Records of the East India Company Now Fully Searchable Using Artificial Intelligence

15 March 2018

Research the history of the first great multinational corporation with new digitised records sourced exclusively from the British Library

(Marlborough, UK – March 2018) Students and scholars are now able to navigate their way through newly digitised manuscripts using Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR), with the latest release of new content in Adam Matthew Digital’s landmark primary source collection East India Company

Module II: Factory Records for South Asia and South-East Asia, sheds further light on the fascinating history of this extraordinary corporation, which dominated global trade for centuries. The “Factory Records” reveal the history of the East India Company’s extensive networks of trading posts (known as “factories”) in India and the East Indies during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.

The release of Module II sees the addition of Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). This incredibly powerful technology harnesses artificial intelligence to allow full text searching of manuscript documents. The transformative potential of this technology will enable an entirely new level of detailed research on this globally significant collection.

I am delighted that more of this important material has been digitised. The HTR is an exciting new development. Used in conjunction with the digitised contemporary indexes, it has the potential to help students and scholars find the documents that interest them more easily, so enhancing their research experience.
Penny Brook, Head of India Office Records, British Library

East India Company, Modules I and II are available now with Module III publishing in 2019. More information can be found in our overview filmed at the British Library, and demo video showing HTR in action. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a free 30-day trial.


About the British Library: The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation and includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages. Up to 10 million people visit the British Library website - - every year where they can view up to 4 million digitised collection items and over 40 million pages.