Royal Asiatic Society Collections Policy Documents

Scope and Content

This catalogue contains the policy documents of the Society regarding Collections management. Because of the relatively small nature of the Society, historically many such policy decisions have been made by its Council or Library Committee, recorded in the Minutes of the Meetings, and these Minutes used as the "policy documents". Further some Collections management policy is covered by the Charters and Byelaws of the Society. Therefore researchers of policy decisions should also consult these materials.
The creation of policies and their updating is an ongoing process. Historic ones have been added to this catalogue; and others will be added as they become available.

Administrative / Biographical History

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.


The Material was divided into Series covering the various aresa that policies cover:

  • RAS COLL2/1 - Acquisitions
  • RAS COLL2/2 - Disposals
  • RAS COLL2/3 - Collections Management
  • RAS COLL2/4 - Disasters
  • RAS COLL2/5 - Volunteers
  • RAS COLL2/6 - Access

Access Information

Some material may be closed for confidentiality reasons. Some of this material is held electronically. Access to these can be provided in the Reading Room. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. 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

These are part of the institutional records of the Royal Asiatic Society which have been accumulated throughout its history.

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 records are part of the Royal Asiatic Society's Institutional Records and therefore part of the historical records of the Society.

Related Material

The Minutes of the Council and Library Committee Meetings, and the Charters and Byelaws of the Society, contain information regarding policy decisions.