A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary or directory.
Place Names in India
Marcus F C Martin, a geographer devised a simple way to understand the old English spellings for Indian places. “For example, FATEHPUR (‘City of Victory’) is a fairly common placename and by the mid-19th century it could be spelled in at least seven ways: FUTTIHPOOR, FUTIHPORE, FUTTAPORE, FUTTEHPOOR, FUTTIPOUR, FUTTYPOOR, FUTTYPORE etc. Marcus saw that the consonants were fairly accurate and could be reduced to a short code: here ‘FTP’ or, if you prefer 4 characters, ‘FTPR’. Then
- a.. treat soft ‘c’, ‘ch’ and ‘chh’ as being the same;
- b.. treat hard ‘c’, ‘k’ and ‘q’ also as the same; and
- c.. treat double consonants as single (‘ck’ as ‘k’, ‘tt’ as ‘t’ etc);
- d.. Ignore vowels, except at the beginning of a name, when they should be replaced by a wildcard, such as a dash (-).
Marcus was apparently delighted to find, using this principle, that OOMRAWUTTEE was modern AMRAOTI (both names will code to ‘-MRT’). He published a pamphlet which is long since out of print, with coded tables for the 3,900 Post Offices that existed in India in 1877, when they were renamed in standardised form and continued until independence.
The principle is quite easy to remember and helps enormously when looking up placenames in atlases and gazetteers."
Imperial Gazetteer of India
The Imperial Gazetteer of India was created by Sir William Wilson Hunter in 1881.
The third edition, published between 1909 and 1931, is available online, at the Digital South Asia Library, consisting of 24 volumes of text, and 1 volume of maps. It was first published, due to the efforts of Sir William Wilson Hunter, in 9 volumes in 1881 with a second edition of 14 volumes in 1885–1887.
Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series
In 1908/1909 the Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series was published with the following publications:
v.  Afghanistan and Nepal - v.  Andaman and Nicobar Islands - v.  Baluchistan - v.  Baroda - v. - Bengal, v. 1-2 - v.  Berar-- v. - Bombay Presidency, v. 1-2 - v. - Burma, v. 1-2 --v.  Central India - v.  Central Provinces - v.  Eastern Bengal and Assam - v.  Hyderabad State-- v.  Kashmir and Jammu - v. - Madras, v. 1-2 - v.  Mysore and Coorg. - v.  North-West Frontier Province - v. - Punjab, v. 1-2 - v.  Rajputana - v. - United Provinces of Agra and Oudh
Afghanistan and Nepal Imperial Gazetteer of India is available to download as a pdf from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset, located under both Books, Afghanistan, and Books, Nepal. Scroll down to 1908.
The following are available on Archive.org
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Central Provinces
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Hyderabad State
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Madras Volume I
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Madras Volume II
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series North-West Frontier Province
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Punjab Volume II
- In addition, many volumes are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, including
- The Imperial Gazetteer of India Afghanistan And Nepal . Contents: Afghanistan computer page 7, Nepal cp 10; Index cp 141
- Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Baluchistan . Contents computer page 4, Index cp 213
- A number of files for Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Punjab Volume I
Restricted access: Viewers in North America and some other countries may be able to access the Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series on Google Books or the Hathi Trust Digital Library
- General Index of Places including List of Synonimes following page 578, Oriental Repertory, Volume 1 by Alexander Dalrymple 1793 Archive.org.
- The East Indian Gazetteer by Walter Hamilton,
- A Geographical, Statistical, and Historical description of Hindostan, and the Adjacent Countries by Walter Hamilton 1820 Volume 1, Volume 2 Google Books
- A Gazetteer of the Territories under the Government of the East-India Company, and of the Native States on the Continent of India A-PUTTA by Edward Thornton (1857) OOJ-Z (1854) Google Books
- Index of place names for Constable's 1893 Area Maps from Ian Poyntz’s Historical Maps of India
- The Travellers Companion, containing a brief description of places of pilgrimage and important towns of India by Abdur Rasheed. Compiled under the orders of the Railway Board. 1907 Archive.org
- Assam District Gazetteers, Volume 10: The Khasi and Jaintia Hills, the Garo Hills and the Lushai Hills by B C Allen CS 1906 Archive.org. There are additional volumes in this series available on the Digital Library of India website. There is a download available as a pdf file from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset catalogued as 1905 Assam District Gazetteers Vols 1 To 10.
