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India Office Records Map Collections

Collection Details

India Office Records Map Collections held at Asian and African Studies [Institution record]

Description of Collection

Content description

This collection provides comprehensive coverage of the mapping of British India, both manuscript and printed, up to 1947 and also includes the restricted map collections of the India Office Political and Secret Department and of the Aden Administrations. The geographical extent of the collection is from Baghdad to Singapore, Indochina and Borneo, and includes the official archive of hydrographic surveys and charts published by the East India Company from 1774 to 1863.

History and development

The Map Collections of the India Office Records include the reference map collection maintained by the Record Department of the India Office. Following the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, the India Office Records (with the India Office Library) passed eventually to the control of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1982 the administration of the India Office Library and Records was transferred to the British Library Board.


The Map Collections of the India Office Records form the single most comprehensive archive of topographical mapping of pre-1947 India to be found outside the restricted collections of the successor national surveys of India, Pakistan, Burma and Bangladesh.

General arrangement and access regulations

A closed access collection. The Map Collections are a sub-fonds of the India Office Records. They are assigned the references W, X and Y in the India Office Records alpha-numeric classification scheme.

Subjects of the Collection

Regions of Asia

Central Asia and the Caucasus, East Asia, Near & Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, South East Asia.


Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.


Agriculture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Arts, Communication and media, Development, Economics, Environmental sciences, Geography, History, Industries, International relations, Politics and government, Science and technology, Travel.

Names relevant to the collection:

  • East India Company, 1600-1858
  • Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, 1784-1858
  • India Office, 1858-1947
  • Burma Office, 1937-1948

Collection Material and Size of Collection

Material Types

Archival materials (includes non-published & mixed material), Manuscripts, Maps (includes all types of cartographic material), Official publications, Public records, Visual materials (includes photographs, prints, drawings, videos & films).

Total size of collection

C 100,000 map sheets, atlases, manuscripts, etc.

Collection Management Information

The collection is not being actively developed.

Content date range

1700 to 1950 AD

Collection policy

Governed by the Public Records Acts.

Collection Catalogue Information


The catalogue will eventually be available on the Access to Archives (A2A) web-site hosted by the Public Record Office.

Collection printed catalogues

A General Guide to the India Office Records.
Moir, Martin.
London, 1988.

Links to other collections

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