The Asiatic Society
( Founded in 1784 )

1, PARK STREET, KOLKATA : 700 016
INDIA



THE FOUNDER

HISTORY

1| 2 | 3 | 4 | 5


The Society also proved to be a pivotal centre of Oriental studies and research and extended extended its helping hand to the other two major centres of activity that paved the way to the Indian Renaissance, namely, the College at Fort William and the Serampore Mission of William Carey. In 1805 a proposal came to the Asiatic Society from the Serampore Mission to publish classical Sanskrit works with their English translations, and the first book chosen for this was the Sanskrit epic, Ramayana. For this purpose the Society spent from its fund five thousand and five hundred rupees. From 1788 till its cessation in 1839 the journal Asiatic Researches ran into twenty volumes and was superseded by the Journal of the Asiatic Society, henceforth the official organ of the Society. The Society also started in 1905 a new serial entitled the Memoirs which was discontinued in 1933. The nucleus of the Society's own library was formed soon after the building was completed in 1808. The Fort William College which was helped a lot academically by the Society, presented books to the Society from its own collection, and another valuable collection of books came from the Palace Library of Tipu Sultan in 1808.

The Society also started a public museum under its own auspices in 1814 and its first Superintendent was Dr. Nathaniel Wallich. Some of the famous contributions of the Asiatic Society during the first thirty years are as follows:

William Jones's Third Annual Discourse in 1788 on Indo-European Language and Culture;

Charles Wilkins's 'A Royal Grant of Land on a Copper Plate' in 1788;

S. Davis's 'On Astronomical Calculations of the Hindus' in 1795;

H. T. Colebrooke's 'On the Duties of a Faithful Hindu Widow' in 1795;

J. Duncan's 'Discovery of Two Urns in the Vicinity of Benares' in 1797;

H. T. Colebrooke's 'On the Vedas' in 1805;

J. Malcolm's 'Sketch of the Sikhs' in 1810;

F. Wilford's 'On the Ancient Geography of India' in 1815 and

E. Strachey's 'On Early History of Algebra' in 1816.

It may be mentioned that two decades before Ram Mohan Roy's first tract on Sati it was H. T. Colebrooke who proved from the early texts that the practice of Sati was a gross deviation from the authentic tradition. The founding fathers of the Asiatic Society were responsible for the rediscovery of India and her past.



                                                                                                                                                                                    Next Page

COPYRIGHT:© 2007  THE ASIATIC SOCIETY, 1 PARK STREET KOLKATA: 700 016, INDIA   ALL RIGHT RESERVED


Developed for The Asiatic Society