- A Description of the Roads in Bengal and Bahar by James Rennell 1778 Google Books. Although not a Gazetteer, this book contains many place names.
- Bengal District Gazetteers
- Bakarganj by J C Jack 1918. Howrah by L. S. S. O'Malley and Monmohan Chakravarti 1909. Manbhum by H Coupland 1910. Murshidabad by L.S.S. O'Malley 1914. Mymensingh by F A Sachse 1917. Nadia by J H E Garrett 1910. Shahabad by L. S. S. O'Malley 1906. All Archive.org .
- Various Bengal District Gazetteers are available as pdfs to download on DSpace at West Bengal State Central Library under the subject category such as Gazetteers and Gazeeteers, the latter includes Bengal District Gazetteers: 24-Parganas by L.S.S. O'Malley 1914. Also, many editions for various districts are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, under the title Bengal District Gazetteers including districts in East Bengal. Restricted access: For those in North America and some other countries, volumes may be accessed on the Hathi Trust Digital Library, catalogued according to a volume number, but see separate list.
- Eastern Bengal District Gazetteers: Chittagong by L S S O'Malley 1908 British Library EAP (Tiff images, may require a plug-in). Dacca by B C Allen 1912 Archive.org. Dinajpur by W F Strong ICS first published 1912 (reprint edition) ddinajpur.nic.in. Noakhali by JE Webster 1911 Archive.org.
- Gazetteers Of Haryana, previously part of Bengal. Haryana Government website. Some links are available as searchable pdfs, others are in html format. Includes Delhi District 1883-84, 1912; Kurnaul (Karnal) District 1892, Umballa (Ambala) District 1883-84, 1892, 1923-24
- Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency Volumes 1-27, 1877-1904 Archive.org. For Sind, see below.
- The Madras Road Book. Edition- 1839, Index, Alphabetical List of the Madras Collectorates with details. Google Books. Although not a Gazetteer, this book contains many place names.
- Madras District Gazetteers
- The Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Local Gazetteer 1908 Archive.org
- Baluchistan District Gazetteer Series published in 1907
- Volume III Sibi District by Major A McConaghey IA 1907 Archive.org
- The following volumes may be viewed online on the Digital Library of India website. Except for Volume VII, they are not calalogued under 'Baluchistan District'
- Volume I Zhob District catalogued as Zhob District Gazetteer; Volume V Quetta-Pishin District by R Hughes-Buller ICS 1907 catalogued as Quetta-Pishin District Gazetteer; Volumes VI, VI-A and VI-B Sarawan, Kachhi And Jhalawan catalogued as Sarawan, Kachhi And Jhalawan vol.6; Volumes VII and VIIA: Makran and Kharan. Makran Contents, computer page 14. Volume VIIA Kharan commences computer page 386, Contents computer page 390
- Other volumes in the series, not generally available online, appear to be Bolan, Chagai, Las Bela (Volume 8). Volume 9 appears to be an Index to Volumes 1-8. Viewers in some countries, probably including North America, may be able to access volumes on the Google Books or Hathi Trust websites.
