The Library of Birmingham has a large collection of books in the Black History Collection relating to the history of the Indian Subcontinent, including the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The majority of the materials are held in Archives & Collections. An initial open access area for this collection is near the map cabinets within the Heritage Research Area, where customers can read the books as reference material. Further books from this collection can be requested for reference from the “stacks”.
The collections policy underpinning the purpose of the Black History Collection can be found by clicking here. Built up over a number of years, the collection consists of many rare books, covering a broad range of subjects such as the births of nations, the Bengal Province, the Kashmir struggles, the separation of Pakistan, Bombay “The City of Gold” and Calcutta “The City of Joy”, the Maratha Empire, the Maharajas, major official gazetteers, travel memoirs, royal memoirs, the history of Bengal, royal visits to India, Akbar the Great Mogul and many more. It will be of interest to researchers, degree students, organisations and others with an interest in Indian history and the Indian Subcontinent.
With a colleague from the Archives & Collections team, I am currently busy with the checking, updating and uploading of entries from this collection into the library’s online catalogue. This update will make it possible for customers to view more listings online and the project also enables us to learn more about this fascinating collection. As I am progressing with this project, I am drawn to the many titles by writers with a unique connection to India. Here are few examples: Continue reading