Untold lives blog

21 January 2016

Opportunity to discover Untold Lives in India Office Private Papers!

The British Library has recently advertised a series of PhD placements across its departments. One of these placements provides a PhD student with the opportunity to explore the rich and diverse India Office Private Papers Foundation Collections.


Title page of European Manuscripts printed cataloguePublic Domain Creative Commons Licence

The Foundation Collections include the papers of Sir Robert Orme (1728-1801), historiographer to the East India Company; and Colin Mackenzie (c1753-1821) Surveyor-General, initially of Madras, and later of India. Their papers help to tell the story of trade with the east, politics, the development of empire and the road to independence. They contain material on a wide range of subjects including politics and government, geography, culture and antiquities.

Portrait of Colonel Colin MacKenzie

Portrait of Colonel Colin MacKenzie by Thomas Hickey (1816) Foster 13 Images Online Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Also included within the Foundation Collections are the Kaye and Johnston Papers which contain smaller collections of notable figures such as Thomas Stamford Raffles, William Roxburgh, and Francis Buchanan-Hamilton.

The placement aims to make these Foundation Collections available for the first time online through the British Library’s Explore Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue,  providing researchers with new ways to access and make use of these rich and diverse collections.

The placement provides an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to work with and explore these fascinating collections, learn more about using archives and primary sources in research, and to help expand research use and knowledge of these valuable materials.

Further details of all placements on offer and information on how to apply can be found here.

Karen Stapley
Curator, India Office Records




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