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Title: The Centre of the Muniment’: the India Office Records and the Historiography of Early Modern Empire, 1875-1891
Author: Mitchell, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 5589
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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archivists, antiquarians, geographers and civil servants within the India Office reorganised the records of the East India Company, the Board of Control and the India Office itself into what is now the India Office Records. My thesis focuses on the earliest materials of the East India Company - the records of its trading activities in the Indian Ocean from 1600 to 1623 - and how these materials were absorbed into the India Office Records between 1875 and 1891. I study the documents themselves as evidence of a complex early modern documentary culture; then I study the processes by which they were absorbed into the India Office Records, classified, edited, interpreted, and publicized. I argue that the creators of the India Office Records - civil servants, antiquarians and geographers such as George Birdwood, F. C. Danvers, William Foster and Clements R. Markham - organised and interpreted their materials in the service of a teleological historiography of empire. I situate the archive's creation within the contexts of nineteenth-century archival, antiquarian and historiographical practice, the crisis of 'high imperialism' in the late nineteenth century, and the development of the 'exhibitionary complex', and locate it within the scholarly and governmental formations of the time. Ultimately I hope to demonstrate how the archive itself, as an apparently neutral repository of historical information, was in fact instrumental in the production of imperial discourse and ideology
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council ; Queen Mary School of English and Drama Postgraduate Research Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Early Modern Empire ; ; East India Company