We are pleased to introduce this tribute from Dr Shuchi Gupta (CCS University, Meerut), who has generously sponsored the digitization of our manuscript RAS Tod 126, comprising two texts on Indian history and legends.
Lieutenant-Colonel James Tod was an officer of the British East India Company and an Oriental scholar. He lived in Rajasthan as Company ‘Resident’ or political representative to the Rajput courts from 1818-1822, including Mewar, Kota, Sirohi, Bundi, Marwar, and Jaisalmer, and studied the local annals. Tod meticulously collected royal genealogies, inscriptions, coins, artefacts, manuscripts and sketches of monuments. He combined his official role and his amateur interests to create a series of works about the history and geography of Rajasthan, which Tod referred to as Rajast’han. Tod published academic works most notably Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, based on materials collected during his travels.
As a Historian, Tod’s work is part of my journey to know the history of the Indian subcontinent. That’s why this is a great moment in my research journey, to help in the digitization of Tod’s work. My primary motive is to save his work for future generations of researchers.
I especially want to thank my parents (A. K. Gupta and Saroj Gupta) and both sons (Surya Narayan and Satya Narayan) who inspire and motivate me to do this service.
I highly appreciate the Royal Asiatic Society, London and its team for their dedication towards historical research.
Dr Shuchi Gupta
RAS Tod 126 contains Hindusthān-kī bādshāhī-kā pramāṇ vā oddhā kārkhānā-kī kitāb (tabulated sketch of administrative offices in the kingdoms of India); and Vikrama-vilāsa (tales of King Vikramāditya by Miśra Gaṅgeśa). An inscription records that it was copied for James Tod ‘from Jepur Library, Gwalior 1815.’ The texts therefore appear to have been copied from the library of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh – Jaipur’s original library. The digitization of this manuscript will be completed soon and we look forward to making it available via the Society’s Digital Library.
The Society is inviting sponsorship to digitize more manuscripts from its collections as part of its bicentenary celebrations in 2023. You can find out more here.
Readers may also wish to note that the Society is publishing a new edition of James Tod’s Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan. The prospectus for the reissue is available here. Fellows and friends of the Society are able to subscribe to the anniversary re-issue in advance of its publication for a discounted price. To qualify for the reduced price, full payment must be received by 16 December 2022. Subscribers will have their names published (if they so wish) in the List of Subscribers that will appear in the Companion Volume. Further information on how to subscribe can be found here.