Sixty-one oral history interviews recorded for the British in India Oral Archive Project, 1975-1976. Comprises sound recordings on audio cassette and accompanying transcripts. Interviewees include British and Indian individuals, political figures, such as Earl Mountbatten of Burma, B. K. Nehru, Sir Ronald Brockman, and Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay ; along with civil servants, army officers, businesspeople, missionaries, and clerks. Interviews cover the pre-Independence and post-Independence periods, and include discussions on the role of the Viceroy, the royal family, missionary work, the police force, the Indian Civil Service in Burma, trade and shipping in Calcutta, the Japanese invasion, and the Nehru family.
British in India Oral Archive Project
- This material is held at
- ReferenceGB 102 OA2
- Dates of Creation1975-1976
- Name of Creator
- Language of MaterialEnglish
- Physical Description61 oral history interviews
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The British in India Oral Archive Committee, based at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, undertook 'The British in India Oral Archive Project' (1975-1976). The project aimed to record the memories of those individuals who lived or served in India during the last years of British Rule. It followed the oral history work begun for the BBC Radio 4 series 'Plain Tales from the Raj' (1974). The British in India Oral Archive Project was a joint initiative of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); British Institute of Recorded Sound [later British Library National Sound Archive]; and the India Office Library & Records [later part of British Library Asia Pacific & Africa Collections]. The project was supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and Inchcape Trust.
The oral history interviews for the British in India Oral Archive Project were carried out by the historian Charles Allen, and were recorded in India and Pakistan between December 1975 and February 1976, and in Britain between September 1975 and October 1976. Subsequently typewritten transcripts of the audio recordings were prepared, and in many cases the transcript was corrected by the interviewee and a further corrected version was typed.
Interviews are arranged alphabetically by name of interviewee.
Conditions Governing Access
Currently only transcripts of interviews are available to consult at SOAS Library. Researchers can access copies of the sound recordings at the British Library Listening & Viewing Service. For more details see www.bl.uk/listening or contact firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7412 7418.
Donated by the British in India Oral Archive Committee.
Alternative Form Available
Copy of interviews are available at British Library Listening & Viewing Service [Reference C5].
Conditions Governing Use
Private study only. For publication or broadcast please refer to Archivist.