The Ames Library of South Asia and the Thomson Gale Collection




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Western Books on Asia:


India and the West


š


Monographs


Selected works filmed from the holdings of

Ames Library of South Asia

University of Minnesota


Primary Source Microfilm

An Imprint of Thomson Gale


Western Books on Asia:


India and the West


š


Monographs


Primary Source Microfilm

An Imprint of Thomson Gale


Primary Source Microfilm

An Imprint of Thomson Gale


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ISBN: 1-57803-319-5


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Table of Contents


The Ames Library of South Asia and the Thomson Gale Collection

Introduction by N. Gerald Barrier ……………………………………………….……..i

Editorial Note ………………………………………………………………………….ix

Acknowledgements …………………………………………………………………….x

Reel Index, Western Books on Asia: India and the West ………………………..…..1-43


Part 1 Social Life and Customs ………………………………………1

Part 2 Religion ………………………………………………………..6

Part 3 Land …………………………………………………………..12

Part 4 Social Conditions ……………………………………………..13

Part 5 Politics and Government ……………………………………..16

Part 6 Description and Travel ……………………………………….29

The Ames Library of South Asia and the Thomson Gale Collection


The Ames Library at the University of Minnesota contains a unique set of rare memoirs, monographs, and sets of primary materials from South Asia. The only comparable collections in North America are at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress, and the University of California, Berkeley. In the United Kingdom, the British Library combines the Indian publications from the British Museum with those from the India Office Library. While these major libraries often have duplicates or other editions of printed matter found at the Ames Library, the rarity of these materials often prevents them from being lent, and in many instances, even photocopied.

Charles Lesley Ames (1884-1964) became interested in India after reading a book on the Great Mutiny, and from 1908 onward, he began to systematically collect books from the subcontinent. In 1961, he donated his library to the University of Minnesota with the stipulation that the original collection remains separate from the general holdings. Included in the gift were approximately 25,000 monographs, a hundred volumes of pamphlets (over one thousand individual tracts), bound manuscript volumes, and fifteen linear feet of unbound manuscripts. Since the 1960s, the collection has been broadened through regular library purchases as well as participation in the Library of Congress Acquisitions Program 480. It now includes over 250,000 volumes.1

Ames collected widely, but his primary interests included texts on legal and administrative matters as well as military volumes, commissions, guides, biographies, and a combination of books on Western-Indian cultural interaction. As Donald Clay Johnson has noted in his short history of the library, Ames developed special arrangements with collectors of rare British books; they gave him first right of refusal for individual titles and particularly valuable sets of books just entering the market. He made use of his network and his growing knowledge of India. At major American academic libraries, such as Yale and Harvard, acquisitions focused on humanistic works and Indology; Ames, however, also added numerous biographies, travel accounts, and personal descriptions of India by both Europeans and Indians. The earliest imprint is 1587 and most of the volumes come from the nineteenth century and early twentieth century. The majority of the books are in English, although there are some in Portuguese, French, and German.

Six hundred important works from the Ames Library are now being made available in this new primary source set published by Thomson Gale. A few books are available in expensive reprint format, primarily from the extensive language and travel title list reproduced by Asian Educational Services in New Delhi, India. However, the vast majority of the texts are not available through commercial outlets or even the most specialized libraries. Materials that can be found in Hansard have been excluded, as that series of parliamentary debates and reports is available in a variety of reprints and film/fiche sets. Similarly, certain government reports that can be found elsewhere have been omitted. The primary material deals with the subcontinent, but a variety of travel and reference works are also relevant for exploration in Africa, the Himalayas, and especially Ceylon (Sri Lanka).

