India Museum (Biographical details)

India Museum (institution/organisation; British; 1801 - 1879)

Also known as

India Museum


Museum (1801-79) of the British East India Company (1600-1858) and subsequently of British India (1858-1947) in London. It was originally housed in East India House in Leadenhall Street in the City of London.

When the East India Company was disbanded in 1858, the India Office (1858-1947) was created as the British Government department in London handling affairs relating to the government of British India. The India Museum also came under the India Office's jurisdiction. In 1860s the East India House was sold (and subsequently demolished), and the collections moved with the India Office to Whitehall.

When the India Museum closed in 1879, the collections were principally divided between the British Museum, Kew Gardens and the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum). The antiquities and archaeological collections, including c. 2420 coins, were mostly transferred to the British Museum (1880-82); some, however, initially went to the South Kensington Museum before being transferred to the British Museum, while the India Office retained some objects and the majority of the India Museum coin collections.

The coins from the India Museum which were transferred to the British Museum in 1882 have the registration number IOC (India Office Collection) followed by a running number.


Ray Desmond, 'The India Museum 1801-1879' (London, 1982); M Willis, "Sculpture from India" in A. W. Franks: Nineteenth Century Collecting and the British Museum (London: BMP, 1997) pp. 250-61.