Respected Memsahibs - new book The anthology draws on the letters, memoirs and narratives of nineteen women who lived and worked in India in between the First World War and Independence in 1947. The collection forms an exceptional?record of life and work in the latter days of the British Raj. The Centre of South Asian Studies was established in 1964 with special funding from the UGC. Its role was to promote modern South Asian studies in Cambridge in an interdisciplinary way, and the Centre brought with it lectureships in History, Geography, Economics and Social Anthropology. From the start, it has been housed in the old Faculty Rooms in Laundress Lane overlooking the Mill Pool. Its library,archive and study rooms now occupy the whole of the top two floors of the building. Mary Thatcher was the Centre's first Archivist. With funding from the Ford Foundation, St John's College and the Smuts Memorial Fund, she was commissioned in 1967 to begin a search for archival material which was otherwise in danger of being lost. Her brief was to focus on ordinary British men and women who worked in India, either in the Civil Service or its associated governmental concerns, those who lived in the Princely States, or were in the private sector, or served as missionaries or teachers. The resulting trawl of families who had returned to Britain after Independence has resulted in an archive of international importance and renown. The Director of the Centre, Professor Sir Christopher Bayly, said: 'The archive is unique and was ahead of its time in the sort of material collected and preserved. With a combination of tact, persistence and charm, Miss Thatcher assembled an amazing collection of private papers, photographs, cine film and other material objects. To this was added, in due course, over 300 recorded interviews. Miss Thatcher was particularly interested in the lives of women and in many cases asked them to write more substantial memoirs of their time in India.' The current Archivist at the Centre, Dr Kevin Greenbank, said: 'It is a pleasure to work with such a wonderful collection. We are still adding to it, and a great deal of investment has been made in recent years, helped by grants for conservation and digitization from the Newton Trust, the Thriplow Trust and the 休闲快三双人舞表演2011 AHRC, to make the collection more accessible. We have enquiries from all over the world and use has been made of the archive in several recent TV films. I am delighted that Miss Thatcher's Anthology is now published.' Respected Memsahibs is published by Hardinge Simpole? and copies may be purchased from amazon.co.uk or from the Centre of South Asian Studies, Laundress Lane, Cambridge.