Royal Asiatic Society: 175th Anniversary Celebration

Scope and Content

In 1998, the Royal Asiatic Society celebrated its 175th anniversary with an exhibition, "Persian and Indian Manuscripts and Paintings from the Collection of the Royal Asiatic Society" at the British Museum, and a lecture, "The Book of Kings: The Juki Shahnama of the Royal Asiatic Society" by Dr Barbara Brend, held at the British Library. This material covers the planning, publicity and attendance at these events. Also in conjunction with the exhibition, the publication Persian Paintings in the Collection of the Royal Asiatic Society by B.W. Robinson was published.

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.

In 1998, the Society celebrated its 175th Anniversary with an exhibition and a lecture to highlight some of the treasures in its collections.


The material was divided into 2 series, one covering the exhibition at the British Museum including advertising for the publication, and the second series covering the lecture at the British Library.

Access Information

Open. 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.

Archivist's Note

These Papers were 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 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 Meetings and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society will give further information regarding the 175th Anniversary Celebrations.