Royal Asiatic Society Collections Disposal Records

Scope and Content

This archive consists of lists and correspondence concerned with the disposal of items in the Collections of the Society. The Society has not kept comprehensive records throughout its history. Further information pertaining to Disposals of the Society may be found in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and in the Minute books for the Council and General Meetings. Disposals may continue in the life of the Society. More recent ones are held in the Society's records management system and will be transferred to the archive in due course.

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 archive was arranged chronologically thus:

  • RAS COLL4/1 - 1823-1900
  • RAS COLL4/2 - 1901-1950
  • RAS COLL4/3 - 1951-2000
  • RAS COLL4/4 - 2001-2010

Access Information

Mostly open. Some material may be restricted due to confidentiality reasons. Please contact the archivist. Details can be found 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 2018.

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 Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society may hold information about the Society's disposals either in its Library Section or in the Report of the Anniversary meeting. Likewise the Minutes of the Council and General Meetings may hold further information.