Archives

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

  • Correspondence regarding a range of Society business
  • Lecture information
  • Events and Exhibitions
  • Awards
  • Finance and Buildings

These Papers are 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.

Some Institutional records are 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, for the Universities Prize Essay Fund can be accessed here, and for the Richard Burton Memorial Medal are accessed here. Other Catalogues for Institutional records include:

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. These include:

  • 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 James Caulfeild (1782-1852)  – soldier and political officer in India
  • 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 Sir Charles Colville (1770-1843) – East Indian Company soldier and administrator
  • The Papers of Samuel Davis (1760-1819) – East India Company administrator, surveyor and artist
  • The Papers of Clinton Thomas Dent (1850-1912) – 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 Alexander Gerard (1792-1839) – East India Company soldier, explorer
  • 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 Major-General Thomas Hardwicke (1756-1835) – naturalist, East India Company soldier
  • The Papers of Alexander Hamilton (1762-1824) and Graves Chamney Haughton (1788-1849) – linguists
  • The Papers of John Hansman and David Stronach – archaeologists
  • The Papers of Raymond Head (b.1948) – composer, musician and author of “A Catalogue of the Paintings and Drawings in the Royal Asiatic Society, London”
  • The Papers of Benjamin Heyne (1770-1819) – botanist
  • 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 Major J. Stuart King – Vice Consel at Zeila
  • The Papers of Edward William Lane (1801-1876) – Arabic Scholar and writer
  • 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 Robert Millar – assistant surgeon aboard Princess Charlotte of Wales, 1817-1818
  • The Papers of William Adair Nelson (1907-1993) – author, administrator at Aberdeen University
  • The Papers of Thomas John Newbold (1807–1850) – East India Company soldier, scientist and orientalist
  • The Papers of Captain Henry Ormsby (d.1857) – Commander Indian navy, surveyor
  • 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 Iltudus Thomas Prichard (1826-1874) – India army, barrister and writer
  • The Papers of Captain James Purefoy (d. 1846) – merchant seaman
  • The Papers of Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899) – specialist bookseller
  • The Papers of Hugh George Rawlinson (1880 – 1957) – teacher, Indian historian
  • The Papers of Edward Rehatsek (1819-1891) – linguist, Arabic and Persian translator
  • 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 Maurice Patrick O’Connor Tandy (1912-1986) – consul service
  • The Papers of Colonel Sir John Fisher Turner  (1881-1958) – engineer, WWII decoy expert
  • The Papers of Walter Melville Wace (d 1942) – writer, rubber plantation manager
  • The Papers of Laurence Austine Waddell (1854-1938) – explorer, Indian Medical Service, Professor of Tibetan
  • The Papers of Horace Geoffrey Quaritch Wales (1900-1981) – archaeologist, served the Siamese (Thai) government in the 1920s.
  • The Papers of Edward William West (1824-1905) – engineer, Pahlavi and Zoroastrianism scholar
  • The Papers of Sir Arnold Talbot Wilson (1884-1940) – Civil Commissioner, Baghdad
  • Notes on Cuddapah by Mrs Skinner

We are also beginning to catalogue our Special Collections

Some Papers are still awaiting cataloguing such as those  of:

  • 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, 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.