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They are currently a part of the British Library Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections , and they are administered as Public Records, which means that they are available for public consultation in the British Library Reading Rooms. The classification system for the records was created with two goals: to preserve the original order of the records as much as was possible, and to clarify the administrative history of the records. Each series of records was assigned a letter, from A to Z, and certain series also have descriptive subclasses. The classes are as follows: [1]. The collection is useful for genealogical and family history research, particularly for those who have ancestors who were Anglo-Indian or who were born or lived in British India.

Recognising this, the British Library has developed resources to facilitate this process, including biographical indexes, professional research services and close links with the Families In British India Society. For those who know the occupation of their ancestor in India, the British Library provides a guide to records produced by various positions, facilitating the discovery of material that an ancestor created in the course of his work for the British administration in India.

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The collection can be used to bolster research on almost any topic involving the history of India from by providing unique information relating to the British administration's understanding of events. Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the collection is the set of records pertaining to Mohandas Gandhi. Much is known about Gandhi's life and ideas through many sources, but these records provide interesting insight into the development of his ideas, as well as his personal life.

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Information on the Indian administration's feelings and frustrations concerning Gandhi is also in the records. There are two particularly interesting sets of documents in this series. The first of these are administrative records containing reactions to Gandhi and plans concerning his activities.

Many of these records are proposals for responses to Gandhi's actions, including plans to prepare for riots in the event of his death during one of his fasts. The second set of documents consists of correspondence to and from Gandhi. Gandhi wrote extensively to various British government officials, and there are 93 letters from Gandhi, as well as 48 letters to Gandhi from the administration personnel. Many of the letters currently held in the collection are copies from originals, but as the records have been so well-kept in the 20th century, their authenticity is not in question. The time period of the correspondence is to Many of the letters from Gandhi express criticism of British policies in India and reveal Gandhi's sophisticated analysis of world politics, as well as his commitment to peace.

In many, he appeals to the British to work with him to end the oppression of the Indians. Perhaps the most unusual of Gandhi's letters in the collection is a copy of a letter sent to Adolf Hitler , in which Gandhi expresses admiration for Hitler's passion for his nation, but urges him to seek non-violent means to address Germany's concerns.


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The most personal of letters from Gandhi in the collection relate to the illness and death of his wife in In these letters, one can see Gandhi's frustration at watching Kasturba Gandhi 's condition worsen as he was powerless to help her. He repeatedly appealed to the British to send medical aid, including an Ayurvedic physician, and when it became clear that she would not survive, he lashed out at them, complaining that her treatment was inadequate. Most of the letters written to Gandhi contained in the collection are accusatory, complaining that Gandhi did not live up to his rhetoric about non-violence.

The letters reflect a belief that Gandhi's fasts and other dramatic forms of protest stirred up violence among the Indian population.

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Many of the letters also deny Gandhi's accusations that the British government was involved in systematic repression of the Indian people and failed to live up to its role as a steward of India and the Indian people. There is also one letter in the collection from Franklin Roosevelt , who was the President of the United States at the time. In the letter, he acknowledges Gandhi's concerns about India, but suggests that World War II and the defeat of the Axis powers should take precedence.

He asks Gandhi to support the British regime so that they will not be forced to divide their attention.


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  6. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. See also: Company rule in India.

    This section includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. The majority of the records in this database are from Bengal, Madras and Bombay.

    Births, Marriages and Death Records for British in India

    This free, searchable database from the British India Office includes , baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials in the India Office Records, primarily relating to British and European people in India c. There is also information on a remote search service for Ecclesiastical Records not found online for researchers who cannot visit in person. A variety of online, searchable lists and indexes, the largest of which is an index of Cadet papers held at in OIC in London, with approximately names of officer cadets that joined the EIC Madras army from until Share Flipboard Email.


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    Updated February 16, A small index to selected marriage records from India, primarily from Bengal, Madras and Bombay.