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Books > History > Architecture > Annual Report - 1902-1903
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Annual Report  - 1902-1903
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Annual Report - 1902-1903
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Introduction
Some opening words of explanation seem needed in this the inaugural issue of a new "Annual," to show not only the object and scope of the publication, but the circumstances which have brought it into existence.

More than two years ago, while the idea of an Archaeological "Annual "was being discussed in the Government of India, a correspondent in the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in London happened simultaneously to give expression to the popular need of such a publication. He had just chanced upon a summarised account at second hand of Mr. Rea's interesting excavations in Southern India (described in Mr. Rea's annual report to the Madras Government), and was moved thereby to the following remarks :-"

This annual report, being embodied in a ' G. O.,' is circulated among a few favoured individuals and institutions, but it does not reach the public. What we want are annual volumes, such as those produced by the Egypt Exploration Fund. These volumes are published every year. They embody the outcome of the previous season's work. They possess no finality. They are not kept back, as our Indian volumes are kept back, until some great specialist shall have assimilated every-thing that can be known, and can write with certainty his full and deliberate convictions. And the result is that, while in every civilised country the work going on in Egypt is watched with intense interest by numbers of people who do not profess to possess any great scientific knowledge of the subject, and while therefore the societies engaged are supplied with funds which enable them to carry on the excavations and print their volumes, the labours of the Indian Archaeological Department fall, invariably, dead and lifeless. Whatever is being done in India is done almost n secret, and everybody knows that nothing will be heard of it for fifteen or twenty years, so that no one cares to support it. If we could have for India annual volumes such as we have for Egypt, I am confident that the Royal Asiatic Society and the Indian Exploration Fund would receive numbers of new adherents, and the value of their work would be greatly increased."

It will be observed that the complaint was not of the absence of publications but of the absence of regular periodical publications which should promptly announce to the world all the latest results of the current work of the Archaeological Survey, while the interest of the discoveries was still fresh. In point of fact quite a number of notable archaeological volumes had from time to time been produced in India,-notable for their splendid originality and scholarship ; and some account of these works will be in place here as explaining why, not with-standing their merits, they necessarily left a great gap unfilled. By such a retrospect also the reader will be enabled to perceive at once the essential difference in motive between all past publications of the Archaeological Department in India and this new "Annual."

Of the yearly Provincial reports it is not necessary to speak here. They were (and still are) reports prepared for official perusal, and, though not withheld from the public, rarely came in the way of attracting general attention, nor indeed would their admixture of purely administrative detail with archaeological material have afforded very inviting fare for the multitude. The literary works of the Survey which have brought Indian archaeological research before the public in a worthy and permanent form are the massive reports of the Imperial Series (associated for the most part with the name of Dr. Burgess) and the District Reports of General. Cunningham.

Of the quality of Dr. Burgess's reports it would not be easy to speak in overstrained praise. But Dr. Burgess made no pretence of conducting a com-prehensile and connected survey of the Indian continent by a system of simultaneous progress in its various parts; nor did it occur to him to publish periodical reports of his own important discoveries, at the time they were made. A specialist in his tastes, Dr. Burgess concentrated his rare abilities on special classes of antique-ties or on special tracts whose peculiar interest fascinated him. Such books as The Buddhist Caves of Western India and The Antiquities of the Bidder and Aurangabad Districts exemplify this trait. More than that, the publication of each report was usually delayed until enough material had been accumulated and studied to enable a complete monograph to be produced, that should be fit to stand as the final word on the subject for the next generation During the 29 years from 1874 to 1902 as many as 32 miscellaneous volumes of the Imperial Series saw the light without any semblance of periodicity ; that is to say, sometimes one volume appeared in five years, sometimes five volumes came out in one year ; and there are still large tracts of India and Further India which have been left quite untouched.

