Collaborative research on the meterological and botanical history of the Indian ocean, 1600-1900.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: Sch of History, Art History & Philosophy

Abstract

The proposed network aims to address the sense of global concern associated with the threat of anthropogenic climate change by:
(a) Attempting to plug the gaps in our knowledge of human induced climate change by uncovering historical records that help us understand climate and environmental change in the last 400 years. European intellectual engagement with the environments of empire over four centuries produced a corpus of documentary sources on the environment. The use of colonies for environmental experimentation resulted in locations in South Asia, Southern Africa, Australia and islands such as Mauritius becoming open-air laboratories for scientists attempting to understand, investigate, and manipulate a world of new peoples, species, environments and diseases. These sources have rarely been examined for the information they contain on environmental and climate change.
(b) By redressing the information imbalance in the Global South by creating a group that would bring together data and approaches in the area of climate change and environmental history with groups and researchers concerned with understanding change in the environments on the peripheries of the Indian Ocean.
The network will do this by:
1. Bringing together an interdisciplinary community of researchers from the humanities, social sciences and the natural sciences to debate and conceptualise a database project on plant sciences and climate science of the IOW as documented in the records of the period. Sciences such as historical meteorology, phenology (a study of which species of plants and animals were living in which locations during which period) palynology (study of how much of the pollen of which flowering plants has been preserved in various places like lake sediments) depend on both historical documentary evidence and on physical evidence.
2. Discussing how to combine physical evidence of environmental change, with historical documentary evidence such as colonial records, documentary evidence of indigenous knowledge systems, and practices of natural resource use.

The locations for which we intend to gather and aggregate data are China, Mauritius, East Africa, the Cape, Sri Lanka, Western Australia, South East Asia and India. The region under study is the Indian Ocean World (IOW): an area of primary geo-political importance whose foundations are related to the monsoons, a system of winds and currents unique to the Indian Ocean, Indonesia and South and East China seas. The influence of the monsoon on the land and communities of the Indian Ocean and the inter-connected bodies of water helped to generate long distance trade and and led to an exchange of ideas, commodities and peoples. The intensive maritime voyaging of European mercantile empires after 1500 led to further interactions between indigenous knowledge systems and European ideas resulting in the distinctive environment, society, economy and culture of IOW of the modern period.

CWEH is uniquely positioned to do this as a leading centre in the UK working on the environmental history of the tropics and as a result of its links with other networks such as ACRE and Historic Weather concerned with transcribing, digitising and publishing online various sorts of meteorological data for the period 1700-2000. Our expertise in the tropics has been further established as a result of our collaborative work with Kew and the Natural History Museum (NHM) on specific Indian records relating to natural history and our participation in an AHRC-sponsored meeting in Bangalore in March 2011 on South Asian historical records and climate change which led to another meeting on 'Botany Climate and Empire' in Sussex in May 2011 involving the MET office, Kew Gardens, the British Library and the Natural History Museum.

Planned Impact

The key beneficiaries of the research outside the research community include: librarian and archivists, museum specialists, policy makers in government institutions in the Indian Ocean World and the UK government.

Several librarians and archivists will be involved in the network, including the head of the National Archives of India, the archivists responsible for the India Office collections at the British Library and the Nehru Memorial Library in Delhi, the collections at Kew, the Natural History Museum, at the heads of institutions, such as, the Kolkata Botanic Garden, and the National Museum of Natural History, Delhi. These holding institutions will benefit from the interaction with scholars that this network will provide, firstly in terms of understanding which of their own collections are of interest to scholars of meteorological and botanical history and secondly in becoming aware of one another's holdings and how they might complement one another.

Given the importance of the issue of climatic and environmental change, the data that is generated in the network project will also be important for policy makers, who will benefit from a long-term perspective on climate change and the responses to it from the colonial period onwards.Through the involvement of the MET office in the UK and its counterpart in Pune, we will ensure that the findings of the network reach government institutions in the UK and India, and influence policy concerning climate change research and policy. Both the National Archives of India, and the British Library have strong links with the Indian Ministry of Culture while the National Museum of Natural History comes under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, and thus the findings of the network will also be fed into Indian government policy. The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will benefit from the promotion of UK expertise in how to use historical records to understand climate change as part of its endeavour to promote research partnerships between centres of excellence and towards developing professional and technical skills in education and training which meets the needs on an environmental scholarship for the 21st century.

