Research Blog


This section includes short essays which include guides to particular archives and accounts of the challenges and serendipity of research in particular archives.


Information about Archives


Maharashtra State Archives
Niharika Yadav (Princeton University)
Situated in the heart of south Mumbai’s business district, the Maharashtra State Archives (MSA) are housed in one half of the city’s iconic Elphinstone College...... »»

Tamil Nadu State Archives
Aditya Ramesh (School of Oriental and African Studies)
Located in a leafy sprawling complex in Egmore, opposite one of Chennai’s oldest railway stations, the Tamilnadu State Archives (TNA) serves as the most important repository of archival material for scholars working on south India...... »»

Gokhale Institute
Sharmin Khodaiji (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
The current library of the Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics was established in 1905...... »»

Delhi State Archives
Anjali Bharadwaj-Datta (University of Cambridge)
Located on the fringe of the city in the Qutub Institutional area, though easily connected by public transport is the Delhi State Archives...... »»

Tata Archives
Mircea Raianu (University of Maryland)
The relative paucity of dedicated business archives in India has often been a subject of lament among historians....... »»

British Library
Tiraana Bains (Yale University)
While researching the engagement of the East India Company with practices of slave trading and slavery in and across its territories in the East Indies, I was particularly struck by the records of the Company’s settlement in Bencoolen..... »»

Reserve Bank of India Archives
Aditya Balasubramanian (University of Cambridge)
The Archives of the Reserve Bank of India are a treasure trove for the history of economic life in South Asia. The collections boast over 23,000 files, 2700 books, and 74 oral history tapes..... »»

Nagari Pracharini Sabha (NPS)
Meghna Chaudhuri (New York University)
The ubiquitous place that “the economy” has in contemporary understandings of social life is reflected in part, by the diversity of sources through which contemporary historiography seeks out economic life.... »»

Labour History Archives
Shivangi Jaiswal (Jawharlal Nehru University)
The archive for my work includes documents and data on Indian Labour preserved at different archives and libraries in New Delhi/National Capital Region.... »»

Workers' Schooling Archives
Arun Kumar (University of Goettingen)
For my research on workers’ schooling in colonial India, I have used both official and non-official archives. In these archives, I have found material ranging from official correspondence, enquiries, reports, surveys, and books to letters of students.... »»

Planning Archives
Nikhil Menon (Princeton University)
The first port of call for my project, on economic planning and state building in early independent India, were the archival mainstays of Lutyen’s Delhi—the National Archives of India (NAI) and the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library.... »»

Indentured Migration Archives
Louise Moschetta (University of Cambridge)
Establishing the history of Indian jewellery in Guyana is an almost incorporeal project regarding objects that have so much weight and value .... »»

Myanmar National Archives
Chao Ren (Tufts University)
In my research, I worked in the National Archives Department in Yangon, Myanmar, a less explored archive for the economic history of India..... »»

Currency and Coinage Archives
Sukhalata Sen (Jawaharlal Nehru Univerisity)
The archives of economic history in India are scattered and one often has to go scouting in search of some material. The material in the archives of Reserve Bank of India, at Calcutta and the National Archives are in good condition .... »»


Research Experiences


Gender and the Official Famine Archives
Madhavi Jha (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Determined to write a labour history of 'most' women in the mid nineteenth century, I dove head first into the National Archives of India, New Delhi to look for any and every mention of women...... »»

Doing Legal Histories of Economic Life
Kalyani Ramnath (Princeton University)
My project is an attempt to reimagine political and economic geographies using a variety of unexplored legal materials...... »»

A Family Archive of Banking and Politics
Sudev J Sheth (University of Pennsylvania)
My research investigates connections between elite banking households, financial capital, and regional state formation in western India from c. 1650-1800..... »»