By: Richard Axelby and Savithri Preetha Nair
287 pages, Maps
The India Office Records document the activities of the English East India Company and the British administration of India. From 1780 to 1920, the records are particularly rich in information on: British scientific studies in India; the economic exploitation of natural resources; the 'improvement' of agriculture and forestry; regularly recorded observations, for example of climate; the practical application of science. Many important documents have lain undiscovered because finding them has hitherto been a laborious process but they have now been uncovered as a result of a three year research project managed by the British Library and Professor David Arnold at the University of Warwick.
This guide makes this wealth of material newly accessible via signposted routes into the archives and detailed lists of the principal records relating to science and to the environment. It also gives the historical and archival context of the documents, outlining the British involvement in science in India and explaining how the records are organised. The guide is arranged in eleven chapters: plants; agriculture; forests; animals; geology; meteorology; health and disease; water; communication networks and the built environment; ethnography; landscape and topography.
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