The discussions during the networking project will include how to involve the wider public in research on an issue that affects every member of global civil society. Through the involvement of museums and libraries, the findings of the network will be transmitted to researchers outside the network and to the general public. It is envisaged that at a future date, academic members of the network will assist with displays and events to make the research visible to these audiences. Members of the Centre for World Environmental History are currently involved in existing projects to digitise and make use of the botanical records of Nathaniel Wallich and Joseph Dalton Hooker. As part of these projects we have taken part in public conferences and meetings and aided with the design of displays. These include helping to organise a public meeting on Nathanial Wallich and Indian natural history 6th and 7th December and a major public conference and museum display on Joseph Hooker at Kew Garden on the 9 December.

The overall impact of the network will be an increase both academic and non-academic collaboration around a critical issue, between the UK, Commonwealth partners in the Indian Ocean, and China. The potential impacts are environmental - in terms of the potential benefits for our understanding of human interaction with nature over the longue durée; cultural - in terms of the potential for exchange and personnel between countries; technological - in terms of the planned road map for large-scale digitisation; and have the potential to influence public policy, particularly in the UK and India.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Art and Empire video documentary, Natural History Museum 
Description A video documentary on Art and Empire at the Natural History Museum which was part of an exhibition on Indian collections. 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2013 
Impact The museum display and the film highlighted the significance of these collections as part of the environmental history of empire. The PI on the AHRC project, Vinita Damodaran was the academic consultant in this video documentary and appeared in it. 
URL http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/art-nature-imaging/collections/india-collection/history-and-conte...
 
Title Hooker India correspondence project 
Description The result of our collaborations with Kew has resulted in the development of co-produced project on Hooker and India which is now hosted on the Kew website http://www.kew.org/learn/library-art-archives/joseph-hooker/joseph-hooker-project-team-and-partners 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2014 
Impact This transcription project on Indian Collections inititated by our team at the University of Sussex was part of an MOU with Kew. It led to the hosting of the collection on the Kew website transcribed by a team of researchers from Sussex. The project according to the outgoing Head of the Library, Art and Archives has resulted in a 'lot of traffic on the Kew site'. 
URL http://www.kew.org/learn/library-art-archives/joseph-hooker/correspondence
 
Title Joseph Hooker botanical trail blazer and the environmental heritage of India museum display with a woman scientist, the life and times of the woman botanist E.K. Janaki Ammal. 
Description The Hooker exhibition which was originally curated by Kew for their own exhibition. It traveled to India as part of the follow on grant for impact and engagement to the Botanical Survey of India gallery of the Indian Museum in September, 2016. BSI added a lot of new exhibits of local relevance. We further curated another exhibition on the renowned Indian woman botanist, E.K. Janaki Ammal, the first director of the Botanical Survey of India. The exhibition received a lot of press coverage in the national and regional press. In 2017 the exhibition moved to Delhi to more audiences 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact This exhibition now is part of an ongoing school project which involves two Bengali medium vernacular schools in Kolkata on the environmental heritage of India. The students of the participating schools were very enthusiastic about the project which involves a trip both to the Botanical Survey of India gallery and the Kolkata Botanic garden. We have photographs and feedback forms that demonstrate their deep enjoyment of the outputs of the project and the efforts of the scientists in explaining the garden and the curator in explaining the museum exhibit. Around 240 school children participated in the project. With further funding we hope to be able to take this school project on the environmental heritage of India to further metropolitan schools in order to educate urban secondary school children about the value of natural history heritage. 
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean/schoolproject
 
Description The AHRC networking grant on the botanical and meteorological history of the Indian Ocean has helped to create a network of 105 members which includes holding institutions such as libraries and archives and academics from a number of countries in India and the Indian ocean world with an aim to enhance the use of historical records to understand environmental and climate change in the period 1600-1900. This is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, Dutch, French and Portuguese brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. They also closely documented the impact of European colonisation on flora and fauna and on the natural world in general by keeping meticulous records in botany, zoology, meteorology and other branches of the natural sciences. These are now proving invaluable for understanding long term climate and environmental change in a global context. The network aimed to address the sense of global concern associated with the threat of anthropogenic climate change by attempting to plug gaps in our knowledge of human induced climate change by (a)uncovering historical records that help us understand climate and environmental change in the last 400 years and (b) by redressing the information balance in the Global South by creating a group that would bring together data and approaches in the arena of climate change and environmental history with groups and researchers concerned with understanding change in the environments on the periphery of the Indian ocean.

