Monday, 19 December 2011
I'm delighted to announce that 146 volumes of Veterinary medicine reports are now available on the National Library of Scotland's Medical History of British India website. Click here to browse and search 40,000 pages for free.
The Veterinary collection covers 1864-1959, focusing on veterinary diseases, colleges and laboratories and Civil Veterinary Departments. This free to access, important material provides extensive research on animal diseases such as surra and rinderpest. Detailed reports show how veterinary medicine was used by the British colonists to control disease, maintain livestock and alleviate famine and its effect on military and local communities.
Illustrated with many photographs, maps and charts, this material will be useful to those interested in veterinary science, military medicine, animal husbandry and agriculture.
A new viewing function enables up to 30 pdf pages to be selected and then 'stitched' together for easier reading.
The material, from the National Library's India Papers collection, was microfilmed and digitised using a grant from the Wellcome Trust.
(Picture is from the Indian Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, volume 10, 1940, part I. Image number: http://digital.nls.uk/75248387)
New to the National Library of Scotland is Public Health in India, which analyses the current health scenario of the population of India. The book introduces the history of public health in India from the 1860's Sanitary Commissions through Acts and censuses to the twenty-first century scope of public health.
India's government has taken steps to improve and develop the health of its citizens, yet obstacles still exist, such as ignorance and lack of health services particularly in rural areas. This book examines the impact of socio-economical background, gender and lifestyle on the health of India's population today.
While the Medical History of British India website gives users the chance to examine these issues in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries under British rule, this book enables readers to assess the current public health situation in India.
Public Health in India is at NLS shelfmark OP1.211.40
(Picture of book's front cover from www.vedamsbooks.com)
Wednesday, 7 December 2011
The programme includes the following speakers and talks:
'Establishing the IOP-UK and its library' - Sarah Norman (Librarian - Institute of Oriental Philosophy, UK)
'The Cambridge Sanskrit Manuscripts Project' - Craig Jamieson (Keeper of Sanskrit Manuscripts, University of Cambridge)
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
The blog will cover topics such as digitisation issues, updates of the project's progress in microfilming, digitisation and OCR, medical history and modern health issues and India.
The Wordpress blog appears here on the Medical History of British India website and is listed here on the NLS blogs page.
The blog also features pages about the current specifications for the project which may be useful to those involved in digitisation projects.
Comments about the project and blog are most welcome!
Missionary archives are bursting with material, yet it is often difficult to access the unqualified opinions or feelings of women missionaries. High-Anglican women were particularly reticent in writing about their spiritual motivations. Most of the available letters and reports were written by women to officials of SPG and CMS at mission headquarters in London. It is likely that grievances and scandals were sometimes left unreported for fear of censure. Success may have been exaggerated and failures overlooked in the hopes of encouraging increases in financial support. An annual progress report, part of which could be used for publication in a missionary journal, was not the ideal medium for discussion of the innermost matters of one’s heart. Deep in the archives, however, I have discovered three sets of sources which are uncommonly frank and revelatory...
The first is located in the archives of SPG at Rhodes House Library in Oxford. Amidst the papers of the Committee for Women’s Work, there exists a fascinating collection of letters sent by women missionaries during the 1920s to the Society’s Foreign Secretary, Miss Hilda Saunders. Alongside details of their daily work, missionaries told Miss Saunders of their views, squabbles and sadnesses with a candidness unseen in more formulaic annual reports. Some were struggling with crises of vocation, feeling God was calling them away from missionary service to other careers, familial duties, the Religious Life, or marriage. ‘P.M.F.’s attitude took my entirely by surprise,’ Maud Tidmarsh confided about her fiancé’s proposal in February 1927. ‘It all seems to have happened so suddenly, and yet I have known my side of it since last June.’ Others were frustrated with the shackles of SPG and trying valiantly to live on a level with Indians. 'Committees of big societies are the most baffling things there are, I think! I offer my whole life to Delhi, and all I get is snub!’ Nora Karn complained during one such attempt in 1928. Relationships in the mission field were also discussed. I uncovered generational clashes between young recruits and old timers on remote outstations. In 1926, one superior even sought to control her colleague’s choice of hairstyle: ‘It may have sounded playful to you, but before she left
India she was much against my having it cut...’ ‘Exclusive friendships’ also caused problems. Such comment was made about a particularly controversial relationship between a probationer of St Hilda’s Society in Lahore and the eccentric, Roman Catholic wife of the Governor of the Punjab. In these letters, the physical and psychological realities of life in the mission field were displayed.
