Author: Nandini Chatterjee

The Vigat Catalogues and Family Archives in Rajasthan

By Elizabeth Thelen In Rajasthani, the term ‘vigat’ is used commonly to refer to an account, details, explanation or list. It finds broad use in seventeenth and eighteenth-century records. The vigat of metal utensils supplied to a royal household listed the number and value of each object sent; officials asked…

Red fort documents: Edward Colebrooke’s letter

Posted by Nandini Chatterjee On behalf of Prof. Chander Shekhar The Red Fort’s collection of Persian documents continues to tell us much about the colonial use of the Persian language and the evolution of letter-writing and legal drafting styles. The mammoth series, Calendar of Persian Correspondence, recently republished by Primus…

When and where did the Persianate end?

Nandini Chatterjee With Fahad Bishara, Ghulam Nadri, Huntington Lyman Stebbins, Elizabeth Thelen and Dominic Vendell The worldwide pandemic has affected all of us in the Lawforms project in different ways. But it has not stopped us from keeping those really interesting conversations going. In the Lawforms team, with members physically situated…

Forms of Law and Digital Editing

By Dr Lizzy Williamson (Digital Humanities Lead) In 2019, Nandini Chatterjee, Elizabeth Thelen and Dominic Vendell began the text encoding work that will result in the online publication of a selection of early modern Persianate legal texts. As Digital Humanities Lead on this project, I am enabling this work through…

Summer School ‘Working in an Indian Archive,’ Hyderabad, August 19-30, 2019

By Elizabeth Thelen A sign for the Summer School on the MANUU campusDuring the last two weeks of August, 30 young scholars from around the world gathered on the campus of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad for a summer school on reading Indo-Persian documents. I was fortunate…

Fragments and archives: conversations in UvA, Charlottesville

Fahad Bishara, in conversation with Nandini Chatterjee In October 2018, I visited the beautiful University of Virginia at Charlottesville, to discuss the project and its activities with one of the key team members, the upcoming star of legal history, Prof. Fahad Bishara. HIs first book, A Sea of Debt, is deservedly making waves!…

A workshop on Persian documents, royal decrees and the Naya Hukm-nāma (the New Ordinance) by Javed Akhtar

Guest post by Fouzia Farooq Ahmed Naya Hukm-nāma by Fouzia Farooq Ahmed Attending the July 2018 conference on Forms of Law in the Early Modern Persianate World, 17th-19th centuries was a unique opportunity for me to delve into the politics behind the form and production of the Persianate official documents. Scholars presenting their…

The Persianate Papertrail of a Maharashtrian Brahman Family Firm

By Dominic Vendell During the nine-odd months that I spent in Pune, Maharashtra for my Ph.D. fieldwork, I periodically visited the Bharat Itihas Samshodhak Mandal (BISM), a fantastic archival and research institution with a collection of 2,000 or so rumals focused on the papers of local landed families and service households…

A Persian-Bengali dictionary: Politics of purity in lexicographical space 

Guest post by Mr. A.B.M. Shamsuddoza KOLKATA CHRONICLE During my recent trip to Kolkata*, I came across a lexicographical work titled Parsik Abhidhan (Persian Dictionary) at the rare section of the National Library of India. It is a Persian-Bengali bilingual dictionary compiled by Jaygopal Tarkalanker (1775-1846). The dictionary was published…

Fieldwork in Marathi zone, Dec17-Jan18

I went to Pune in Dec-Jan 2017-18 in order to conduct a preliminary survey of the material available. I returned with an embarrassment of riches, and with an heightened understanding of the long-term and multi-layered presence of Persian in the Marathi-writing zone of the India subcontinent. I was fortunate to…

On scripting Bengali

A couple of months ago, I wrote a guest blog post for কথকতা, a really interesting blog edited by my friend Mr. Mohammad Sajjadur Rahman. It took a lot of prodding on Sajjad’s part to get me to write in Bengali, in the course of which, I made some very…
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