We were successful in both these aims having brought together a very active team of holding institutions and scholars in an interdisciplinary context to debate and conceptualise a database project on plant sciences and climate science of the IOW world as documented in the records of the period. This included detailed discussions of how to combine physical evidence of environmental change with historical documentary evidence such as colonial records, documentary evidence of indigenous knowledge systems and practices of natural resource use. In terms of knowledge exchange we were particularly successful having got together the Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, the Indian Museum Kolkata, the British Library, The U.K. Met office, the Natural History Museum and Kew Gardens in a collaborative exercise also aimed to redress the information balance in the global south in the area of botanical and climate history. For the Botanical Survey of India this has resulted in a further collaborative exercise with Kew for the creation of a database of Indian plant types held in major British herbaria. The Centre for Environmental History, (CWEH) is hoping to be the chief liaison institution in this process. We have been very busy in this reporting year. We co-curated a major exhibition with Kew and BSI that was hosted at the BSI gallery of the Indian Museum in Kolkata. We also organised a school project for 240 children to introduce urban secondary school students to India natural history heritage. The exhibition toured Delhi in 2017. We have also completed a database on seventeenth century disasters, famines, floods and droughts for India in the context of climate change along with our long standing collaborator in the Met Office, Prof Rob Allan. More recently we have started a new collaboration with Asia Scotland trust to restore Roxburgh house as a climate change centre in the Kolkata botanic garden.
Exploitation Route The Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) which I am the director of is a leading centre in the U.K. working on the environmental history of the tropics. The AHRC funding has further helped the Centre to establish its position as a liaison between various holding institution and archives and various scholars from the Indian Ocean world on scoping and digistising historical records related to environmental and climate change. As a result of the activities of the network, holding institutions such as the BL, The NHM, Kew Gardens, The Botanical Survey of India, The Forest Research Institute, The National Archives India, The Indian Museum have benefited from interaction with scholars, firstly in terms of understanding which of their collections are of interest to scholars of meteorological and botanical history and secondly in terms of becoming aware of one another's holdings and how they might complement one another. This has led for example in the Global South in a successful attempt by the Botanical survey of India to preserve and digitise its colonial manuscript collections on Indian botany and to put together a further proposal with Kew Gardens for creating a database of Indian plant types held in major British herbaria. This is critical to the creation of a new Flora of India project. Through our links with the BL and Met office we are raising awareness of the records as a source for climate studies. Some of the hard data we have uncovered could contribute to data modelling exercises being undertaken by the Met office. A further small Canadian Research council grant via the University of Mcgill to CWEH for a climate modelling exercise has been enabled by this AHRC grant. More recently in 2016 we have been awarded a Norwegian grant to work on climate change, uncertainity and social transformation and are working on historical climate date in two fragile environments, the Sundarbans and Kutch. We have also built up the environmental history curriculum at the university level in a provincial university at Kolkan. More recently we have facilitated the MOU between NHM and BSI to digitally repatriate the over 100,000 plant specimens held at NHM as a result of our network activities. This is work that can be reproduced at Kew and the Edinburgh botanic garden
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Description The network on the meteorological and botanical history of the Indian Ocean 1600-1900 aimed to address the serious global challenges of environmental and climate change through an interdisciplinary approach to historical records that document alterations to the climate and environment and responses to them. The network built up as a result of the AHRC network grant has 105 members. These include librarians and archivists in holding institutions such as the British Library, Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum in the U.K, Indian institutions such as the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) in Kolkata, the Indian Museum in Kolkata and the Natonal Archives in Delhi and academics from a range of universities from Malaysia, India, U.K. and Australia. The network had three meetings in U.K. and India and several steering committee and technical committee meetings. These were very successful meetings, attended by 50 scholars and archivists each, as a scoping exercise of archival collections and a discussion of the relevance of these to the problems of environmental and climate change in the Indian Ocean region. There were also detailed discussions and presentations of papers by members of the technical committee on the development of an interpretative framework for the records through a discussion of capture, presentation and metadata of the sources. The discussions on the technical and intellectual infrastructure for an interactive online database for these digitised collections have been invaluable in taking these ideas forward for holding institutions such as libraries and archives within the network. All the detailed discussions and the workshop minutes are available via URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean. More recently CWEH and the AHRC network are listed in the INDARE (Indian Ocean Data Rescue) implementation plan that was signed by several countries of the Indian Ocean Rim at a senior government level to preserve the climate heritage of the Indian Ocean. http://www.gfcs-climate.org/node/1 As a result of these meetings the Botanical Survey of India, the Indian Museum and the Forest Research Institute, Dehradhun are attempting to conserve and digitise their vast holdings for example on meteorological data and historic botanical collections. In the Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, this exercise has resulted in the rescue and digitisation of the 33 Volumes of Nathanial Wallich's manuscript files and some of his herbarium specimens from the 1820s. Along with the transcription of Joseph Hooker's India letters 1848-52 which also emerged as a result of the ongoing discussions between CWEH and Kew Gardens further facilitated by the award, these resources provide an invaluable source for the environmental history of India. These letters are hosted on the Kew website. http://www.kew.org. As a result of the successful meetings of the network, a memorandum of understanding has also been signed between the University of Sussex, the British Library and the U.K Met office to share historic weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental and climate change in the Indian Ocean World. There is also a further proposal being currently discussed with the British Library to have a display of holdings relating to indigenous sources on Indian environmental history at the BL such as manuscripts from the endangered collections in the Sundarbans region of Bengal and a further proposal, in discussion with Kew Gardens, the Botanical Survey of India and the Indian Museum to bring the Hooker exhibition to the Indian Museum in Kolkata in 2017 the year of Hooker's bi-centenary. The Hooker exhibition was successfully taken to India in 2016. It was a grand success as the BSI added to the exhibition with its own holdings. We also co-curated an exhibition on the first female director of the BSI E.K. Janakiammal. The exhibition opened to wide audiences had wide publcity in the Indian press. It was also accompanied by a school project which was done in conjunction with BSI scientists and involved 240 school children to introduce them to the botanical heritage of India. The students really enjoyed the project and responded well. Details of the project can be found on our website with photos. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean/schoolproject. More recently we have been collaborating with the Asia Scotland trust about the restoration of Roxburgh house in the Kolkata botanic garden
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Environment,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Economic

