India Office Records

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The India Office Records are held in the Asia, Pacific & Africa Collection (APAC) at the British Library. They are the documentary archives of the administration in London of the pre-1947 government of India and are made up from the archives of the East India Company (1600-1858), the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (1784-1858), the India Office (1858-1947), the Burma Office (1937-1948) and many other related British overseas agencies. Records may be viewed in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room.

If your ancestor was employed as a civilian in any arm of government, such as the police, post office, railways or civil service, then his records are most likely to be kept at the IOR collection. This also applies if your ancestor served in the East India Company Army, but not the British Army.

A number of indexes and transcribed records can be found online on the FIBIS database and other websites. However these are merely a snapshot of the whole collection. Many of the records have also been microfilmed by the LDS and can be made available for examination at local Family History Centres. However, generally, a visit would have to be made to the British Library to obtain the full background to your research.

The National Archives search facility 'Access to Archives' can be used to search the India Office catalogue. The link below goes directly to this search.

This FIBIS Blog indicates that some records are to be digitised and should be available online from early 2012 through the commercial site

Visiting the archive

See the British Library article for visiting and access information.

Related articles

External Links