About MIDA

Pro­ject Part­ners:

- Prof. Dr. Ravi Ahu­ja, Cent­re for Modern Indian Stu­dies, Georg-August-Uni­ver­si­tät Göt­tin­gen

- Prof. Dr. Micha­el Mann, Insti­tu­te for Asi­an and Afri­can Stu­dies, Hum­boldt-Uni­ver­si­tät zu Ber­lin

- Dr. Hei­ke Lie­bau, Leib­niz-Zen­trum Moder­ner Ori­ent (ZMO)

Fun­ding: Ger­man Rese­arch Coun­cil (DFG)

Dura­ti­on: Nov. 2014 to Oct. 2026 (first fun­ding peri­od: Nov. 2014 to Oct. 2017)

Pro­ject Sum­ma­ry:

The rich­ness and the poten­ti­al of the hol­dings of Ger­man archi­ves on modern Indian histo­ry has been appre­cia­ted insuf­fi­ci­ent­ly so far. To the inter­na­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ty of his­to­ri­ans of India, the­se resour­ces can open up new rese­arch per­spec­tives that have remai­ned obst­ruc­ted by an exces­si­ve fixa­ti­on on Bri­tish colo­ni­al archi­ves. At the same time, inno­va­ti­ve rese­arch ques­ti­ons can be gene­ra­ted for pur­po­ses of trans­na­tio­nal his­to­ri­cal com­pa­ri­son and for the his­to­ri­cal ana­ly­sis of “glo­ba­li­za­ti­on” pro­ces­ses through an explo­ra­ti­on of the modern histo­ry of Ger­man-Indian ent­an­gle­ments.
Moreo­ver, the resul­ting two­fold wide­ning of rese­arch per­spec­tives crea­tes new chan­ces for a more inten­si­ve com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on and coope­ra­ti­on bet­ween Indian and Ger­man tra­di­ti­ons of his­to­ri­cal inqui­ry – tra­di­ti­ons that have taken cogniz­an­ce of each other, so far, only to a very limi­ted extent. Through the fol­lo­wing initia­ti­ves the long-term pro­ject “Modern India in Ger­man Archi­ves” (“Das Moder­ne Indi­en in deut­schen Archi­ven”, MIDA) aims to pro­du­ce the necessa­ry con­di­ti­ons for this sub­stan­ti­al endea­vour.

  • sys­te­ma­ti­cal­ly collect in a sin­gle data­ba­se cata­lo­gue and key­word infor­ma­ti­on on hol­dings of Ger­man archi­ves on modern India and the histo­ry of Ger­man-Indian ent­an­gle­ments, from the estab­lish­ment of the Danish-Hal­le Mis­si­on in South India (1706) up to the end of the poli­ti­cal divi­si­on of Ger­ma­ny (1989/90);
  • make avail­ab­le this data­ba­se to the inter­na­tio­nal aca­de­mic com­mu­ni­ty on a long-term basis as a “gro­wing” and open digi­tal resour­ce for the pur­po­se of loca­ting spe­ci­fic archi­val mate­ri­al;
  • pro­vi­de the inter­na­tio­nal aca­de­mic com­mu­ni­ty as well as a wider public with long-term access to a digi­tal archi­ve gui­de, which will be deri­ved from the data­ba­se and suc­ces­si­ve­ly expan­ded in order to pre­sent an over­view of the full the­ma­tic ran­ge of rele­vant collec­tions;
  • demons­tra­te the poten­ti­al of Ger­man archi­val resour­ces for India-rela­ted stu­dies in exem­pla­ry pilot rese­arch pro­jec­ts and a cor­re­spon­ding publi­ca­ti­on series. This will encou­ra­ge a) a more inten­se uti­li­za­ti­on of the­se archi­val hol­dings par­ti­cu­lar­ly by Ger­man and Indian his­to­ri­ans and b) the sha­ping of the necessa­ry mul­ti­lin­gu­is­tic and inter-regio­nal qua­li­fi­ca­ti­on pro­files;
  • con­tri­bu­te to a sustai­ned rea­li­za­ti­on of the goal that was for­mu­la­ted on a bila­te­ral work­shop of the DFG and the Indian Coun­cil for His­to­ri­cal Rese­arch (ICHR) in Novem­ber 2012, name­ly the inten­si­fi­ca­ti­on of Ger­man-Indian rese­arch co-ope­ra­ti­on in the Human Sci­en­ces. The Ger­man-Indian “tan­dem struc­tu­re” accord­ing to which the pilot pro­jec­ts have been desi­gned will ser­ve as a key instru­ment to achie­ve this aim.