 
Description Conservation of Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic Garden as an interpretation centre
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170809/jsp/calcutta/story_166277.jsp
 
Description Influence on policy at the level of the World Meterological Organisation in Maputo in April, 2014 on data rescue for the Indian Ocean Rim countries
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL http://www.gfcs-climate.org/node/1
 
Description Influence on policy of Indian institutions such as the Botanical Survey of India by helping to create an inventory of their manuscript holdings on natural history.
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact The rescuing of India's climate and environmental data will help improve understandings of climate change and environmental sustainability in the long term. The growing efforts by Indian institutions such as the Botanical Survey of India, the National Archives of India and the Indian Museum to highlight their natural history collections are a result of our initiatives. There is a proposal by the BSI to digitise Hooker's herbarium held in U.K. collections to help with the creation of their new flora of India project. This will have a very big impact on policy.
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Description Influencing policy of Botanical Survey of India and the National Museum of Natural History on their collections
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact The exhibition in Kolkata on Hooker and the environmental heritage of India was opened by Sri Ajay Narayan Jha, the Secretary of Ministry of Climate change, environment and forests. He was given a tour of the exhibitions by Gina Fullerlove (Kew) and Vinita Damodaran (Sussex). . Ajay Narayan said that he planned four courses of action in response to the exhibition and to a recent meeting with the ZSI. The four courses of action were: 1) building more formalised collaborations between UK, Indian and American governmental ministries dealing with environment; 2) continuing work on digitisation and engaging in discussions about how to speed up this process; 3) involving institutions like NCERT (National Council of Educational Research and Training), to bring the knowledge to the common people, particularly school children; 4) talking to various institutions about touring the exhibition. This impact at a high level. We hope to meet with him further to push these policy imperatives. We also have an ongoing school project with impact on the education of vernacular school children who are appreciating going to the Kolkata Botanic garden and learning about environmental sustainability. More recently the exhibition toured Delhi. We also have had the initiative to digitally repatriate Indian plants from the Natural History Museum to India as part of the exercise to create a new Flora for British India.
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Description Meeting with the secretary of the Indian Ministry of Environment, Climate change and Forests
Geographic Reach Asia 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact In a series of follow on meetings following the setting up of the network on the botanical and meteorological history of the Indian Ocean we have had a series of meetings, both at Sussex, Kolkata and Mysore with the Head of the Botanical Survey of India, Dr Paramjit Singh, with the National Museum of Natural History, Dr Venugopal and Dr Ajay Narayan Jha, Secretary, Ministry, Environment, forests and climate change from 2012-2016 the need to conserve manuscript collections held in Indian institutions pertaining to natural history.As a result of these conversations we are now taking forward a proposal to restore and renovate the house and collection of William Roxburgh one of the first superintendents of the Calcutta botanic garden in the 1780s. As a result the manuscript collections of Nathanial Wallich, the Danish botanist working for the garden in 1814 have been preserved in the Botanical Survey of India archives. The garden has also been opened up to regular visits by school children studying in the Bengali Vernacular and there has been a regular programme of visits arranged for them to see the gallery and the garden and to follow the work of scientists and the curator of the exhibition Dr Saha. This is the first time that such an effort has happened in the garden with such a wide ranging impact. We are hoping to cover 240 school children.
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Description AHRC follow on funding for Impact and Engagement
Amount £100,000 (GBP)
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2016 
End 09/2017
 
Description Canadian Social Science Research Council Grant
Amount $100,000 (CAD)
Organisation Government of Canada 
Department SSHRC - Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
Sector Public
Country Canada
Start 09/2014 
End 03/2015
 
Description Norwegian Research Council
Amount £30,000 (GBP)
Organisation Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) 
Department Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Sector Academic/University
Country Norway
Start 09/2015 
End 01/2017
 
Description Sussex Research fund
Amount £42,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Sussex 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 04/2020
 
Title Archival surveys on natural history collections and endangered archives in the Indian Ocean World 
Description The project has resulted in detailed archival surveys of archives in the Indian Ocean region which will be benificial to future research on climate and environmental change. This is an ongoing project aided by further funding from the Canadian Research Council and the Norwegian Research Council. We are currently conducting an inventory of local archives in Kutch and Sundarbans with a view to understanding their records on natural history. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact This is important research as it has led to the uncovering of several endangered archives whose rescue is of enormous signifcance to a range of scholars from the sciences to humanities and social sciences in India, Malaysia and Bangladesh. This ongoing work by scholars linked to our network. 
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Title Improvement to public display collections of the Botanical Survey of India gallery 
Description By preserving collections and raising awareness of the exiting natural history collections of the British empire held in Indian and British institutions and engaging with these with the wider public through museum exhibitions, visits by school children and conferences 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2014 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The preservation of the Wallich collection in the BSI archives has resulted in renewed number of researchers visiting the Calcutta Botanic Garden in search of the archives. A hand list of the useful papers in the archives was prepared by the post-doctoral researcher which will be put on line on the CWEH website 
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh
 
Title Knowledge exchange and capacity building 
Description Through the activities of the network we have attempted to improve research infrastructure particularly in terms of developing a franework for the digital repatriation of Indian plants speciments held in U.K. institutions 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The Natural History Museum's successful funding to secure 3 Indian scientists to visit the Museum and to help with digital repatriation of Indian plant specimens will have a significant impact on improving India's research infrastructure. 
URL http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2017/november/thousands-of-indian-plants-to-be-digitised-for-the-...
 
Title A website containing a description of resources in key locations 
Description The network allowed for a scoping of the archives and collections relating to botany and meteorology in various locations in the Indian Ocean world. It also helped to develop through the technical committee meetings an interpretative framework for the records through a discussion of capture, presentation and metadata of the sources that will help to enhance the data through commentaries. The scoping of the archives relating to natural history of the IOW world is now available on line through the Centre for World Environmental History's website. We also contributed to the Kew, Hooker and India database.We are currently updating this database with a new inventory of the archives of the BSI 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The collection and transcription of one database on Hooker's India letters has been digitised as part of the joint Sussex University/Kew project on his India correspondence and is available to the wider public on the Kew Website. The BL had a Botany in British India day. The BSI in Kolkata is inventorising and protecting its collections on Hooker. 
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/indianocean
 
Title a data base of seventeenth and eighteenth century disasters including famines, floods and droughts and a climate database 
Description The research funding that followed from the network from the University of Mcgill resulted in us setting up this database on the seveneteenth century crisis in South Asia followed by another database on the impact of ElNino in the eighteenth century 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2016 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We collected data on climate and the environment in the Longue Durée from archives and are interested in making this information understandable to the public in terms of understanding the climate and how we engage with it in the Indian Ocean World. The potential to bring together our data within the MCRI database, the integration of the database to GIS, and the tools in development for ICRA are all exciting. To aid visualisation we hoped to create models concerning the periods surrounding two major volcanic eruptions, reconstructing wind directions and shipping routes with the help of Philip Brohan (Met Office) that shows the composite of all ships routes for the 2 years before and after the volcanic eruptions which will be displayed through a movie loop that shows each new route as it progresses but keeps past routes on the image with new routes changing colour after the volcanic eruptions and having two separate movies for the two volcanic eruptions. This visualization has been completed by two graduate students on the project Melissa Lazenby and Netsanet Alamirew. 
URL http://www.sussex.ac.uk/cweh/research/human-environment-interaction
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation Institute of Development Studies
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation Meteorological Office UK
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation National Museum of Natural History New Delhi
Country India 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation Natural History Museum
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation The Botanical Survey of India
Country India 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description Botanical and Meteorological history of the Indian Ocean 1500-1900 
Organisation The British Library
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The AHRC networking grant made to the Centre for World Environmental History (CWEH) with Damodaran as PI helped facilitate initial networking meetings which have culminated in the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between The University of Sussex, The British Library and The UK Met Office. The 3 have agreed to share historical weather and climate data to enhance understanding of environmental change in the Indian Ocean area during the colonial period. It is a hugely important period as European empires, the British, French, Dutch and Portuguese, brought about an unprecedented transformation of the landscapes and environments on the periphery of the Indian Ocean. The resulting ecological reshaping was closely documented and can be found in various types of colonial and indigenous documents but the issue is finding where relevant historical sources are held. In terms of the botanical record the transcription of an important record of Indian natural history in conjunction with Kew, the Indian letters of Joseph Hooker has resulted in the collaborative Hooker's India letters project, where we are listed as project partners. www.kew.org/josephhooker. We are now preparing to take the collaboration further by taking two exhibitions to India, the first one to Delhi and the second to Kolkata highlighting the role of natural history collections of the empire to a wider audience of school students, the general public and academics. The exhibition with the follow on funding for impact and engagment were extermely successful in addressing the questions of public engagement in Kolkata and Mysore. It was particularly successful in terms of involving secondary school children in the bid to understand and conserve the natural history heritage of India. In this year, the exhibition travelled to Delhi. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in further funding for that institition to bid successfully from the Rutherford Fund to bring 3 scientists from the Botanical Survey of India one of our key collaborators to the NHM for the work of digital repatriation of Indian botanical specimens. This got wide publicity in the Indian and U.K. press. We have now added a new partner to this network which is the Asia Scotland Trust and we are preparing to restore Roxburgh house in the Kolkata Botanic garden as part of this exercise.
Collaborator Contribution CWEH is responsible for identifying relevant historical records , strengthening academic and non-academic networks, providing online hosting for descriptive accounts of the collection and ultimately providing a roadmap for digitising the sources for improved accessibility.The CWEH has already played a key advisory role in helping holding institutions such as Kew, the Natural History Museum and the British Library to establish interconnections between their various collections and those of institutions in South Asia such as the National Library in Kolkata and the Kolkata Botanic Garden. The colonial records include numerous papers and archives compiled by both private individuals and by colonial bureaucracies, naturalists, travellers, missionaries and scientific services. For example, the British Library holds a large collection of transcribed songs from across India that lament the environmental changes caused by the introduction of new crops by the British from the late 19th century. Physical sources include the specimens of plants, animals and geological materials that remain in herbaria and museum collections. Our collaboration with these institutions had helped to take an earlier curated exhibition by Kew to India on Joseph Hooker. This was inaugurated by us in Kolkata and Mysore in 2016 with two very successful exhibitions at the Botanical Survey of India and the Regional Museum of Natural History both institutions are our collaborators. We also had a school project to involve secondary school children to further their understanding of the natural history heritage of India. More recently our collaboration with the Natural History Museum has resulted in BSI and the NHM taking their collaboration further as a result of our network to digitally repatriate over a 100,000 Indian botanical specimens to India. The Asia Scotland trust is actively engaging with us to restore Roxburgh house as a new centre for environmental history and climate change.
Impact The Hooker India letters is also an outcome of this network. http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/collections/joseph-hooker/partners. The Kew/ BSI/NMNH Natural History heritage of India exhibition is an outcome of this collaboration. More recently the collaboration has extended to Mcgill University, Canada and the Norwegian Institute of Social Sciences, Noragric who are collaborating with us on two projects on Human Environment interactions in the Indian Ocean World, 1500 onwards http://indianoceanworldcentre.com/Team_7and Climate change, uncertainity and social transformation (with Institute of Development Studies, (IDS) and Noragric). The digital repatriation of the Indian plants at the Natural History Museum is part of this collaboration exercise and the visit of three Indian scientists to aid with this repatriation exercise had recently been successfully funded.by the Rutherford trust. It is exteremly important for India/U.K. collaboration.
Start Year 2012
 
Description A formal working group on the conservation of Roxburgh House at BSI in Kolkata 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We have created a dialogue by setting up an expert group about the importance to protect Roxburgh House as a heritage and historical site for Indian Botanical heritage. The proposal currently is being decided by the Indian ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170809/jsp/calcutta/story_166277.jsp
 
Description Digital Repatriation of Indian plants 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The network helped to promote links between Indian institutions and British Institutions. As a result of the activities of the network the Botanical Survey of India and the Natural History Museum have collaborated to digitally repatriate 100,000 Indian plant specimens. This has been made possible through the visits of the director of the BSI, Dr Paramjit Singh who is an active network member to network meetings in Sussex and London. See http://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2017/november/thousands-of-indian-plants-to-be-digitised-for-the-first-time.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/indian-flora-records-in-london-to-be-digitally-re...
 
Description Kew BSI exhibition tours Delhi 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The Kew/BSI exhibition after its year long display in Kolkata was taken to Delhi in October 2017 here it had a successful showing over 10 days to a wide audience. It was inaugrated by the Director of the BSI and the Secretary Ministry of Environment. The specialist talk was given by one of our members of the steering committee of the network, Prof Deepak Kumar from JNU.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.millenniumpost.in/features/exploring-the-botanical-heritage-of-india-267873
 
Description Participant in video documentary at the Natural History Museum on Indian collections 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The participation in the short video documentary was viewed by many visitors to the Natural History Museum who were interested in Indian Collections and the museum display. The result of this exercise was to highlight the importance of these collections in holding institutions such as the BL, the Natural History Museum and Kew which host the biggest collections from India and the Indian ocean region. The value of these both in terms of preserving the natural heritage of these countries in the Indian Ocean world and in knowledge creation and knowledge repatriation cannot be underestimated.

As a result there has been a resurgence of interest in inventorying and showcasing these collections among a range of institutions from NHM, to Kew to the BL and Indian institutions such as the National Museum of natural History, The Forest Research Institute, The Botanical Survey of India, The Indian Museum. We are planning to bring the Hooker exhibition to India next year as part of the larger engagement process with the wider public in India. The Botanical Survey of India and the Indian Museum are also putting together a conservation programme to preserve their collections of natural history and also showcase them in displays at the Indian Museum.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013
URL http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/art-nature-imaging/collections/india-collection/history-and-conte...
 
Description Public Lecture, Indian Museum and following media coverage 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public Lecture at the Indian Museum was followed by media coverage of the event where I was able to highlight our project to digitally repatriate historic Indian Natural history collections
http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/indian-flora-records-in-london-to-be-digitally-repatriated_1494341.html
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/indian-flora-records-in-london-to-be-digitally-repatriated_14...
 
Description conference and curriculum change in a provincial university 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The conference in Kolkan and the environment and tribal was highly praised by the tribal students who were able to interact with one of the members of our network a tribal activist Gladson DungDung. This was followed by a curriculum meeting with the teachers who were keen to add environmental history to the curriculum. The meeting was follwed by email exchanges through the year which helped the university to build up their environmental history teaching
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017