Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Book of the Month: Mapping India

The beautifully illustrated and presented Mapping India by Manosi Lahiri, published this year by Niyogi Books in New Dehli, is a new addition to a number of works we hold which look at the act of mapping and India. These include Ian J. Barrow's Making history, drawing territory : British mapping in India, c. 1756-1905, Matthew H. Edney's Mapping an empire : the geographical construction of British India, 1765-1843, and Susan Gole's Indian maps and plans : from earliest times to the advent of European surveys.

Mapping India examines the mapping of India over the last 500 years, looking at the influence of war and commerce as the driving force for the mapping of India, and changes in cartography and access to maps through to the beginning of the 21st century. The book presents some of the famous maps which have depicted India and also influence cartography in India for several centuries.They reflect the influence and role fo the East India Company, of colonialism and of independence, and include maps of Partition, migration and famines.

Covering a broad period this work is notable for the beautiful reproductions of maps held in repositories including many Indian archives, especially previously classified (and therefore not made available to the public) maps in the National Archives of India; the British Library; the Royal Geographical Society; the Asiatic Society, Kolkata; the Asiatic Society of Mumbai; the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum at the City Palace, Jaipurl and the Susan Gole Collection at the Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Dehli.

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