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India and Southeast Asia: Prints

Portraits of British and Indian personages, and social scenes in India and Southeast Asia, from the mid-17th century onwards. This collection of prints is held in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections.

The coach-building premises of Steuart and Co

The coach-building premises of Steuart and Co., Old Court House Corner, Calcutta, coloured aquatint after an unknown artist by F. Jukes, London, 1795. P 2382. Copyright © The British Library Board


The print collection is mainly of British prints. They include portraits of British and Indian personages, and social scenes in India and Southeast Asia, but are especially important for topography. There are also some prints published in France, Germany and Holland. 

The collection, taken in conjunction with the illustrated western language books from the India Office Library, is one of the most comprehensive in existence. It includes, for example, aquatints after William Hodges, Thomas and William Daniell, Henry Salt, James Baillie Fraser and Robert Smith, many rare sets of 19th century lithographs, and an almost complete range of prints of Calcutta. Illustrated books are to be found in the relevant catalogues and may be consulted in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room.

A catalogue of Indian topographical prints is in course of preparation. Those from Southeast Asia have been described in a catalogue by Pauline Rohatgi and John Bastin (1979). For an account of Indian topographical prints, see Rohatgi (1989). About 3,000 loose prints, accessed by P. numbers.

Online Catalogue


Prints, Drawings and Photographs Section
Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7856/7327/7663
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641