From On the Lines to Online

Since its beginnings in 1823 the Royal Asiatic Society has been keeping records. Within the archives we have found the original lists of members’ subscriptions – all beautifully scribed in a leather-bound ledger.

The Original Members’ Subscription Ledger of the RAS

This book has unfortunately lost its spine and shows signs of ‘red rot’ – a common degradation of vegetable tanned leather. So we will be looking to undertake conservation work to enable future researchers to continue to make use of this archive.

The RAS also endeavored, from an early stage, to share knowledge in the field of Asiatic Studies. They initially produced the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, beginning in 1824. This became the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1834.

Opening pages of the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society 1824

We have come a long way from recording all the details of the Society’s meetings and activities neatly on lined ledgers. Many records are now on computer files and correspondence is often via email.

Likewise with our Journal. Though all members still receive a physical copy, Cambridge University Press have made available online both past and present issues:

Cambridge University Press

Complete collection now available online

We are working in partnership with East View Information Services to digitize the entire Cambridge Archive Editions collection and make all the original print volumes and accompanying maps available as online editions via the East View eBook platform.

Cambridge Archive Editions
is an imprint of Cambridge University Press, publishing primary source collections, and conducting original research in government records and other sources. Our aim is to make available to libraries and scholars historical reference materials which otherwise would remain difficult to access.


  • Over 120 titles available now, with more to come in 2015
  • Online editions mirror the print editions
  • Content published over 25 years
  • Over 1,000 volumes with nearly 700,000 pages of primary sources
  • Titles previously out-of-print now available online
  • Accessible browsing by title or subject area
  • Contents list fully searchable
Highlight Collections

Near & Middle East
110 titles, 900 volumes

East & South-East Asia
8 titles, 88 volumes

Slavic & Balkan Regions
11 titles, 39 volumes

Cambridge University Press: