Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Delhi Archives

If you're working on the NCR, the material you need may not be in the National Archives of India, it may be held in the Delhi Archives near JNU. I don't have any experience with this archive, but I wish I did, because the description of its holdings makes it sound great:

"This Department is in possession of rich and unique collections of original records, maps and microfilms relating to events took place in 1785 onwards. However, regular records series starts from 1857. These records are in English, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Urdu etc., Apart from records on paper, we also have records on palm leaf, birch bark, parchment etc. The records are broadly of three categories: Public Records, Manuscripts and Private Papers.These records throw light on the activities of the later Mughals, first war of Indian Independence, administration of Delhi before and after transfer of capital, role of Delhi in freedom struggle. They also shed valuable light on our social, political, economic and cultural life. In addition, there is a rich collection of Private Papers and microfilm rolls of records acquired from different archival institutions."

Contact Information:
Govt. of NCT of Delhi
Department of Delhi Archives
18-A, SatsangVihar Marg, Spl. Institutional Area (Near Eastern Gate of JNU)
New Delhi-110067
Phone-26512594, 26962800, 26535611
Fax: 26515993

Monday, September 4, 2017

Resource: Indian Memory Project

What an intriguing project. I first posted about the Indian Memory Project in 2011. It was small (maybe a few dozen photos), but looked as if it had potential. It's since grown in scope and content through the contributions of others. The images and text combine for a powerful digital history project. Really great work. Check out the list of recommended books as well.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

National Archives of India — Digital?

If nothing else comes of this initiative (described in Economic Times, August 15, 2017), I hope it is the "on-demand" button. That way I wouldn't have to try and convince the person in front of me that, yes, I really do need this photocopy.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Modern India in German Archives

Here's something interesting. I came across a funding extension notice and it led me to the DFG Long Term Project "Modern India in German Archives, 1706-1989." The website has an English and a German portal (though I still found my German to be useful). The focus of the work being done at present really does seem modern — late 19th century to 20th century.

Most useful was the list of German archives with "significant holdings" related to Modern India. Material related to missions, intellectual history, political history, and social/economic history are included. This may be a new source for me Jai Singh material.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Moncoes do Reino (Monsoon Correspondence)

India and Portugal Sign A Historical agreement to promote Cooperation in The Field of Archives (June 20, 2017).

One of the more difficult things I had to do for my dissertation find and read documents in Portuguese (not my best language). As it turned out, most of the documents I needed were available at the British Library. But I always wanted more — surely, somewhere there were more direct discussions of Jai Singh and his embassy to Portugal via Goa. I meant to one day hit the archives in Lisbon to look for more. But I guess I don't need to do that, as the Moncoes do Reino exist in digital form. From the press release:

"These volumes were originally part of over 456 volumes that cover the period from 1568 to 1914 and form the largest of all record collections in the Goa State Archives.  The collection consists of direct correspondence from Lisbon to Goa and is important primary source for the study of the Portuguese expansion in Asia, their trade rivalries with the Arabs and European powers and their relations with neighbourings Kings in South Asia and East Asia."

Still, I'd like to go to Lisboa to look at the originals. After my Portuguese improves.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

National Archives of India

Food for thought. I'm not sure I really care deeply about the marginalia and stamps, but I do care about the overall preservation of the documents. And I do care about user access (the hours I wasted trying to get one.single.photocopy). Some of this rings true, but let me know what you think.

How the National Archives of India is Actually Destroying History.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Resource: Oriental Collection at Peshwar University

This is an auspicious beginning for a review of the Oriental Collection at Peshwar University in the Fresh From the Archives section on Dissertation Reviews:

"Working at Peshawar University libraries has been one of the most refreshing research experiences I have had in the region – in striking contrast to the typical nightmarish scenarios of waiting days for access and negotiating with disgruntled staff. Peshawar University’s strengths lie foremost in its superb regional collections, its accessibility, and, certainly, in the professionalism of the library staff."