The publishers were presented with a challenge in determining the most effective way to organize the material, as many of the titles contain a wide variety of information. Consequently, the set is grouped according to broad subject categories and then arranged by date. For example, the section entitled “Social Life and Customs” begins with “An Act of the Commons... regulating the officers of the navy and customs” (1648) and ends with “A Year in England” by Wilfrid Thorley (London, 1930). Books have been scanned, transferred as digital files, and then prepared for distribution in a microfilm format. The reel index includes full bibliographic information: title, author, imprint, language, subject, and location on reels. In addition, each title is preceded by the bibliographic record. This introduction, which refers to just some of the material, is not meant to be comprehensive but rather illustrative of the potential value of individual titles and interlocking topics. For the purposes of discussion, the following categories, roughly divided, will be reviewed briefly: ethnography, legal matters, the nature of British administration and institutions, politics, religion, women and social issues, and travel accounts.

Major collections with an interest in early European expansion, colonialism, ethnography, social conditions (family, women, and caste), land, agrarian conditions, and travel accounts will find titles that will enrich existing holdings. For example, because of Ames’s systematic purchase of titles on the law in India (with an emphasis on how Western perceptions and institutions created the context for an evolving Indian legal system), law school libraries with substantial holdings in those areas will find the assortment of cases, reports, and personal accounts invaluable. Similarly, the dozens of titles on military issues and warfare should be attractive additions for specialty libraries.

Another defining feature of the Ames Library in general, and this selection in particular, involves the perspectives and different voices reflected in the documents: Europeans, the British, Christians, administrators, and important Indian public figures are represented. Moreover, a variety of autonomous tracts and specialty works shed light on both Western and Indian world-views. Thus, faculty and students involved in all stages of research and writing on Indian topics should welcome the addition of these rare documents on a variety of subjects relevant for teaching, papers, and seminar discussion. Given the relatively high cost of purchasing older titles in the used or rare book markets, the acquisition of this set will not only improve the systematic development of the purchaser’s collection, it will ultimately prove to be economical.

The collection also bears on a major theme being explored from a variety of perspectives: the advantages and drawbacks of using Western accounts to understand non-Western cultures. Although some of the missionary chronicles and occasional works address South Asian religions and institutions from a decidedly culturally bound perspective, they are useful not only as sources of information but also for exploring how particular individuals, groups, and organizations view themselves and those around them. In any event, the cumulative value of three hundred years’ worth of travel accounts, administrative reports, and personal experiences constitutes a major set of sources that provides information on local events, cultural trends, and South Asian life in general. Like all documents, they must be evaluated against a backdrop of other information and utilized carefully. Despite possible reservations about specific motives and data, the six hundred works provide fresh and important material for understanding South Asia and the colonial experience. This would enrich library resources and the teaching and research missions of numerous academic institutions.

As recent scholarship evaluating the nature of Orientalism suggests, ethnographic and cultural material prepared by officials, missionaries, and travelers must be used carefully. The assortment of records in this set provides primary documents for such a re-evaluation. Some of the printed works emerged from Britain’s concern with understanding Indian society and, in some instances, molding it. For example, in the 1870s, the Punjab administration began a series of social experiments that involved customary law as the basis for judicial decision making. The resulting compendium and other documents on the region’s customs are useful for understanding local conditions as well as British legal initiatives. Examples include “Compendium of the Punjab Customary Law” (H.A. Rose, Lahore, 1910-11) and “The Register of Customs in the Ten Central Districts of the Punjab” (Lahore, 1922). When rural debt and changing social and legal values ultimately produced the Punjab Alienation of Land Act, a similar initiative led to reports on debt and local conditions: for example, “Report on Peasant Indebtedness and its appendixes, 1896” (S.S. Thorburn, Lahore, 1896), supplemented by at least fifteen reports and monographs from several provinces on local landholders, tenancy issues, and other peasant-related problems. Other documents dealt with tribes or the familiar topic of “manners and social customs”; for example, “Tribes Inhabiting the Neilgherry Hills” (F. Metz, Mangalore, 1864) and “Sketches of Native Life...” (F.E.W., Madras, 1869). Indians also described their own society, as did Bulloram Mullick in “Essays on the Hindu Family in Bengal” (Calcutta, 1882), Tamonashcha Dasgupta in “Aspects of Bengali Society” (Calcutta, 1927-29), and Alá ud Din Khan in “India’s Millions” (Moundsville, West Virginia, 1903).

