The India Office Records document the activities of the English East India Company and the British administration of India from 1780 to 1920. The records are rich in information on: British scientific studies in India; the economic exploitation of natural resources; the improvement of agriculture and forestry; regularly recorded observations, for example of climate and the practical application of science. The guide makes this material newly accessible via sign-posted routes into the archives and detailed lists of the principal records relating to science and to the environment. It also gives the historical and archival context of the documents, outlining the British involvement in science in India and explaining how the records are organised. The guide is arranged in eleven chapters: plants; agriculture; forests; animals; geology; meteorology; health and disease; water; communication networks and the built environment; ethnography; landscape and topography.
Richard Axelby is a social scientist who has published on the subject of common property and natural resource management. Savithri Preetha Nair has published on collecting, museums and shaping of the sciences in India.