The East India Company and southern Africa : a guide to the archives of the East India Company and the Board of Control, 1600-1858
This study's purpose is to locate, select and separate out from the wider India Office Records, the extensive archives of the East India Company and its supervisory state body, the Board of Control, those classes, series, volumes and documents which contain sources on the history of the southern African region. 'Southern Africa' is taken to be the region including those countries which form modern South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Angola and Mozambique. An extensive survey of the archives was undertaken to address the previous lack of investigation of these sources. The analysis and synthesis of the survey seeks to explain why the sources are there, their extent, and what they are about. The study aims to draw researchers' attention to the range and depth of the sources in these archives, spanning the period of the combined existence of the East India Company (1600-1858) and the Board of Control (1784-1858). The finding aid produced from the survey results aims to improve accessibility to and facilitate greater use of these archives. The thesis begins with a brief description of the context - the history and organisation of the East India Company and the Board of Control. It then focuses on the Company's interest in southern Africa, particularly its agencies at the Cape of Good Hope (1793- 1858). A general presentation of the evolution, arrangement and extent of the India Office Records follows. This leads into a core discussion of sources contained within the relevant classes of the archives. The appendix comprises a detailed descriptive listing of the East India Company's archives on southern Africa. The listing presents the results of the survey of these disparate records in an intellectually accessible form, in order to submit an extensive body of evidence in support of the main part of the study.