As these works and other related volumes suggest, law and custom were invariably intertwined, resulting in numerous studies of legal issues and Indian society. Diaries and autobiographies of administrators often contained useful evaluations of the functioning of Western law, along with Indian studies of crime and the legal system, such as S.C. Dutt’s “Realities of Indian Life, or, Stories Collated from the Criminal Reports of India...” (London, 1885). Some of the earliest documents deal with hearings in the House of Commons about councils, judges, and legal matters in India (c. 1764-1787). The rights of individual Indian rulers often came before the India Office or the House of Commons; the resulting documents include “The Raja of Sattara” (George Thompson, London, c. 1841), proceedings on the case of the Ameers of Sinde (1844), and the experiences or recommendations of individual judges, such as George Norton, author of “Epitome of the Duties of a Justice of Peace...” (Madras, 1842). Reference works on administration abound, such as “The Ceylon Manual...” (Herbert White, Colombo, 1904), “Atlas of the Mysore State...” (Bangalore, 1892), and lists of civil servants and administrators.

The most voluminous documents reflect the many debates over the evolving administrative structure in India. These range from the early Acts of Parliament to memoirs and tracts by British colonizers and the government of India. Some of the earliest include “Report on the Interior Administration, Resources, and Expenditure of the Government of Mysoor...” (Mark Wilks, Fort William, 1805), anonymous letters and dissent on administration in Madras (1810), and memoirs and letters of John Peter Grant (Bombay, 1830) and Thomas Baber (London, c. 1833), as well as critiques on Indian administration by James Caulfield (London, 1832). Over thirty works relate to specific cases between 1835 and 1850 and to debates on the nature of justice and honest administration. Two of the earliest works addressing local justice were “Petition to the Imperial Parliament from the Members of the Madras Native Association...” (Madras, 1852) and “The Opinions of the Natives of the Bombay Presidency...” (Bombay, 1853).

The events surrounding the Great Mutiny (1857 to 1858) generated commissions, memoranda, extensive tracts, and divergent evaluations of the nature of British rule. Examples include “Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Inquire into the Organization of the Indian Army...” (London, 1859), minutes and papers on the uprisings in Oudh, and anonymous pamphlets on the reasons for the mutiny, such as “The Blue Pamphlet” by a former Bengal Artillery officer (London, 1858) and “Justice for India... by ‘a Plain Speaker’” (London, 1858). One substantial set of documents involved the viability of India as a possible site for migration in the post-mutiny environment (Report of the Selection Committee on Colonization and Settlement, with Evidence, 1858). The focusing of attention on the Indian princes–their role and Britain’s relations with them—produced a rich assortment of documents that dealt with Oudh, Baroda, and Hyderabad, as well as the activities of several political officers. A connected series of reports, speeches, and other official works appears throughout the collection up to the early 1930s.

Memoirs are well represented, especially those by officials serving at every level of administration, ranging from viceroys and governors to local judges and civil servants. These, as well as numerous personal accounts by Indian public figures, relate directly to another major section of the collection—publications on the evolving political system. At least two dozen documents focus on foreign policy, the importance of the Indian princes, and relations with neighbors, including Afghanistan. Of particular interest are “Summary of Affairs of the Government of India in the Foreign Department from 1864 to 1869” (J. Talboys Wheeler, Calcutta, 1868), “Collections of Miscellaneous Papers on Khelat [Kalat], North-West Frontier and Afghanistan” (c. 1870), and anonymous works, such as “The Native Prince’s Own Book, Being a Dialogue between a Native Prince and a Private Counsellor” (Bombay, 1880). There are also several important collections of speeches by Indians and their sympathizers, such as “Speeches by Lalmohun Ghose” (Calcutta, 1883-84) and “Speeches and Writings of Sir Rash Behari Ghose...” (Madras, c. 1917). The heated rhetoric and the events accelerating decolonization become quite evident in numerous works from approximately 1915 onward, including the All India Congress Committee’s “Report on the Civil Disobedience” (Allahabad, 1922), a dozen speeches by Indians and Englishmen, memoranda, and a group of reports in 1930 on the future of reforms in India.

