Mapping the Ghadr Directory Dimensions of Diasporic Anticolonialism and State Surveillance

1. Abstract

This paper reports on a collaborative work-in-progress with two parts: (1) the creation of an open, reusable dataset from The Ghadr Directory, a 1917 British intelligence publication tracking the biographies of migrant South Asian anticolonial activists and (2) our effort to map the spatial and social dimensions of the global Ghadr network of using the dataset.

Each entry of the directory includes an activist’s name, district of origin, locations of previous and current activity, and known associates. This information makes the directory a rich source for mapping a diasporic network of anticolonialist activism and the reach of British surveillance in the interwar period.

Entries in the directory vary in detail and length, presenting challenges in transformation to a standardized, analyzable format, and an opportunity to critically examine data “cleaning” and scale. We will use the resulting dataset to address questions of networks and movements among Ghadr activists.

Eliza C. Bettinger (, Cornell University, United States of America and S. Ani Mukherji (, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, United States of America

Theme: Lux by Bootswatch.