The small collection of missionary Personnel Files at the CMS archives at the University of Birmingham was also invaluable. The thirty-four open files contained the completed application forms of CMS candidates who eventually sailed to India. Sixteen files also included letters, references, and interview reports, charting candidates’ progress from their original offers to the Society to their departure for India. Form B of the CMS application focused upon candidates’ missionary motives, Biblical and doctrinal knowledge, and personal beliefs. They were asked to give reasons why they felt called to missionary service and their opinions of a missionary’s chief aim, as well as details of their own efforts, hitherto, to advance the missionary cause. They were also requested to give their reasons for membership of the Church of England, their assessments of ‘the fundamental doctrines’ of the Christian faith, the Thirty-Nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer, and details of their beliefs concerning the Trinity, Sin, the Atonement, and Personal Salvation. These sources gave me important and unusual clues as to what made women missionaries tick, what motivated them to make the radical decision to offer themselves for overseas service. They also revealed that CMS recruitment practices were far more flexible in reality than one might expect from their recruitment propaganda. Despite being ‘modern’ in theology, ‘thoroughly Scotch in her reserve,’ and ‘quite the most difficult candidate’ that her interviewers had ever seen, Dorothy Lyon was accepted for training and went on to a long and successful missionary career in the Punjab!
Not all of my archival research was conducted in Britain, however. I also explored the archives of the United Theological College in Bangalore and of St Stephen’s Community in Delhi, a community of women missionaries affiliated to SPG. In Delhi, I had a mini adventure of my own! The metal cupboard in the office of St Stephen’s Home, where the Community’s records were apparently housed, was firmly padlocked shut. Despite the efforts of the housekeeper to produce the keys, they were nowhere to be found. It was agreed a handyman should be sent for to break down the door and I should come back the following day. Upon my return, I discovered much to my dismay that the handyman had broken down the door to the wrong cupboard! The papers remained beyond my reach and I had only three days left in Delhi! Fortunately, the padlock was eventually broken and I was presented with a pile of minute books dating from the Community’s foundation in the 1880s to the present day and covered in thick, black dust. Their contents provided me with a fascinating insight into the inner workings of a group of women missionaries in the field. I read of debate regarding Nora Karn’s attempt to subvert SPG regulations, attempts to attract Indian members to the Community, and rumblings of discontent with its Rule of Life. Here was St Stephen’s in its own words – not the edited image it presented to SPG in London. Here was mission in the field.
The researcher’s mission, therefore, is simply to keep reading and keep digging. Amongst piles of paper and reams of repetitive reports, and sometimes in the most unexpected places, there are some real jewels in the mission archives’ crown!
 USPG Archives, Rhodes House, Oxford. Committee for Women’s Work (CWW) Papers. 277/1-3. Original Letters Received. (Chota Nagpur, Lahore (1 box) 1927-1929, Dornakal 1926-1929). 1926-1929. p.14.
 Ibid. p.8.
 USPG, Rhodes House. CWW282. Letters Received (India, Burma) 1926. p.80.
 USPG, Rhodes House. CWW146. Original Letters Received. Lahore, 1924.
 CMS Archives, University of Birmingham. C/ATw2 Candidates papers: white and blue packets.
 Ibid. Miss Dorothy Lyon.
 Archives of St Stephen’s Community, Delhi. Minute Books.
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Written on now-fragile birch bark, palm leaf and paper, the 2,000 manuscripts in the collection express centuries-old South Asian thinking on religion, philosophy, astronomy, grammar, law and poetry.
