The East India Company (EIC) sponsored topographical and revenue surveys of many South Indian regions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Each project typically yielded large scale maps of its target region, as well as narrative ‘memoirs’ that describe the place, people, animals, and climate. These documents are of considerable research interest to the modern historian because they were based partly on direct observation and partly on pargana, district, taluk, and village records, including such diverse, and now quite rare, sources as khanasumari census returns, kaifiyats, kaditas, temple records, and local genealogies. Few of these invaluable surveys were ever published. Most reside as old manuscript drawings and narratives tucked away in Indian and British archives where few researchers, and even fewer modern residents of the surveyed regions, ever see them.
This post is a working list of of lesser known published memoirs. Please feel free to email me with bibliographical information about memoirs and journals not mentioned here, or add this information in a comment at the end of this post. Continue reading