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Archives and Trails from the First World War: Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923

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Archives and Trails from the First World War : Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923. / Reddy, Sneha.

In: Archives and Manuscripts, Vol. 48, No. 2, 17.06.2020, p. 157-170.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Harvard

Reddy, S 2020, 'Archives and Trails from the First World War: Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923', Archives and Manuscripts, vol. 48, no. 2, pp. 157-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985

APA

Reddy, S. (2020). Archives and Trails from the First World War: Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923. Archives and Manuscripts, 48(2), 157-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985

Vancouver

Reddy S. Archives and Trails from the First World War: Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923. Archives and Manuscripts. 2020 Jun 17;48(2):157-170. https://doi.org/10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985

Author

Reddy, Sneha. / Archives and Trails from the First World War : Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923. In: Archives and Manuscripts. 2020 ; Vol. 48, No. 2. pp. 157-170.

Bibtex - Download

@article{2e46bacacf6f4261bd58c48f9f20624d,
title = "Archives and Trails from the First World War: Repurposing Imperial Records of North African and Indian Soldiers in Palestine and Syria, 1917-1923",
abstract = "First World War scholars more or less agree on the limitations imposed by archival sources on the study of North African and Indian troops. Conventional methods to find {\textquoteleft}the voice{\textquoteright} of the soldier do not apply in this case and the scarcity of records partly explains why so little is written. So, what opportunities are there in such an endeavour? This article argues for the need to decolonise military archives from the Great War era. That is to say, to use information that was originally gathered to serve narrow military interests as a means to understand the war experiences of the colonial soldiers. These sources, largely official records, bearing stamps of the past regimes, cannot be separated from the context or intent of their production. Nonetheless, they must not be overlooked as new historiographical demands make it necessary to read colonial archives for evidence of their context. Failing to draw from, and reflect upon, colonial era records on the Great War, despite their shortcomings, is tantamount to condemning valuable aspects of global history to oblivion. In turn, acknowledging these shortcomings, paradoxically, lends greater value to such sources as the colonial context in which they were produced becomes observable.",
keywords = "Archives, Colonial knowledge and power, First World War in the Middle East, North African soldiers, Indian soldiers",
author = "Sneha Reddy",
year = "2020",
month = jun,
day = "17",
doi = "10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985",
language = "English",
volume = "48",
pages = "157--170",
journal = "Archives and Manuscripts",
issn = "0157-6895",
publisher = "Routledge Taylor & Francis Group",
number = "2",
note = "Recording, Narrating and Archiving the First World War : The 10th Conference of the International Society for First World War Studies ; Conference date: 09-07-2018 Through 11-07-2018",
url = "http://www.firstworldwarstudies.org/conferences.php?s=melbourne-2018",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) - Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Archives and Trails from the First World War

T2 - Recording, Narrating and Archiving the First World War

AU - Reddy, Sneha

PY - 2020/6/17

Y1 - 2020/6/17

N2 - First World War scholars more or less agree on the limitations imposed by archival sources on the study of North African and Indian troops. Conventional methods to find ‘the voice’ of the soldier do not apply in this case and the scarcity of records partly explains why so little is written. So, what opportunities are there in such an endeavour? This article argues for the need to decolonise military archives from the Great War era. That is to say, to use information that was originally gathered to serve narrow military interests as a means to understand the war experiences of the colonial soldiers. These sources, largely official records, bearing stamps of the past regimes, cannot be separated from the context or intent of their production. Nonetheless, they must not be overlooked as new historiographical demands make it necessary to read colonial archives for evidence of their context. Failing to draw from, and reflect upon, colonial era records on the Great War, despite their shortcomings, is tantamount to condemning valuable aspects of global history to oblivion. In turn, acknowledging these shortcomings, paradoxically, lends greater value to such sources as the colonial context in which they were produced becomes observable.

AB - First World War scholars more or less agree on the limitations imposed by archival sources on the study of North African and Indian troops. Conventional methods to find ‘the voice’ of the soldier do not apply in this case and the scarcity of records partly explains why so little is written. So, what opportunities are there in such an endeavour? This article argues for the need to decolonise military archives from the Great War era. That is to say, to use information that was originally gathered to serve narrow military interests as a means to understand the war experiences of the colonial soldiers. These sources, largely official records, bearing stamps of the past regimes, cannot be separated from the context or intent of their production. Nonetheless, they must not be overlooked as new historiographical demands make it necessary to read colonial archives for evidence of their context. Failing to draw from, and reflect upon, colonial era records on the Great War, despite their shortcomings, is tantamount to condemning valuable aspects of global history to oblivion. In turn, acknowledging these shortcomings, paradoxically, lends greater value to such sources as the colonial context in which they were produced becomes observable.

KW - Archives

KW - Colonial knowledge and power

KW - First World War in the Middle East

KW - North African soldiers

KW - Indian soldiers

U2 - 10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985

DO - 10.1080/01576895.2020.1766985

M3 - Article

VL - 48

SP - 157

EP - 170

JO - Archives and Manuscripts

JF - Archives and Manuscripts

SN - 0157-6895

IS - 2

Y2 - 9 July 2018 through 11 July 2018

ER -

Related by author

  1. Le Front du Moyen-Orient: The Middle East in French Great War Strategy, 1914-1918

    Reddy, S., 2019, The Great War in the Middle East. Johnson, R. & Kitchen, J. (eds.). 1 ed. Routledge, (Routledge studies in First World War history).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

ID: 268564277

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