This is a set of Indian Religious Songs collected, transcribed and translated into English by Ram Gharib Chaube, probably for the use of William Crooke.
The Papers of Ram Gharib Chaube
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
Ram Gharib Chaube was probably born in the late 1850s into the traditional learned Chaube family. He graduated from the Presidency College, Calcutta, and was learned in both Indian tradition and the British colonial system of education, being fluent in dialects of Awadhi and Bhojpuri, as well as Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit and English. He became Mirzapur's distirct collector of revenues and whilst there met William Crooke, who was keen to document Indian folklore. Impressed with Chaube's abilities, Crooke asked that Chaube help in his work. Chaube probably continued to work with Crooke until Crooke's departure for England in 1896. The material in these papers, therefore most likely dates from this time. Crooke continued to correspond with Chaube after his return to England. However he does not seem to have acknowledged Chaube's contribution to his work.
After Crooke's departure Chaube also worked for V.A. Smith, and G.A. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India. However he constantly struggled to earn enough money and satisfy his academic interests. He died in 1914 in Gopalpur.
The life of Crooke and Rame Gharib Chaube has been well documented in In Quest of Indian Folktales: Pandit Ram Gharib Chaube and William Crooke by Sadhana Naithani (Indian University Press, 2006) from which these biographical details have been obtained.
Three series of material were arranged according to the headings under which the material was found:
- RGC/1 - Religious Songs in Romanized Hindi
- RGC/2 - Religious Songs from Northern India
- RGC/3 - Uncategorised Songs
- RGC/4 - Original Folder
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It is unknown how these Papers came to be in the possession of the Royal Asiatic Society. Possibly Crooke was seeking publication or had lent the material to George A. Grierson.
The Catalogue was created by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2018.
Conditions Governing Use
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It is assumed that this material was once in the possession of William Crooke. Most of his Papers are in the archive of the Folklore Society, held at University College, London,