Trial access: East India Company

I’m very pleased to let you know that the Library has been given trial access to the brand new primary source database East India Company from Adam Matthew. This unique digital resource allows students and researchers to access a vast and remarkable collection of primary source documents from the India Office Records held by the British Library, the single most important archive for the study of the East India Company.

You can access the database via the E-resources trials page. Access is available both on and off-campus.

Trial access ends 5th April 2017.

From 16th-century origins as a trading venture to the East Indies, through to its rise as the world’s most powerful company and de facto ruler of India, to its demise amid allegations of greed and corruption, the East India Company was an extraordinary force in global history for three centuries.

Copy Letters Patent of Elizabeth I granting to the Earl of Cumberland and 215 others the power to form a corporate body to be called the “Governor and Company of Merchants of London, trading into the East Indies” and naming Thomas Smith the first governor.: Available through: Adam Matthew, Marlborough, East India Company, [Accessed March 09, 2017].

From the Company’s charter in 1600 to Indian independence in 1947, the East India Company resource tells the story of trade with the East, politics, and the rise and fall of the British Empire. It records the challenges of a globalising world and sheds light on many contrasting lives – from those of powerful political figures to ordinary people in Britain and Asia and the individual traders who lived and worked at the edge of Empire.

This is the first module of a planned 3 module release (module 2 will be released in 2018 and module 3 in 2019) and this module, ‘Trade, Governance and Empire, 1600-1947’, includes such document types as:

  • Minutes of council meetings (Court of Directors, Court of Proprietors and Council of India)
  • Memoranda and papers laid before councils
  • Council resolutions
  • Proceedings of revenue boards
  • Charters
  • Text of legislation
  • Printed books
  • Correspondence
  • Lists of administrative, military and ecclesiastical personnel

The database can be accessed for the duration of the trial period via e-resources trials.
Access available until 5th April 2017.
Feedback welcome.

Access is only available to current students and staff at University of Edinburgh.

Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for History, Classics and Archaeology