Connections & Dislocations: India’s Place in Global Book History

5:30–7:00 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


Graham Shaw is the former Head of Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections at the British Library, London, which include significant archival holdings, both in the narrower sense of government records (the East India Company and India Office Records) and in the wider sense of manuscript and other special materials (Western and Asian-language manuscripts, historical prints, drawings and photographs, etc.).

After graduating in Hindi and Sanskrit from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 1969, he worked in the Library of the School as a South Asian Languages Cataloguer before joining the British Library in 1974. For the first ten years of his British Library career, he was Curator in charge of the North Indian language collections – Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, etc. In 1982 he was co-compiler of The Bibliography of South Asian periodicals and in 1985 co-editor of the Library’s catalogue of Publications proscribed by the Government of India.

Beginning in 1987 he was a member of the senior management team directing the Library’s Asian collections. In 1990-91 he played a key role in physically amalgamating the India Office Library & Records (formerly part of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office) with the Department of Oriental Manuscripts and Printed Books to create one Asian ‘super-department’. In 1998 he masterminded the move of the combined department from its location near Waterloo into the new St Pancras flagship building. He has participated in many high-level reviews within the Library including collection development, document supply, and preservation, and from 2002-05 he directed the British Library’s largest digitization project to date, Collect Britain, sponsored by the New Opportunity Fund.

He is well-known nationally and internationally in the field of Asian studies librarianship, and continues to pursue his research into the history of the book in South Asia, on which he has published a large number of articles as well as books including Printing in Calcutta to 1800 (1981) and the South Asia and Burma retrospective bibliography (SABREB) Stage 1: 1556-1800 (1987).

Please click here to register