The British Library has a fine reading room dedicated to Oriental studies, including India, but next month the sub-continent comes to Britain's leading research archive big time.
The British Library India Office used to be based in South London. With the move to St Pancras, apart from the Boston Spa Reading Room and the soon to be closed Newspaper Library at Colindale, all the reading rooms are now under one roof. The new Asian & African Studies as it now called, is located on the third floor of the building, and is strictly for readers, but from November 9 until April 2 next year there will be a special exhibition in the galleries, Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire, which will include 200 exquisite manuscripts, paintings and other artefacts.
It is easy for Westerners to forget that before the days of the East India Company and the Raj, India was ruled by an empire that had, among other things, its own fabulous architecture.
The exhibition and events kick off with Mughal Nites at 7.30pm on November 9 which will include dance performances and Indian street food. It is being held in association with the South Asian Literature Festival.