It should be added that Dr. Burgess had nine coadjutors, who were separately responsible between them for 19 of the 32 volumes, all of which contribute in varying degrees to the monumental value of the Imperial Series.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages










Annual Report - 1902-1903

Item Code:
NAX417
Cover:
HARDCOVER
Edition:
2002
Language:
English
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11.50 X 9.00 inch
Pages:
300 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
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Weight of the Book: 1.93 Kg
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Introduction
Some opening words of explanation seem needed in this the inaugural issue of a new "Annual," to show not only the object and scope of the publication, but the circumstances which have brought it into existence.

More than two years ago, while the idea of an Archaeological "Annual "was being discussed in the Government of India, a correspondent in the journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in London happened simultaneously to give expression to the popular need of such a publication. He had just chanced upon a summarised account at second hand of Mr. Rea's interesting excavations in Southern India (described in Mr. Rea's annual report to the Madras Government), and was moved thereby to the following remarks :-"

This annual report, being embodied in a ' G. O.,' is circulated among a few favoured individuals and institutions, but it does not reach the public. What we want are annual volumes, such as those produced by the Egypt Exploration Fund. These volumes are published every year. They embody the outcome of the previous season's work. They possess no finality. They are not kept back, as our Indian volumes are kept back, until some great specialist shall have assimilated every-thing that can be known, and can write with certainty his full and deliberate convictions. And the result is that, while in every civilised country the work going on in Egypt is watched with intense interest by numbers of people who do not profess to possess any great scientific knowledge of the subject, and while therefore the societies engaged are supplied with funds which enable them to carry on the excavations and print their volumes, the labours of the Indian Archaeological Department fall, invariably, dead and lifeless. Whatever is being done in India is done almost n secret, and everybody knows that nothing will be heard of it for fifteen or twenty years, so that no one cares to support it. If we could have for India annual volumes such as we have for Egypt, I am confident that the Royal Asiatic Society and the Indian Exploration Fund would receive numbers of new adherents, and the value of their work would be greatly increased."

It will be observed that the complaint was not of the absence of publications but of the absence of regular periodical publications which should promptly announce to the world all the latest results of the current work of the Archaeological Survey, while the interest of the discoveries was still fresh. In point of fact quite a number of notable archaeological volumes had from time to time been produced in India,-notable for their splendid originality and scholarship ; and some account of these works will be in place here as explaining why, not with-standing their merits, they necessarily left a great gap unfilled. By such a retrospect also the reader will be enabled to perceive at once the essential difference in motive between all past publications of the Archaeological Department in India and this new "Annual."

Of the yearly Provincial reports it is not necessary to speak here. They were (and still are) reports prepared for official perusal, and, though not withheld from the public, rarely came in the way of attracting general attention, nor indeed would their admixture of purely administrative detail with archaeological material have afforded very inviting fare for the multitude. The literary works of the Survey which have brought Indian archaeological research before the public in a worthy and permanent form are the massive reports of the Imperial Series (associated for the most part with the name of Dr. Burgess) and the District Reports of General. Cunningham.

Of the quality of Dr. Burgess's reports it would not be easy to speak in overstrained praise. But Dr. Burgess made no pretence of conducting a com-prehensile and connected survey of the Indian continent by a system of simultaneous progress in its various parts; nor did it occur to him to publish periodical reports of his own important discoveries, at the time they were made. A specialist in his tastes, Dr. Burgess concentrated his rare abilities on special classes of antique-ties or on special tracts whose peculiar interest fascinated him. Such books as The Buddhist Caves of Western India and The Antiquities of the Bidder and Aurangabad Districts exemplify this trait. More than that, the publication of each report was usually delayed until enough material had been accumulated and studied to enable a complete monograph to be produced, that should be fit to stand as the final word on the subject for the next generation During the 29 years from 1874 to 1902 as many as 32 miscellaneous volumes of the Imperial Series saw the light without any semblance of periodicity ; that is to say, sometimes one volume appeared in five years, sometimes five volumes came out in one year ; and there are still large tracts of India and Further India which have been left quite untouched.

It should be added that Dr. Burgess had nine coadjutors, who were separately responsible between them for 19 of the 32 volumes, all of which contribute in varying degrees to the monumental value of the Imperial Series.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages










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