Guide to the India Office Records, 1600‒1858


A Guide to the India Office Records, 1600‒1858 is a short book intended for use by historians and other researchers, written by the registrar and superintendent of records of the India Office in London. The book is in five sections. The first covers the records of the home administrations, meaning the East India Company from the time of its chartering by Queen Elizabeth in 1600 to the end of its rule over India in 1858, and the Board of Control, or Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, which functioned in London from 1784 to 1858. Section two covers the records of the administrations in India, including Bengal, the government of India, Agra, the North-Western Provinces, the Punjab, Madras, and Bombay. Section three provides an overview of the records of the India Office relating to third countries and regions, for example, the Cape Colony, Persia and the Persian Gulf, and Egypt and the Red Sea. Section four deals with records relating to shipping. Section five concerns personal records, including records of baptisms, marriages, and burials of Europeans in the service of the East India Company, wills, army lists, and lists of civil servants. Each section or sub-section contains a brief introduction to the entities that created the records described and listed, making the book a succinct and authoritative guide to the organization and structure of British rule in India. The author notes that the “volumes dealt with in this little handbook are estimated to number about forty-eight thousand.”

Last updated: September 30, 2016