Sources for the History

Archive materials

Central government

  • National Archives of India, located in New Delhi
  • James Rennell as the first Surveyor General of Bengal in 1767

State government

  • Former British Indian provinces
  • princely states which were incorporated in the Indian Union after 1947
  • the foreign administrations

    • Kingdom of Lahore popularly known as Khalsa Darbar
    • Pre-British public archives in India is the Peshwa Daftar-maratha kingdom housed in
    • the Alienation Office, Pune.
    • Rajasthan State Archives at Bikaner-history of princely states
    • the history of Dogra rule from 1846 in Jammu and Kashmir-housed at jammu
    • Gwalior, Indore, Bhopal and Rewa, all archives in Madhya Pradesh,
    • Travancore and Cochin in Kerala, Mysore in Karnataka and Kolhapur in Maharashtra.

Three presidencies

Archives of Bombay Presidency, housed in the Maharashtra Secretariat Record Office, Mumbai,


are extremely useful in studying the history of Western India

 Other European rulers-

 Dutch records of Cochin and Malabar are in the Madras Record Office and those of Chinsura in the state

archives of West Bengal

 The French archives of Chandernagore and Pondicherry (now Puducherry)

 were taken to Paris

 The archives of the Danish possessions were also transferred to Copenhagen when the Dutch sold

Tranquebar and Serampore to the English East India Company in 1845.

 The remaining Danish records relating to Tranqueba housed in the Madras Record Office

 Judicial records-

 The records of the Mayor’s Court at Bombay established in 1728 are available in the Maharashtra

Secretariat Record Office

 Published records-

 Private archives-

 Indian National Congress ‘s records are housed in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi

 Foreign repositories-

 The Archives Nationale, Paris, and the Archives of the French Ministries of Foreign Affairs,

Colonies and War, have records that throw light on the history of French possessions

 The British Museum possesses collections of papers of British viceroys, secretaries of states and

other high ranked civil and military officials who were posted in India

 The records of the Dutch East India Company is available in Rijksarchief, The Hague, and that of

the Danish and Portuguese are kept in Copenhagen and Lisbon, respectively.


 Biographies,memoirs and travel accounts-

Abbe Dubois-Hindu Manners and Customs

British travellers


 James Burnes -Narrative of a Visit to the Court of Sinde

 Alexander Burnes -Travels Into Bokhara

 C.J.C. Davidson-Diary of the Travels and Adventures in Upper India

 John Butler -Travels and Adventures in the Province of Assam