Papers of William Cullen

Scope and Content

These Papers consist of the handwritten manuscript by William Cullen of his "Memorandum by Major-General Cullen addressed to the Madras Government, on the 5th December 1843." In this memorandum Cullen sets out his ideas for district museums to house rock specimens and other details of the areas of interest to science and agriculture. He also lays out his suggestions that all engineers should carry barometers with them and make use of them for assessing altitudes, which can help in decisions regarding navigation, irrigation and transport communication. The memorandum consists of 30 foolscap written sides and a further endpaper with identifying label, all tied with green ribbon.

Administrative / Biographical History

Major General William Cullen (17 May 1785–1 October 1862) was a British Army Officer with the Madras Artillery Regiment, and from 1840 to 1860, Resident in the Kingdom of Travancore and Cochin. During his stay in India, he took a scholarly interest in the region and contributed to journals on geology, plants and the culture of the region. He was instrumental in establishing the Napier Museum in Trivandrum. He died at Allepey in Kerala, where a road is named after him.

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

It is unknown how the manuscript was acquired by the Society but it is probable that is was sent by Cullen to be read at one of the Society's General Meetings.

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

This Memorandum appears to be written by Major General William Cullen. It is probable that he sent it to the Royal Asiatic Society.

Related Material

The Memorandum was published by the Government Press in 1949. A copy of the publication is held at the British Library and may be accessed online here .

Geographical Names