Madras Literary Society

Scope and Content

The Madras Literary Society became allied to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1830. This material was gathered from the interaction between the two societies. These are:

  • "Translations of the Three Inscriptions/ old Telugu Character/ on the Five Copper Plates presented to the Madras Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society 30th January, 1831". Translations of the inscriptions with explanatory notes, handwritten, 1 piece, 4 sides.
  • Letter from the Honorary Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to the Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to give the name, Mr M. Ruthnasamy as the Corresponding fellow. Typed, dated 16 September 1941.
  • Letter from the Honorary Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to the Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to give the name and address of the President of the Society. Typed, dated 24 October 1941.
  • Letter from the Honorary Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to the Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to give the name, Professor M.D. Altokar as the Corresponding Fellow. Typed, dated 3 December 1941.
  • Letter from the Honorary Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to Miss D Crawford, Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to inquire regarding the association between the two societies. Typed, dated 20 February 1968.
  • Note from R. Loewe, University College, London, concerning a paper that he had thought was about the Madras Literary Society. Handwritten, dated 5 April.
  • Letter from Secretary, Royal Asiatic Society, to he Honorary Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to ask, on behalf of the Council, for the Madras Literary Society to send an account of their activities for the Council to assess if the link between the two societies can be resuscitated. Typed, dated 11 April 1968.
  • "Madras Literary Society and Auxiliary of Royal Asiatic Society (Est. 1812)" - leaflet concerning the history and current activities of the Society. Printed, dating between 1982 -1988.
  • Letter from Radm M Raman, General Secretary, Madras Literary Society, to Professor Anthony Stockwell, President, Royal Asiatic Society, to send their society's best wishes as the Royal Asiatic Society moves into its new accommodation. Typed, dated 8 August 2006.
  • Letter from Camilla Willemse Larsen, Executive Officer, Royal Asiatic Society, to Radm M Raman, General Secretary, Madras Literary Society, in response to his letter, to express gratitude for their kind words. Typed, dated 24 August 2008.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Madras Literary Society was founded in 1812 and in 1830 it became associated with the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland and renamed the Madras Literary Society and Auxiliary of the Royal Asiatic Society. It was founded by Sir John Henry Newbolt, Chief Justice of Madras, with Benjamin Guy Babington as the founder secretary. The Society produced a journal called the Transactions of the Literary Society of Madras and, from 1833, under the name of the Madras Journal of Literature and Science. The journal ceased publication in 1894.

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.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. ej@royalasiaticsociety.org 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

The material is part of the institutional records of the Society from its dealings with other organisations.

Archivist's Note

This material was 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 papers were sent and received by the Royal Asiatic Society in the course of its business.

Related Material

The Society holds within its Collections, several publications associated with the Madras Literary Society. More details can be found here.

Geographical Names