Sudev & Baroda (Vadodara) – Post # 3

My research work continues this summer at the Prof. S.C. Mishra Archives and Library Cell at the MS University in Baroda. In this post, I want to share with you some images from the archive that I am working at. The materials I am studying are known as the Haribhakti Collection and were donated by Mr. Arvind Haribhakti between 1983 and 1987. Hari and Bhakti were two brothers who created a powerful banking firm in the eighteenth century in western India. The firm was initially based in Pune but moved to Baroda at the insistence of the early Gaekwad regime. Descendants of Hari and Bhakti continued the family business of money lending to the state, resolving local disputes, and honoring promissory notes (bills of exchange) from other bankers across western India.

Entrance to Prof. S.C. Mishra Archive Room

Entrance to Prof. S.C. Mishra Archive Room

 

Another uncatalogued shelf of 18th and 19th century documents

Uncatalogued shelf of 18th and 19th century documents

 

Uncatalogued Archival Bundles

Uncatalogued archival bundles

Courtesy Professor S.C. Misra Archive cum Library Cell, Dept. of History, MS University at Baroda. This is a hundi, or bill of exchange,  in the amount of 350 rupees in the year 1830. It is drawn from the Haribhakti firm in Baroda.

Courtesy Professor S.C. Misra Archive & Library Cell, Dept. of History, MS University at Baroda. This is a hundi, or bill of exchange, in the amount of 350 rupees from the year c. 1830. It is drawn from the Haribhakti Firm in Baroda.

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About Sudev J Sheth

I am a doctoral student in the Departments of South Asia Studies and History at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. With the support of CASI and the Department of South Asia Studies, I am in India pursuing 10 weeks of pre-dissertation fieldwork at the MS University archives in Baroda and the National Archives in New Delhi. En route to India, I stopped over at the British Library in London to survey the India Office Records. My dissertation topic studies statecraft and governance in eighteenth and nineteenth-century western India with a focus on the political relationships and cultural practices of credit networks. In particular, I am investigating how a band of military mercenaries turned to principles of finance to build institutions and consolidate public authority.