Archivist: Nancy Charley
The Archives held within the Society’s Collections can be divided into two main types:
The Royal Asiatic Society’s own records dating from the founding of the Society. These include
- Minutes Books for both Council and General Meetings
- Early Donations Registers and Subscription Ledgers
- Correspondence regarding a range of Society business
- Lecture information
- Events and Exhibitions
- Finance and Buildings
These Papers have now been organised into their record-making areas and are beginning to be catalogued. In the meantime lists are available with the archivist in the Reading Room. These lists cover Allied Societies, Awards and Medals, Collections, Finance, Governance, Journal, Lectures and Events, Membership, Personnel, Property, and Publications.
The first sets of Institutional records have now been catalogued. The catalogue for the Royal Asiatic Society’s Triennial Gold Medal can be accessed here, those for the Public School Medal can be accessed here, and those for the Universities Prize Essay Fund can be accessed here. The Catalogues for the Collections Policy Documents and Collections Acquisitions Records are also available.
Private papers and allied material from its founding members, prominent orientalists and others associated with the Society. There are now catalogues for many of these on Archives Hub.
The individual catalogues may be accessed by clicking on “Papers” and a web page or blog post about the individual may be accessed by clicking on their name.
- The Papers of William Edward David Allen (1901-1973) – Caucasian historian
- The Papers of John Drew Bate (1836-1923) – Baptist missionary and creator of Hindi dictionary
- The Papers of Richard Burton (1821-1890) – eccentric explorer, adventurer, soldier, writer and orientalist
- The Papers of Ram Gharib Chaube (d. 1914) – collector of Indian religious and folk songs for William Crooke
- The Papers of John Cecil Cloake (1924-2014) – Foreign Office diplomat
- The Papers of Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1765-1837) – eminent Sanskrit scholar and founder of the RAS
- The Papers of Clinton Thomas Dent (1850-19120 – Surgeon and pioneer of mountaineering in the Caucasus
- The Papers of Henry Miers Elliot (1801-1853) – East India Company administrator and historian
- The Papers of Sir Michael Cavanagh Gillett (1907-1971) – Consul service in China and Afghanistan
- The Papers of Daniel John Gogerly (1792-1862) – missionary and Pali translator
- The Papers of Frederic John Goldsmid (1818-1908) – linguist, Director of Indo-European Telegraph Company
- The Papers of Dora Gordine (1895-1991) – sculptor
- The Papers of Brian Houghton Hodgson (1801-1894) –‘ father’ of Himalayan studies
- The Papers of Edward Walter Hutchinson (1880-1972) – British Consul in Chiengmai, Thailand
- The Papers of Sir William Jones (1746-1794) – renowned philologist and founder of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta
- The Papers of David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer (1876-1962) and Emily Overend Lorimer (1881-1949) – linguists, authors, explorers of the Gilgit region.
- The Papers of Thomas Manning (1772-1840) – Chinese scholar, first Englishman to Lhasa, Tibet
- The Papers of William Adair Nelson (1907-1993) – author, administrator at Aberdeen University
- The Papers of William Claxton Peppé (1852-1936) – discovered Buddhist archaeological remains at Piprahwa
- The Papers of William Pettigrew (1869-1943) – missionary and Manipuri scholar
- The Papers of Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899) – specialist bookseller
- The Papers of Hugh George Rawlinson (1880 – 1957) – teacher, Indian historian
- The Papers of Alexander Rogers (1825-1910) – Indian civil servant and author
- The Papers of Michael John Rowlandson (1804-1894) – Arabic and Persian translator
- The Papers of Aurel Stein (1862-1943) – explorer and archaeologist
- The Papers of Colonel Sir John Fisher Turner – engineer, WWII decoy expert
- Notes on Cuddapah by Mrs Skinner
Some Papers are still awaiting cataloguing such as those of:
- E.W. West (1824-1905) – a leading scholar of Zoroastrianism
- Thomas John Newbold (1807–1850) – East India Company soldier, scientist and orientalist
- H.G. Quaritch Wales (1900-1981), who was involved in much exploration in Asia and served the Siamese (Thai) government in the 1920s
- Charles Ambrose Storey (1888-1968), Professor of Arabic at Cambridge and author of the bio-bibliographical survey of Persian literature
- Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1810-1895) – the decipherer of cuneiform. However a detailed list of these Papers is available on our website here.
The majority of these archives are paper documents though there are also manuscripts, photographs and slides, and objects. This archival material is currently being catalogued on to Archives Hub. However, much of the material is still being sorted and listed. This website provides some information but please do not hesitate to contact the Archivist to obtain further details on any archival material. Most of the material is available to researchers though some modern records are restricted due to data protection issues.