Saturday, 22 September 2012

National Archives of India

Librarians, archivists and researchers unfamiliar with the blog 'Dissertation Reviews' may be interested in posts in their 'Fresh from the Archives' category.

In a recent post on 18th September 2012, Derek Elliott, PhD Candidate at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge described what it was like to conduct research  in the National Archives of India, New Delhi.

His post explained how to reach the National Archives, what to expect on arrival, (security, registration etc.), searching for records, ordering material, how to get copies and even where to get lunch.  He summed up by suggesting that he had found the National Archives to be one of the most comfortable locations to conduct research in India.

For more information on the National Archives of India, go to their website at:

For more archive reviews, go to:

Dissertation review categories include: Asian Art, Islamic Studies, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Tibetan Himalayan.

A recent post in the South Asia and Asian Art categories by Robert E. Colvard of the Department of History at the University of Iowa, reviewed the 'The Visual Culture of Opium in British India', by Hope Marie Childers.  See:

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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Mental Health reports added to Medical History of British India website

Those of you who regularly read this blog will know that I have been working on the digitisation of lunatic asylum reports from British India for some while.

I am delighted to announce that they have been added to the Medical History of British India website as the 'Medicine - Mental health' collection.

The 20,000 pages cover the period of 1867 - 1948 and describe the patients, staff and conditions of asylums throughout colonial India. This free to access material provides extensive research on responses to mental illness when the asylum's role was changing. Detailed reports show how 'moral management' was used by British colonists to treat native and European patients. This material will be particularly valuable to genealogists and those interested in the history of psychiatry, Indian and colonial history.

Please do have a browse and remember that the reports are searchable; just click on 'include book content' when you search.

The material, from the National Library's India Papers collection, was microfilmed and digitised using a grant from the Wellcome Trust.

(Picture shows Block plan of Rangoon Lunatic Asylum from 1893, image number: