi records for the city of Sawai Jaipur)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Imarat Khana (Building Dept.) Records at RSA

There are several sets of Imarat Khana records available at the RSA, including daily income/expenditure reports, monthly and annual summaries, and court-related accounts. This is a listing of the Imarat Khana records from Catalogue No. 23, Jaipur State. I have also appended a few entries from the Pothi Khana and Rang Khana records from the same catalogue.

जमा खर्च (Jamaa Karch) Income/Expenditure

Bundle No. 1 (reviewed 05/15/09)
VS 1775-1776
VS 1777-1778
VS 1778
VS 1784
VS 1787

Bundle No. 2 (reviewed 5/18/09)
VS 1788 Shri Vrindavan (Kanak Vrindavan Valley, bottom of Nahargarh hils, on Amber-Jaipur Road)
VS 1787 Mathuraji
VS 1788-1792 Pahar Ganj (near Galta Gate, old city,
VS 1786-89 Thakur Duar(?)
VS 1789 Kasba Basva (?)
VS 1789 Vrindavan

Bundle No. 3 (reviewed 5/18/09)
VS 1789-1793 Thakur Kola
VS 1789-1797 Hadha(?) ka Bagh
VS 1790-1794 Ath Kudh Mathura
VS 1791 Mathuraji
VS 1792 Imarati
VS 1792 Kasba Basva
VS 1794 Imarati
VS 1794, 1796 Ghat Kagar Mathura
VS 1797, 1798 Bagh Lalava
VS 1800, 1802, 1807, 1811-1813 Imarati

स्याह इमारती (Syaha Imarati) Building Accounts

Bundle No. 9 (reviewed 04/24/09)
1787, 1788, 1792-1794 Sawai Jaipur
1790, 1791 Pahar Ganj

Bundle No. 10 (reviewed 04/24/09)
1796-1798, 1808 Sawai Jaipur

याद दासती इमारती (Yaad Dasti Imarati) Building Memoranda

Bundle No. 12 (reviewed 05/28/09, 06/22/09)
तोज़ी स्याह हजुर (Tozi Syaha Hazur) Court Accounts
(स्याहा हज़ुर and बकाया हज़ुर)

Bundle No. 20 VS 1780
Bundle No. 21 VS 1781
Bundle No. 22 VS 1781-1784

Bundle No. 23 VS 1783 (reviewed 06/22/09)
Bundle No. 24 VS 1786-1787 (reviewed 06/23/09)
Bundle No. 25 VS 1788
Bundle No. 26 VS 1789-1790
Bundle No. 27, 28 VS 1790
Bundle No. 29 VS 1791-1792
Bundle No. 30 VS 1792
Bundle No. 31, 32 VS 1793
Bundle No. 33 VS 1794
Bundle No. 34, 35 VS 1795
Bundle No. 36 VS 1795-1796
Bundle No. 37 VS 1796
Bundle No. 38 VS 1797 (reviewed 5/22/09)
Bundle No. 39 VS 1799
Bundle No. 41 VS 1800
Bundle No. 41a VS 1801

रोज़नामा ईमारती (Roznaama Imarati) Daily Building Accounts

Bundle No. 1
VS 1748, 1780-1781, 1784, 1787, 1788, 1789 (reviewed 05/15/09)

Bundle No. 2
VS 1790, 1791 (reviewed 05/19/09)

Bundle No. 3
VS 1791, 1792, 1793 (reviewed 05/19/09)

Bundle No. 4
VS 1793, 1796, 1797, 1798 (reviewed 05/08/09)

जमा-खर्च पोथी खाना (Jamaa-Karch Pothikhana) Income/Expenditure Book Department
[all of these have been re-catalogued as Roznama, so I’m not sure why this section of bundle numbers is still in the catalogue. I’m listing them, but use the रोज़नामा पोथीखाना (Roznaama Pothikana) bundle numbers below to request them]

Bundle No. 3
VS 1782-1783, 1784

Bundle No. 4
VS 1784-1785, VS 1786-1787

Bundle No. 5
VS 1779-1782, 1787-1789, 1789-1790

Bundle Nos. 6/1, 6/2
VS 1790-1793, 1794-1797, 1798-1800

Bundle No. 7
VS 1802-1803, 1800-1805

अठसठी इमारती (Athsathi Imarat) 3-1/2 Year Summary of Building Accounts

Bundle No. 1
VS 1785

Bundle No. 2
VS 1786

Bundle No. 3
VS 1787

Bundle No. 4
VS 1788

रोज़नामा पोथीखाना (Roznaama Pothikhana) Daily Accounts Book Department

Bundle No. 1 VS 1764-1794 (reviewed 06/29/09)

Bundle No. 2 VS 1795-1802 (reviewed 06/23/09)

Bundle No. 3 VS 1803-1830

रंग खाना (Rang Khana) Paint/Dye Department

Bundle No. 1 VS 1755-1793 (reviewed 05/22/09)

Bundle No. 2 VS 1794-1799, 1801

Bundle No. 3 VS 1803-1809

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Karkhana Records at RSA

Many Jaipur State records at the Rajasthan State Archives are catalogued only minimally. There exists a series of handwritten, hardbound catalogues, listing out the holdings. Catalogue No. 23 deals with the Jaipur State karkhana holdings. Here, I have listed out the various khana records available at RSA.

Catalogue No. 23 जयपुर स्टेट कारखाना (जमा-खर्च) Jaipur State Karkhanas (Income/Expenditure)

Khanas Catalogued:
अवद खाना (Awad Khana)

इमारत खाना (Imarat Khana) Building Department

रंग खाना (Rang Khana) Paint, Dyes, Colors

औखद खाना (Aukhad Khana)

किरकरा खाना (Kirkiri Khana) Jewelry Department

कोष ग्रह (Kosh Graha) Treasury

खुशबू खाना (Kushbū Khana) Scents Department

खयाल खाना (Khyaal Khana) Chess, Chaupar, etc.

