Partha's project, supervised by British Library curators Antonia Moon and Penny Brook, explored British Library collections around the theme of ‘Nationalism, Independence, Partition in South Asia, 1900-1950’. During his Chevening Fellowship, he built a database of relevant resources designed to help researchers discover this material more easily. The database references a wide range of material: official documents, audio recordings newspaper reports, paintings and images. It also mentions some complementary collections available at other institutions.
The selection prioritises common people’s responses to South Asian Nationalism and Partition over official documents. Although some important official documents are mentioned, the Project focused on tracing popular participation in those historical events and ideas, both in South Asia and in Europe.
The project centered around two key events, which both had significant repercussions not only on the emergence of South Asian Nationalism but also on the future course of the history of the subcontinent. The sources Partha selected around these themes are accessible here:
Given the enormity of the British Library archive and the limited research period, the project remains unfinished and there are more resources left to be explored. The incompleteness of the project is a testimony to the vastness of the British Library collections, and the complex patterns of South Asian colonial history.