The project, which is led by Sanskrit-specialists Dr Vincenzo Vergiani and Dr Eivind Kahrs and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will study and catalogue each of the manuscripts, placing them in their broader historical context. Most of the holdings will also be digitised by the Library and made available through the Library’s new online digital library (http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/).
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
During this period access to the Centre's library and archive collections will be severely limited and visitors are advised not to plan research trips to Cambridge.
The Centre's new premises will be on the top floor of 7 West Road, with a fine view of the University Library. Our collections will also benefit from purpose-built archival stores.
For a webcam view of the new building see:http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/em/estate/building_projects/westroad/webcam/
Our website, telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
We look forward to welcoming back researchers in the New Year.
Friday, 4 November 2011
There's an event at the National Archives, Kew, on Maharajah Duleep Singh on 10th November. Speaker Peter Bance has published a number a books on Ango-Sikh history, including two on Maharajah Duleep Singh.
Monday, 31 October 2011
For further information about the festival, please follow this link: http://magiclanternfoundation.org/blog/2011/10/persistence-resistance-in-london/
Friday, 28 October 2011
Eminent Indian social activist Madhu Kishwar, founder of “Manushi” and one of India’s foremost thinkers in the arena of women’s rights, social justice and collective responsibility, will speak on the top of Devi: the Goddess and the Modern Indian Woman.
She will be joined by Mukulika Banerjee from the London School of Economics. See Mukulika’s blog on the DEVI series at: http://www.progressivewomen.org.uk/devi-the-goddess-and-the-modern-indian-woman/
For more information, email email@example.com
Monday, 24 October 2011
This year's Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture, on ‘The Crisis of Indian Democracy’, will be delivered by Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh on Monday 21st November 2011 at 6.30 pm at Chatham House, 10 St James’s Square, London, SWIY 4LE
Admission Free, but subject to personal registration with firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0207 314 2761
The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture is kindly sponsored by India Advisory Partners Limited and generously supported by Trinity College,Cambridge, The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust.
Friday, 21 October 2011
Events likely to interest readers of the SAALG blog include:
|Laying the topmost stone of New Delhi (one of two) |
on 30th September 1927
Dr Annamaria Motrescu and Dr Kevin Greenbank (Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge) will discuss the use of these unique archival resources in online projects and classrooms. To book your place, email: email@example.com or phone: 01223 338094.
Submitted as a cover for a tourist brochure
by Heather Balfour in 1959
Dr Seán Lang (Senior Lecturer in History, Anglia Ruskin University, and Chair of the Better History Group) will present a glimpse of how school children across the globe responded to the pressures for change within the British Empire through their entries to the Royal Commonwealth Society essay competition.
To book: telephone 0845 271 3333 or online at: www.angliaruskincommunity.eventbrite.com/
Films from the archives, Centre of South Asian Studies: http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk/films.html and interviews: http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk/audio.html
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
The Untold Lives blog is managed by the History and Classics department but will include contributions from colleagues across the Library as a whole and from partners in collaborative projects such as Making Britain.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
CONFERENCE AND ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2011
Revealing hidden gems:
Asian collections in the 21st century
Monday December 5th 2011
Venue: The Eliot Room at the British Library Conference Centre, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Our speakers will be
Gillian Evison and Andrew Skilton of the Bodleian Library on the union catalogue of Buddhist Shan manuscripts project
Annabel Gallop of the BL on the work of the South East Asian section of the British Library, with a visit to the collections
Chris Dillon of University College London on the future scenario for non-Roman script domain names
Yasmin Faghihi of Cambridge University Library on the FIHRIST Islamic Manuscripts Catalogue project of Oxford and Cambridge University Libraries
Peter Kornicki of Cambridge University on the growth of Tangut studies
The cost will be only £25 this year, to include lunch and refreshments (£10fofor students)
For further particulars on how to register please contact Gill Goddard, secretary of NACIRA on: firstname.lastname@example.org