गुणीजन खाना (Gunijan Khana) beg. 1816, Musicians

गऊ खाना (Gu/Gaya Khana) Cows

चिज ग्रह (Chiza Khana)

छापा खाना (Chaapa Khana) Printing

जरगर खाना (Jaragar Khana) Gold and silver articles

जीन खाना (Jīn Khana) Saddles, Bridles

तोप खाना (Topa Khana)

तंबल खाना (Tambul Khana) Betel leaves and vessels

तोषा खाना (Tosha Khana) Presents, valuable cloth, shawls, embroidery

चित्र ग्रह (Chitra Graha)

पखाल खाना (Pakhal Khana)

पालकी खाना (Palki Khana) Sedan chairs (later becomes Buggy Khana)

पोथी खाना (Pothikhana) Books, Manuscripts

पात्र खाना (Patra Khana)

फ़रास खाना (Farash Khana) Carpets, Tents

फ़ील खाना (Fīl Khana) Elephants

मसाल खाना (Mashal Khana) Torches

मेवा खाना (Meva Khana)

रसोई खाना (Rusoi Khana) Kitchen

रत्न खाना (Ratn Khana) Jewels

वस्त्र ग्रह (Vastra Graha)

सीलेह खाना (Sileh Khana) Armor

सोधा खाना (Sodha Khana)

शिलकार खाना (Shikar Khana) Hunting animals

सूरत खाना (Surati Khana) Paintings

सूत्र खाना (Sutra Khana) Camels

दाग धोड़ा (Dag Dhodha)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rajasthan State Archives

[ETA: Please visit the new website for the Rajasthan State Archives, where you will find more current contact and access information. It makes me feel good to look at the photo of the research and reference room! You will feel so much more comfortable here.]

I wish I could go back here, really. Yes, it is miserably hot in Bikaner in the summer, but the material held here is just amazing, the staff was friendly and helpful, and the other researchers gave me candy.

You won't find the address for this place on the internet, so let me just tell you it is on Government Press Road, or "at the Old Government Press." The facilities are a bit harsh during the summer--the reading room is small, with only one window for light. This is important on those days when you have mandatory 3-hour power cuts. There is no air, and no light, and it generally feels like you've landed in hell. As long as there is power, there is a fan, and then you can work. When the power goes...have an alternate plan, like going home (where there will also be no power, so you might as well stay). They installed a window AC unit while I was there, and it helped when the power was on, but only so much.

Okay, so the reading room is a bit hard sometimes, but the material makes up for it, right? I never really figured out the catalogue system for this place. My general approach was this: I knew that I wanted to look at records from the Imarat Khana (Building Department) between 1721-1743. After a few miscommunications, eventually I was given a handwritten catalogue, divided into section by khana. Under each khana heading was a list of years for which records were available. For instance, under Imarat Khana records, I could request Income-Expense records for 1721, bundles 1, 2 and 3. That's as precise as it got. The bundles for the year would arrive, and I would go through them page by page to see what was there.

This same approach was taken with Rang Khana (Paint/Dye Department) records, Pothi Khana (Book Department) records, and with the rest of the Khana records. It would have saved so much time if there had been even a small description of each bundle, but there wasn't so I had to look at every page.

To request material, ask for a request slip (mang patra) at the front desk. Or, watch the other researchers--they just grab them from the desk drawer when they needed them, so I started doing that, too. You can fill out the slip in Hindi or English, or a combination of the two (my preference). No one here had any problem with me looking at whatever I wanted to look at. They brought me what I wanted, unless it was missing. The records aren't in a great state, a lot of dirt and worm damage, so when they said something was missing, it was easy to believe.

The photocopy policy was both liberal and restrictive. I was allowed to copy anything that had the word "observatory" on it, no questions asked, for 6Rs./page. They kept a running tab, and I just paid it off at the end of every month. So, that was great. However, there were a lot of building records not specifically related to the observatories that I would have loved to have copies of, and I ended up trying to frantically transcribe them. Difficult work, since it was in 18th c. Rajasthani. I had to write it all by hand, and I can tell you, I made a lot of transcription mistakes just because I couldn't read the record properly in the moment.

Oh, for access to the RSA, you need to have your paperwork in order. That is, you need:

  • Letter of introduction from USEIF if you are a Fulbrighter
  • Letter of introduction from U.S. Embassy if you are not a Fulbrighter
  • Letter of introduction from home (U.S.) institution
  • Passport with visa
  • Copy of passport with visa
You will be interviewed by the In-Charge and the Director. I just nodded a lot and smiled, and that seemed to work. It was at the RSA that I adopted my "absolute silence" approach to archival access. Even if someone says, No, you cannot work here, stay silent. Eventually, they will talk themselves into letting you do the work.

Facilities: the bathroom situation is horrid, so don't ask me about it. Don't plan to use them if you are female. Bring your own bottle of water if you don't trust the well water provided in the reading room. There is a chai stand just outside the complex gate to the left, but the chaiwallah also visits 2x a day if you want to put in an order. To the right outside the gate is the road to Junagarh Fort. It has some little shops, places to buy cold water, and several photostat shops, convenient for copying out your transcription notes. Keep walking along this road and into Junagarh Fort, and you can have lunch at Prachina, the Princess of Bikaner's snack shop. Across the road from the fort is Gallop's, an expensive coffee shop. They have good Bikaneri chicken if you feel like a splurge.