Finding Aid

British Colonial Policy and Intelligence Files on Asia and the Middle East, c. 1880-1950

Published by IDC Publishers, 2006

Descriptive Summary

Creator: India Office, UK Government Department
Title: British Colonial Policy and Intelligence Files on Asia and the Middle East
Dates: 1888-1950
Abstract: The materials consist of British Intelligence Files on India, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf States, China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Turkey
Languages: Materials predominantly in English, with some in Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi and other (local languages)
Extent: 257,785 exposures ; 4597 microfiches
Ordernumber: CIT-1 - CIT-8 ; IPI-1 - IPI-17 ; BIA-1 - BIA-9 ; BII-1 - BII-10 ; BIP-1 - BIP-5 ; BIS-1 - BIS-8 ; BIC-1 - BIC-2 ; BGS-1 - BGS-4 ; BIY-1 - BIY-4; BIT-1 - BIT-4

Location of Originals

Filmed from the originals held by: British Library, Oriental & India Office Collections (OIOC). In 2003, the OIOC was integrated into the British Library's Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections.

Scope and Content

The files detail British colonial administration and intelligence gathering. They comprise a wide variety of papers received from the Government of India Foreign Department and other sources in India, and from the Foreign Office in London, together with India Office-generated minuting, comment and replies.

The main themes that the files and printed matter provide documentation for are:

Close to all items in the series were classified secret, confidential, restricted or for official use only.

Strict rules of custody meant that the printed matter, held and consulted at other locations that the India Office, periodically had to be destroyed. The full runs of such print at the OIOC/Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections of the British Library constitute a range of documentation that is not equaled anywhere else.


This collection is organized into the following series and subseries:

Selected Search Terms

Geographical Terms
Afghanistan -- History -- Sources.
Asia, Central -- Foreign relations
Asia, Central -- History -- Sources.
Burma -- History -- Sources
China -- History -- Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901.
China -- History -- Sources.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- Administration.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- Asia.
Great Britain -- Influence, Colonial.
India -- History -- 20th century -- Sources.
India -- History -- Sources.
Iran -- History -- Sources.
Iraq -- History -- Sources.
Kazakhstan -- History
Kuwait -- History -- Sources.
Kyrgyzstan -- History
Middle East -- History -- Sources.
Persian Gulf Region -- History.
Persian Gulf.
Saudi Arabia -- History.
South Asia -- History -- Sources.
Tajikistan -- History
Tibet (China) -- History -- Sources.
Turkey -- History.
Turkmenistan -- History
Uzbekistan -- History
Yemen (Republic) --History.
Colonies -- Administration.
Military intelligence -- Administration.
Petroleum -- Concessions.
Petroleum -- Prospecting.
Petroleum law and legislation -- Persian Gulf Region.