One tract on Indian politics, “The Idiot and the Traitor in Indian Politics,” written and published by Maribhai Naranji Tantree (Bombay, 1923), exemplifies the fascinating perspectives found in the political commentaries. The author lashes out at the ignorance of India as well as the “hypocrisy” of Indians who claim to represent the entire population. The first section reviews the influence of modern civilization and liberalism on India, while the second section is a specific review of “absurd opinion makers,” such as Rabindranath Tagore, Annie Besant, and earlier thinkers, such as Shankaracharya. Tantree comments on British administrators, politicians (“agitators as a social product”), the Times of India, the futility of non-cooperation, and problems with the civil service. Gandhi receives almost a hundred pages of forceful criticism that at times becomes vitriolic. Of course, other contemporary observers assume a quite different posture. These conflicting ideas are useful in understanding the issues of the period as well as the lingering approaches to history and culture that continue to help shape contemporary Indian discourse.

Although the Ames collection does not focus primarily on religious texts and movements, approximately fifty publications deal with religious matters. One of the oldest works, “Relatione Delle Missioni...” (Barretto Francesco, Rome, 1645), focuses on Christian missions, as does “Missione al Gran Mogor del Padre Ridolfo Aquaviva della Compagnia di Giesú” (Daniello Bartoli, Rome, 1714). Early conferences and initial Western reactions to Indian religions are well represented, as in “A Review of the Original Principles, Religious and Moral, of the Ancient Brahmins...” (J.Z. Holwell, London, 1779), along with critical tracts on Indian religious practices and “heathen” activity. In their works, James Tod and George Augustus Munster comment on issues raised by employing Muslims in Christian armies (1827) and by the religious establishment in Mewar (1829). As it did on such topics as Indian princes and the revision of political strategy, the mutiny helped focus attention on Indian religious values, especially policies towards Muslims. This is exemplified by “Proselytism in India” (George Norton, London, 1859) and “The Moslem Noble...” (Marianne Young, London, 1857). The handling of religious grants evoked controversial tracts, such as “The Inam Commission Unmasked” (Robert Knight, London, 1859). Also represented are legal cases involving religion, such as “The Budh-Gaya Temple Case” (Anagarika Dharmapala, Calcutta, 1895) and the anonymous text “The Hopeless Case of Manapad: Instituted in the Civil Courts by the Christians of St. Jacob’s Church...” (Madras, c. 1910). The religion section concludes with several works on growing controversies over Hindu legal writing, such as “Fictions in the Development of the Hindu Law Texts” (Sankararama Sastri, Mylapore, 1926), “Conversion and Cooperation in Religion” (Madras, 1929), “Report of the Haj Inquiry Committee” (Calcutta, 1930), and the legitimacy of purdah (rules and traditions relating to Indian women).

