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India Office Library: Western language printed books

Among our collections relating to Asia and the Middle East are approximately 150,000 books and journals in western languages from the former East India Company Library and its successor the India Office Library. These are a rich resource for the study of the East India Company and pre-Independence India. The Library's coverage was not confined to the Indian subcontinent but ranged as far as Persia, Japan, Canton, St Helena and the Cape of Good Hope.

View of the East India House

View of the East India House, Leadenhall Street, London, 1796. Copyright © The British Library Board


Readers can consult most western language material relating to Asia, the Pacific and Africa in any British Library reading room at St Pancras, but guidance on the historic collections is best sought in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room.

Read more about the History and scope of these collections.

Further information about the British Library’s full range of resources for study of the area covered by the India Office Library can be found on the pages relevant to South Asian studies and Middle East studies.   For information about journals for the study of Asia see Asia, Pacific and Africa: Periodicals and newspapers.