- Bihar and Orissa District Gazetteers Hazaribagh by E Lister 1918 Archive.org
- Gazetteer for the Haidarabad Assigned Districts Commonly Called Berar 1870 Archive.org
- The Gazetteer of the Central Provinces of India by Charles Grant 1870 Archive.org
- Central Provinces District Gazetteers: Bilaspur District Volume A Descriptive 1910 Archive.org (Volume 7)
- Central Provinces District Gazetteers: Chhattisgarh Feudatory States 1909 Archive.org (Volume 10)
- Central Provinces District Gazetteers: Raipur District Volume A Descriptive 1909 Archive.org (Volume 18)
- Gazetteers of Central Provinces and Berar. Digital reprints by Maharashtra State Gazetteers Department, of some individual Districts, including Nagpur (archived webpage)
- A supplement to the Fatehpur Gazetteer 1887 Archive.org
- The Himalayan Districts of the North Western Provinces of India Volumes I, II and III by Edwin T Atkinson published 1882, 1884, 1886 as Volumes X, XI, XII of Statistical, descriptive and historical account of the North-Western Provinces of India Volume I/Volume X, Volume II/Volume XI,Volume III/Volume XII Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
- The Himalayan Gazetteer or the Himalayan Districts of the North Western Provinces of India by Edwin T Atkinson in 3 Volumes (6 Parts) is available, in a reprint edition, to read online on the Digital Library of India website. Covers the regions of Kumaon and Garhwal. This area is now the state of Uttarakhand. Volume 1, part 1 Contents computer page 12; Volume 1, part 2 Contents cp 12, Index cp 536; Volume 2, part 1 Contents cp18; Volume 2, part 2 Contents cp 16 Index cp 458, includes History of the British in the area; Volume 3, part 1 Contents cp 10 Place names A-J; Volume 3, part 2 Contents cp 8 Place names K-Z.
- Three volumes of a reprint edition of the The Himalayan Gazetteer are available to read online on the Panjab Digital Library. It is necessary to first register to read more than the first few pages.Volume 1, Part 1, Volume 2, Part 1, Volume 3, Part 1 Possibly each volume also includes Part 2
- Hyderabad: Gazetteer Of Aurangabad 1884 Published under the orders of His Highness the Nizam’s Government. Archive.org
- A Gazetteer of Kashmir and the adjacent districts of Kishtwa̕r, Badrawa̕r, Jamu̕, Naoshera, Pu̕nch and the valley of the Kishen Ganga ; Pt. 7, Sect. 1 (of the series Central Asia) by Charles Ellison Bates 1873 Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
- Madhya Pradesh District Gazetteers: Indore (Central India) 1971 Google Books
- Directory for the Mahi Kantha Agency , Volume 1 by F. Sorabji, 1922 is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website. Contents computer page 10. Mahi Kantha was a political agency or collection of Princely States within the Gujarat Division of Bombay Presidency
- Mysore was a Princely State
- Manual of Coorg : a Gazetteer of the natural features of the country and the social and political condition of its inhabitants ; (with a map and four illustrations) by G Richter 1870 Staatsbibliothek Berlin
- Mysore and Coorg : A gazetteer compiled for the government of India by Lewis Rice Archive.org
- Mysore: a Gazetteer compiled for Government Revised Edition
- Mysore Gazetteer edited by C. Hayavadana Rao published 1927-1930 in 5 volumes (Volume 2 is in 4 parts) (total 8). Volume 1, Descriptive; Volume 2, Historical (in 4 Parts); Volume 3, Economic; Volume 4, Administrative; Volume 5, Gazetteer; is available to read online on the Digital Library of India website. One volume is available on Archive.org Mysore Gazetteer Volume 2 Part 4:Historical, Modern Period c 1930
- Gazetteer of the Countries Adjacent to India on the Northwest by Edward Thornton (1844). Includes Sind, Afghanistan, Baluchistan and the Punjab.
- Punjab District Gazetteers
- Panjab Digital Library includes a number of Punjab District Gazetteers (The spelling also includes Gazeteer/ Gazetter/ Gazeetter). It is necessary to first register to read more than the first few pages of each book, which are available to read online.
- Various Punjab District Gazetteers are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, including
- Punjab District Gazetteers, Volume XXVIIIA, Rawalpindi District 1907, published 1909. "Table of Contents" commences computer page 8.
