Madras presidency is one of the important subdivisions of the British India. It covers the parts of present states of Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka, with Madras (present day Chennai) as its capital. The official publications of Madras Presidency in the holdings of the Roja Muthiah Research Library includes administrative reports, and annual volumes of many departments such health department, police, criminal justice, forest, sea borne trade, rail borne trade, reports of local administration, reports of salt revenue, Akbari revenue, reports on famine and more. These official publications give an accurate and detailed picture of happenings in each department backed up with statistics and maps. One of the important volumes in the holdings is the Administration reports of the Corporation of Madras and Madras municipality. These volumes gave detailed information about the then Madras city’s infrastructure works such as drainage, water, education, hospitals and public parks and its receipts and expenditure.
These volumes would be a primary source material for any research in each department in the colonial era. There are so much potential to undertake research in these areas, given the volume of statistical and narrative information available in these publications.
These reports are not digitally available anywhere in the world, except few reports on public instruction, digitized by the HathiTrust. Also, the physical volumes of the reports are available only in the holdings of Roja Muthiah Research Library, in India. Considering the scholarly value and a need to preserve the content of the material for posterity, the material would have to be taken up for digitization.