India Quartermaster General Office (1803 - 1947), a major branch of the QMG, was the division of the British Indian Army responsible for logistics and mapping. Among other duties, the QMG employed detachments of military engineers to conduct and compile surveys of conflict theaters. The QMG was based in Calcutta, but established several annex branches, in Simla (Himachal Pradesh, India), Colombo, and elsewhere. Master cartographers, surveyors, and draftsmen under the QMG traveled throughout British India and the adjacent regions, compiling detailed surveys in anticipation of trade, war, or both. Working in diverse and sometimes onerous conditions, they developed sophisticated cartographic conventions while at the same time adapting to local supplies and resources. Some, for example, have noted the QMG maps often have resplendent bright color - these are palettes adapted from Indian handmade watercolors traditionally used in the Bengali textile industry. These attractive colors were later adapted into the general British cartographic palette. Few QMG maps were ever published, most surviving only in manuscript, in institutional archives like the British Library’s India Office Records. Moreover, despite their significance, no comprehensive survey of surviving of India QMG maps has been compiled, resulting in their being generally underappreciated and misunderstood. The QMG remained active in India until the British withdraw in 1947.

Out of Stock Maps