- Rajputana Gazetteer Volume 2 1879 Archive.org
- Rajputana District Gazetteers: Volume I-A Ajmer Merwara by C C Watson, ICS 1904 Archive.org
- Gazetteer of the Rampur State 1911 (A Princely State located near the United Provinces). Staatsbibliothek Berlin
- The Gazetteer of Sikkim 1894 Archive.org . (Sikkim was a Princely State)
- A Gazetteer of the Province of Sind by AW Hughes 1876 Archive.org
- The following volumes are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website: Gazetteer of the Province of Sind by EH Aitken 1907. This contains matters of a permanent character and general interest. ('A' volume) There are also additional 'B' volumes (probably seven) containing statistical tables and matters of local interest, published in 1919 and 1926-1928. The first six are available to read online on DLI
- Volume I- Karachi District, 1919, Volume II- Hyderabad District 1927, Volume III -Sukkur District 1928 (catalogued as b vol.iii (karachi district)), Volume IV- Larkana District 1927, Volume V- Nawabshah District 1926, Volume VI-Thar and Parkar District 1926 (Not available online: B Volume VII Upper Sind Frontier District, but it is probably available at the British Library).
- A Gazetteer of Southern India: with the Tenasserim Provinces and Singapore Pharoah and Co (1855) Google Books
- Gazetteer of Ulwur by PW Powlett 1878. (Princely State of Alwar , Ulwar or Ulwur (Rajputana Agency))
- Gazetteer of the Province of Oudh (1877-1878) Archive .org
- Statistical, Descriptive and Historical Account of the North-Western Provinces of India by Edwin T Atkinson and others 1874-1886. See separate list for details
- Archive.org: Volume I: Bundelkhand Volume II Meerut Division PartI, The Eta District (A District of the Agra Division) 1876
- Collection of 13 volumes, some with up to three parts (19 books in total) missing Volume 8 (in three parts) Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
- Volume VIII, Part III Fatepur may be read online on the Digital Library of India website.
- District Gazetteers of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh compiled and edited by H.R. Nevill, published 1903-1936. There are 48 volumes, see separate list. Note some volumes appear to have more than one Part.
- Volume 4 Meerut compiled and edited by H. R. Nevill 1904 Archive.org
- Collection of 46 books of the 48 in the series, missing Volume 1, Dehra Dun and Volume 29 Ghazipur Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek
- Restricted access, probably available to those in North America. Hathi Trust
- Bhagirathi - The Institute Repository of IIT Roorkee in the Archives collection of the Central Library has many Gazetteers in this series, which may be download as (large) pdfs. Selecting “Browse by title , and then letter G the following are available, (Lucknow is under D for District), including
- Many volumes are also available to read online on the Digital Library of India website. Some of the volumes are only catalogued by volume number (in Roman numerals), but see separate list
- Brief Gazetteer of Most Important and Useful Place Names in Waziristan District. 1935 is available to download as a pdf from Pahar-Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset, located under Books, Indian Subcontinent, 1935
- Refer Gazetteer of the Countries Adjacent to India on the Northwest by Edward Thornton (1844) under India, Regional
- Refer Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series above
- Gazetteer of the District of Rangoon, Pegu Province, British Burma : together with an historical account of that portion of the province which was formerly known as Han-Tha-Wa-Dee by Malcolm B. S.Lloyd , Captain, Madras Staff Corps, Deputy Commissioner of the Rangoon District 1868. Staatsbibliothek Berlin
- The British Burma Gazetteer: Volume I 1880 itemViewer British Library. Also available through the Main Catalogue as a pdf download (enter title, and then select 'I want this'). Volume II A-Z 1879 Archive.org. Volume I may also be read online on the Digital Library of India website.
