The India, Raj and Empire database is an extremely valuable resource for scholars and students of South Asian history/studies. It focuses on the manuscript collections of the National Library of Scotland, chronicling South Asian history beginning with the establishment of the East India Company in 1615 until the attainment of political freedom of India and Pakistan in 1947. The documents in this database are organized according to nine themes: (1) The East India Company: Government and Administration c.1750-1857; (2) Agriculture and Trade c.1750-1857; (3) Society, Travel and Leisure c.1750-1857; (4) The Mysore and Maratha Wars; (5) Indian Uprising 1857-58; (6) The Raj: British Government and Administration of India after 1858; (7) Agriculture and Trade after 1858; (8) Society, Travel and Leisure after 1858; and (9) India: Literature, History and Culture. The interface is very user-friendly and easily navigable. Users are provided with an introduction, a chronology, a glossary, information on the nature and scope of the collection, a description of the nine themes, a biographies section, and maps. The collection can be browsed via the Documents tab or searched via Advanced Search. A Search Topics listing allows users to search specific topics related to their research interests. Documents can be sorted in thematic as well as chronological order. Users may also select and export the documents to RefWorks or EndNote (CH, Feb'08, 45-2929). Moreover, they can take a quick tour of Help before getting started with their research. Apart from documents, images are also available from the Slideshow Gallery. Users may select multiple images to create a slideshow and then export it in PDF format. In addition, External Links leads to freely available research resources. The publisher plans to add more research materials from other archival collections that would be useful both for research and teaching purposes. This database will be very useful for all libraries that support South Asian studies programs or scholars with research interests in South Asian studies/history.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.
Reprinted with permission from CHOICE http://www.cro2.org, copyright by the American Library Association.
C. Vaidyanathan, University of Miami
CHOICE, August 2009