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Notes on the Races, Castes and Trades of Eastern Bengal by James Wise: 1883


James Wise's Notes on the Races, Castes and Trades of Eastern Bengal was a pioneering work that represented a level of detail in its ethnographic study of the peoples of what is now Bangladesh which set a bench mark for studies of this area. During the 1860's Wise was the civil surgeon in Dhaka and his book is based on his experiences during this period it seems. The main divisions of the work are into sections headed:
'Muhammadan' (records 11-126),
'Religious Sects of the Hindus' (records 127-194),
'Hindu Castes and Aboriginal Races' (records 195-403),
'Armenians' (records 404-413) and
'Portuguese of Eastern Bengal' (records 414-429).
[note record numbers do not coincide with page number in the original as records 1-10 correspond with the title pages and introduction and the pagination begins at record 11 in the database]

For more detail on this work see the excellent article in the Banglapedia by Muntassir Mamoon.

Note: Unfortunately the page images are only available at 72dpi at a size of 768x576 pixels due to conditions imposed by the British Library on their reproduction.

Bibliogaphic Details
Author: James Wise
Title: Notes on the Races, Castes and Trades of Eastern Bengal
Printer: Her Majestry's printer Harrison and Sons.
Place: London
Date: 1883
Note: the book was not actually published and only twelve copies were printed.

Credits and Acknowledgements


This work was selected by Professor John McGuire and Professor Bob Pokrant of the South Asia Research Unit Curtin University and the OCR work on the text was undertaken by Miriam Allan at Curtin University with further proof reading done by Adam Bowles at La Trobe University.


The following unpublished work by James Wise, Notes on the Races, Castes, and Trades of Eastern Bengal, of which twelve only copies were printed in London by Harrison & Sons, 1883), viii, 427pp. Shelfmark: T 46034. OIOC (Oriental and India Office Collection) and T 43548, has been reproduced here by permission of The British Library.
The digitisation of this work has been carried out at the South Asia Research Unit (Curtin University or Technology, Western Australia) for the ARC LIEF funded project Electronic Access to Seminal Documents: rare, colonial, and post-colonial.


Page maintained by: Project Officer
Last Updated: 25 July, 2006

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