From 16th-century origins as a trading venture to the East Indies, through to its rise as the world’s most powerful company and de facto ruler of India, to its demise amid allegations of greed and corruption – the East India Company was an extraordinary force in global history for three centuries. This digital resource allows students and researchers to access a vast and remarkable collection of primary source documents from the India Office Records held by the British Library, the single most important archive for the study of the East India Company. From the Company’s charter in 1600 to Indian independence in 1947, East India Company tells the story of trade with the East; politics; and the rise and fall of the British Empire. It records the challenges of a globalising world and sheds light on many contrasting narratives – from records of powerful political figures, through to the lives of native populations and the individual traders who lived and worked at the edge of Empire. This incredible story is told through the manuscript records of the period, with over 1.2 million pages of content digitised. This ambitious project transforms the accessibility of these archival documents, with enhanced viewing and browsing tools allowing for easy navigation. This is simply an essential resource for scholarship of British imperial history; maritime trade; global commerce, and the history of the first great multinational corporation.
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