Individuals and libraries particularly interested in Indian women and society will find important documents throughout the collection. The nature of family and marriage received attention in the forms of anonymous tracts, such as “The Marriage Mart...” by an “Indian Officer” (London, 1841) as well as such works as “Essays on the Hindu Family in Bengal” (Bulloram Mullick, Calcutta, 1882), “A Guide for Indian Females from Infancy to Old Age...” (Nand Lal Ghose, Lahore, c. 1896), and “Marriage Forms under Ancient Hindu Law” (Gowardhanram Madhavaram Tripathi, Bombay, 1906). Many accounts by missionaries and foreign observers (usually women) contain detailed information on Western perceptions of Indian life and social relations. One of the earliest tracts, “A Collection of Facts and Opinions...” (Birmingham, 1816), deals with sati (widow burning). Other monographs and case studies focus on women, marriage, and widows, exemplified by “The Story of a Widow Remarriage...” (Bombay, 1890). The increased mobilization of Indian women by reformers and new societies became evident by the 1920s, as reflected in “Shubala: A Child Mother” (Cornelia Sorabji, Calcutta, 1920). Responses to the charges made in Katherine Mayo’s Mother India include “Mother India: A Rejoinder” (Kamakshi Natarajan, Madras, 1928) and detailed evidence from the 1928-29 Age of Consent Committee (Calcutta, 1929).

Travel and tour narratives are interspersed throughout the set. These should appeal not only to specialists on South Asia, but to a much broader audience interested in personal accounts relating to Asia, Africa, and the nature of European expansion and colonization. Among the earliest accounts is François Pyrard’s “Discourse du voyage de François aux Indes Orientales...” (Paris, 1611), original editions of Jean Baptiste Tavernier’s travels through Turkey, Persia, and the East Indies (London, 1684), and the travels of François Bernier among the Mughals and in Hindustan (Amsterdam, c. 1699). Other noteworthy works from the earliest period include an account of travel from Italy to India by Pedro Teixeira (London, c. 1700) as well as voyages to Madagascar and Africa by François Cauche (London, c.1700) and to Goa by Gabriel Dellon (Cologne, 1709).

Approximately twenty accounts about travel were published in the eighteenth century and over a hundred appeared after 1800. Most of the works are substantial and informative. Typical sets of letters and documents are exemplified by “Travels, in Various Parts of Europe, Asia and Africa...” (John MacDonald, London, 1790), “Voyage Aux Indes Orientales” (S.B. Paulinus, Paris, 1908), and a broad assortment of narratives on the lives and experiences of soldiers, world travelers, and diplomats. The travel section also includes such informative gems as “The History of Pooree: With an Account of Juggunnath...” (Brij Kishore Ghose, Cuttack, 1848) and a similarly titled work written from a different perspective two decades later, “Stray Leaves from the Diary of an Indian Officer: Containing an Account of the Famous Temple of Juggurnath...” (R.B. Cumberland, London, 1865).

Experiences in Afghanistan in the 1840s are reflected in narratives and ruminations on the frontier. Among the documents are “Narrative of the Late Victorious Campaigns in Affghanistan” (Joseph Greenwood, London, 1844) and “Description of Affghanistan and the Punjab...” (1842). Shortly thereafter, Western explorers moved into the Himalayas, producing such chronicles as “Account of the Survey Operations in Connection with the Mission to Yarkand and Kashgar in 1873-74” (Henry Trotter, Calcutta, 1875) and “Memoir of William Watts McNair, The First European Explorer of Kafiristan” (J.E. Howard, London, 1890).

Another group of titles deals with travels in Burma and beyond, such as “The Land of the White Elephant...” (Frank Vincent, London, 1873), as well as several works about Ceylon. Especially noteworthy is a French account, “L’île de Ceylan et ces curiosités naturelles” (Octave Louis Marie Sachot, Paris, 1877) and a book circulated privately, “Diary in Ceylon & India, 1878-9” (Edward George Henry Sandwich, London, 1879). Some expeditions were serious and “scientific,” while others involved tiger hunting and recreational travel. However, taken together, these works serve as useful guides to most regions of India and outlying areas.

The many firsthand observations, reports, and official documents in this multifaceted set from the Ames Library therefore constitute a solid contribution to the exploration of territories, issues, and personalities often not represented in Western collections. The potential for papers, research on specific time periods and regions, and supplementary information for ongoing studies should be immense.

N. Gerald Barrier
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