Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka

Scope and Content

The Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka was incorporated soon after its foundation as an affiliated society to the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. This material covers some of the interaction between the two societies. These are:

  • "The 125th Anniversary of The Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch)" by P.R. Sittampalam, Honorary Secretary - photocopy of an article from the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.
  • Letter from Kunst and Wissen, Germany, to the Royal Asiatic Society to ask the address of the publishers of the the Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Typed, dated 16 April 1970.
  • Letter from F. Sprangers, Belguim, to Royal Asiatic Society asking for a sample issue of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch). Handwritten, dated August 1974. Also the reply from Royal Asiatic Society to give address of the Ceylon Branch. Typed, dated 9 September 1974.
  • Letter from Audrey Meenan, Serials Department, British Library, to Miss Crawford, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to ask for confirmation of the address of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Typed, dated 24 July 1976.
  • Letter from Wilfred M. Gunasekara, Honorary Joint Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society (Sri Lanka Branch), to the President, Royal Asiatic Society, to thank for the donation of the book, "The Royal Asiatic Society - Its History and Treasures". Typed, dated 25 September 1980.
  • Letter from Faxon to the Royal Asiatic Society to ask concerning the address of the Royal Asiatic Society, Sri Lanka Branch. Typed, dated 16 December 1983.
  • Letter from Wilfred M. Gunasekara, Honorary Joint Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society (Sri Lanka Branch), to the Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to ask for a copy of the letter of incorporation of the Ceylon Branch. Typed, dated 13 January 1985. With this is a copy of the reply to state that no letter is in existence and also the Minutes books are temporarily in store while the Society's buildings are being renovated. Handwritten, dated 31 January 1985.
  • Letters expressing concern regarding the possible new incorporation of the Royal Asiatic Society (Sri Lanka Branch) with the Royal Asiatic Society from H. W. Weeraratne, dated 16 November 1985; Harold Weevaratne, dated 21 November 1985; and H.W. Weeraratne, dated 9 December 1985.
  • Letter from the Honorary President, Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka Branch, to the Honorary Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to inform that the incorporation will entail the name of the Society becoming the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. Typed, dated 22 January 1986.
  • Letter from the Honorary Joint Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, to the Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to inform of the dispatch of two publications as complimentary copies for the Royal Asiatic Society. Typed, dated 20 June 1990.
  • Correspondence between Michael Pollock, Librarian, Royal Asiatic Society, and Dr Somapala Jayawardhana, Honorary Joint Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, concerning copies of the Journal of Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka for the Royal Asiatic Society's Collections. Nine letters, typed, dated from 18 May 1992 - 7 September 1993. Also 4 postcards of receipt.
  • Correspondence between Michael Pollock, Librarian, Royal Asiatic Society, and B.E. Wijesuriya, Administrative Assistant for the Honorary Treasurer, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, concerning obtaining copies of the Sesquicentennial Commemorative Volume of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. Two letters, typed, dated 25 April - 30 May 1995. With these letters is a printed pamphlet advertising the Commemorative Volume.
  • Letter from Michael Pollock, Librarian, Royal Asiatic Society, to G.P.S.H. de Silva, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, to inform of the death of Professor Charles Fraser Beckingham, who was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. Typed, dated 12 November 1998.
  • Correspondence concerning the visit of Mr R. Wijedasa of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka to the Royal Asiatic Society. Four letters, typed, dated 18 May 2003 - 30 July 2003.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka was founded in 1845 as the Asiatic Society of Ceylon. It immediately applied for incorporation which was accorded in January 1846, thus becoming the Royal Asiatic Society of Ceylon. It has published its Journal since 1846. In 1977 it was renamed the Royal Asiatic Society (Sri Lanka Branch), becoming the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka in 1986.

The Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was founded by the eminent Sanskrit scholar Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke on the 15th March 1823. It received its Royal Charter from King George IV on the 11th August 1824 'for the investigation of subjects connected with and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to Asia'. It continues as a forum for those who are interested in the languages, cultures and history of Asia to meet and exchange ideas.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. ej@royalasiaticsociety.org The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The material is part of the institutional records of the Society from its dealings with other organisations.

Archivist's Note

The material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

These papers were sent and received by the Royal Asiatic Society in the course of its business.

Related Material

The Society holds copies of the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka within its Collections. Further details can be found here.

Geographical Names