Untold lives blog

Sharing stories from the past, worldwide

1 posts from February 2024

06 February 2024

Interim ways of working with the India Office Records and Private Papers

Thank you for your patience during the disruption caused by the cyber-attack.  Please check our temporary website where you can find more information about our available services. Our blogpost Restoring our services - an update (10 January) provides more information on what is available and how to access our collections.

We would like to share some ways of working with the India Office Records and Private Papers during the disruption.

Physical collection access

Our website has the latest information on collection access.  There are printed catalogues and handlists in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room at St Pancras.  You can use the interim main catalogue to find relevant printed resources from our collections.  This short video explains how to do this. 

India Office Records and Private Papers material can be accessed in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room, including microfilm.  To order an item, you'll need to place a manual order by completing a paper order form.  Our staff can help you with this.  You can order up to four collection items per day.  India Office Records material can be photographed by readers, but India Office Private Papers require curatorial approval for photography.

New readers with temporary passes are currently unable to order any collection items from the stores.  The temporary pass will allow you to use our Reading Rooms for personal study, use our free wifi, and consult any items on the shelves in the Reading Rooms.

Digital resources

Catalogues for the India Office Records and Private Papers are available via The National Archives Discovery resource, although please be aware that recent cataloguing work is not included.

Internet Archive has catalogues for the India Office Records, including -

Martin Moir, General Guide to the India Office Records

William Foster, A Guide to the India Office Records 1600-1858.

Internet Archive also has other useful reference materials such as copies of the India Office List.

The India Office Records subject and collection guides from the previous British Library website are available on the Internet Archive.  Two are listed below, and more can be browsed from these:

South Asia subject page

India Office Records collection guide

Please note that archived sites may not feature all functionality, e.g. attached files and downloads.

Families in British India Society (FIBIS), e.g. the Indian Army and Indian Army List online

Qatar Digital Library - digital images of India Office Records and Private Papers on the history and culture of the Gulf and wider region.

The Untold Lives blog has a great variety of content about the India Office Records and Private Papers, e.g. Sources for Indian Independence and the creation of Pakistan

Subscription sites with large collections of digital images of India Office Records:

  • Findmypast - biographical sources from the India Office Records, including baptisms, marriages, burials, wills, appointment papers, pension records
  • AM East India Company - IOR/B Court Minutes, IOR/C Council of India, IOR/D Committee Papers, IOR/E Correspondence, IOR/G Factory Records.


We thank you again for your patience and hope that you find this information useful.