- Report and Gazetteer of Burma, Native and British Part I 1883 by Douglas Macneill, South East Asia Visions, Cornell University. This volume is about Native or Upper Burma (Part II is Lower or British Burma, Part III Appendices, but these volumes are not available online (at June 2014))
- The Chin Hills: A History of the people. our dealings with them, their customs and manners, and a Gazetteer of their country, Volume II by Bertram S Carey and H N Tuck 1896 Archive.org. Contains "Gazetteer of Villages". (Volume I). The digital files lack the original photographs.
- Gazetteer of Upper Burma and the Shan States (1900-1901) Archive.org
- Burma Gazetteer: Lower Chindwin District, Upper Burma 1912 Ebook Hong Kong University Library. Note: if the navigation tabs at the top of the webpage are not visible, decrease the size of the page.
- The Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Burma Vol.-I and II 1908 together with six additional District Gazetteers , published 1911-1917 except for one published 1931, may be read online on the Digital Library of India website.
- Burma Gazetteer Shwebo District Volume A 1929 is available through the subscription website South Asia Archive.
- "Alphabetical List of Stations [of the Irrawaddy River]", page 45 with 1952 Map of the Irrawaddy River facing page 43 Inland Water Transport Board (Irrawaddy Section), published July 1952 or later. Archive.org
- The Ceylon Gazetteer; containing an accurate account of the districts, provinces, cities, towns, principal villages, harbours, rivers, lakes &c. of the Island of Ceylon, together with sketches of the manners, customs, institutions, agriculture, commerce, manufactures, revenues, population, castes, religion, history of its various inhabitants 1834 Google Books
- A Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon (excluding Walapane) by Archibald Campbell Lawrie Archive.org
- Refer Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series above
Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia
- Gazetteer Of The Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia by J G Lorimer, published 1908 to 1915. Volume I, Historical consists of Part I being the 'Arabian' portion of the History and Part II being the 'Persian' section of the History. Both Parts of Volume I, Historical, have the same extensive index, covering all Parts.
- Four out of six volumes of a reprint edition are available to read online at Hathi Trust Digital Library. The volumes are Volume I: Historical: Part I (in two parts) and Volume II: Geographical and Statistical (in two parts)
- The Qatar Digital Library contains copies of the original editions held at the British Library. Note: these webpages may be very slow to load at times
- Volume I: Historical: Part I IOR/L/PS/20/C91/1. The 'Arabian' portion of the History
- Volume I: Historical: Part II IOR/L/PS/20/C91/2. The 'Persian' section of the History
- Volume I: Historical: Part III Geneaological Tables and a Map IOR/L/PS/20/C91/3
- Volume II: Geographical and Statistical IOR/L/PS/20/C91/4. Includes alphabetical entries for tribes, towns and regions, from ‘Abdalilah to Zubārah. It also contains fifty-six reproductions of photographs taken by British colonial officers and others.
- 1905-1908 Map of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia compiled in the Foreign Office, Simla, by Lieut. F.F. Hunder IOR/L/PS/20/C91/6
- Click on “About this record” for information about the contents. To select a particular page, click on “View all items”.
- Three volumes of the Gazetteer Of The Persian Gulf, Oman And Central Arabia by J G Lorimer, Indian Civil Service, are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, being Parts I and II of Volume 1, Historical, published 1915 and the Geographical section of Volume II, Geographical and Statistical Gazetteer, published 1908.
- Part I Contents computer pages 12-137. Text commences cp 138. Part II Contents computer pages 10-133. Text commences cp 134. Appendix "Published books and articles" cp 1210. Volume II Geographical and Statistical Gazetteer. There is no Index. Introduction pages i-iii are missing. The text is cp 8-2047
- Volume I, Part III of a reprint edition is available on the National Library of Australia Digital Collections-Maps Catalogue entry. It contains two maps (including the map of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia) and genealogical trees.
- Robert S. Cragg’s World Postmarks (archive.org link)
- "Finding the Obscure and the Elusive: Geographic Information On the Web". A presentation by James L. Tanner at Rootstech 2013 html version, pdf
- Smith, Max Place Name Rootsweb India Mailing List 1 December 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2014