Ref NoPP MS 23
TitlePapers of John Sydenham Furnivall
Date(s) of Creation1948-1960
Level of DescriptionCollection
Extent13 boxes
Name of CreatorFurnivall; John Sydenham (1878-1960); colonial administrator
Administrative & Biographical HistoryJohn Sydenham Furnivall was born on 14 February 1878 in Great Bentley, Essex. His early education was at the Royal Medical Benevolent College, Epsom. He won a scholarship to Trinity Hall, Cambridge in 1896, and in 1899 obtained a second class degree in the Natural Science Tripos. In 1901 he joined the India Civil Service. He arrived in Burma on 16 December 1902 and took up the appointment of Assistant Commissioner and Settlement Officer. He was made Deputy Commissioner in 1915 and Commissioner of Land settlement and Records in 1920. He retired in 1925.

In 1910 he worked with Professor Duroiselle and U May Aung in the Burma Research Society. In 1924 he founded the Burma Book Club and in 1928 the Burma Education Extension Association.

Following his retirement to Britain, John Sydenham Furnivall became Lecturer in Burmese Language, History and Law at Cambridge University (1936-1941). In 1940, together with C.W. Dunn, Furnivall published a Burmese English Dictionary. In 1942 he wrote Reconstruction in Burma for the Government of Burma. He was awarded the Order of Orange-Nassau in 1948; Thado Thiri Thudhamma from the Burma Government in 1949 and Degree of D. Litt by Rangoon University in 1957. He died in 1960.

Other published works by J.S. Furnivall include: Political Economy of Burma , (1931); Wealth in Burma , (1937); Netherlands India , (1939); Progress and Welfare in South East Asia , (1941); Educational Progress in South East Asia , (1943); Experiment in Independence , (1947); Colonial Policy and Practice , (1948); The Government of Modern Burma , (1958); The Fashioning of Leviathan , (edited by Gehan Wijewardene), (1991).
Held at:SOAS University of London
Custodial HistoryDeposited at SOAS in 1986.
Source of AcquisitionBequeathed to SOAS in December 1997.
DescriptionThe collection comprises John Sydenham Furnivall's correspondence (1948-1956), mostly with C.W. Dunn (co-editor of the Burmese-English Dictionary); draft annotated chapters of Reconstruction in Burma ; statistics and other research material gathered for the above work; Furnivall's lecture notes, scripts of his talks, articles and manuscript research notes.
System of ArrangementThe collection is arranged into four sections: correspondence; draft chapters for Reconstruction in Burma , A Study of the Social and Economic History of (British) Burma; lectures, articles (published/unpublished) and various papers of J.S. Furnivall; research material / manuscript notes.
Access StatusOpen
Language(s) of MaterialEnglish
Other Finding AidsUnpublished handlist
Access Points - SubjectAcademic teaching personnel
Asian history
Colonial administrators
Asian cultures
Access Points - Places
Place CodePlace Name
7729896South Eastern Asia
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