Gazetteers. The revision of the gazetteer is under taken at each settlement by the settlement officer. ( See paragraph 552 of the Settlement Manual.) But to assist him in his task and at the same time to make the gazetteer more useful, it should be kept up to date in the interval between settlements. Deputy Commissioners have therefore been ordered to have a copy of the district gazetteer interleaved with good writing paper and to maintain a gazetteer note-book.
In the first they should enter brief notes correcting any statements in text which seem to them to have always been or to have become erroneous or which need to supplemented. For instance , after a new census it is well to correct all figures relating to population . The notes made in interleaved copy of the gazetteer should be very brief.
The gazetteer note book should contain longer entries on any matter which the Deputy Commissioner thinks will be of use in the preparation of the new edition. Each entry should be marked in bold figures with the serial number of the gazetteer heading under which it will fall No. two entries should be appear on a single page. Only one side of the paper should be written on , so that the settlement officer may able to remove the leaves and made use of the entries without recopying them . When the information is available in convenient form in the district or other records a full reference to the papers in questions, with a brief indications of the nature of the material which they contain will suffice.
Both at the time of the redrafting of a new edition and during the interval between the editions , the officers who are collecting information should try to obtain help from residents of the district, Indian and European official and non-official. For example , it may be possible in this way to get better notes on the botany or geology of a district, its manufactures its archaeological remains , or its folklore than the Deputy Commissioner or the Settlement Officer may have either the time of the special knowledge to compile. If vernacular papers are to be made use of they should be composed in a simple style , and the hand-writing should be neat and clear.
The latest instructions as the revisions of district gazetteers are contained in Government of India, Home Department , letter No. 3375, dated 1st November 1902.
The chief difficulty which stands in the way of periodical revision of the existing gazetteers, and the reason which has caused so large a portion of their contents to become obsolete is that they contain a mixture of permanent matter such as that relating to the history , physical characteristics , religion, ethnography etc. of the district ; of matter which changes gradually but as a rule slowly such as that dealing with the agricultural and economic conditions; and of ephemeral matter mainly statistical, which soon becomes out of date. For this reason when a new District Gazetteer is issued it should consist of two volumes. A and B Compiled on the following lines :-
(1) In the first edition all descriptive matter should go into the A volume ; but that volume should contain only such general figures (incorporated in the latter press) as are necessary to give point to remarks in the text . The arrangement of subjects in this volume should follow the order prescribed for the provincial articles in the Imperial Gazetteer. All detailed statistics should be relegated to the B volume, which would at first consist only of these and of such notes as may be necessary to elucidate them.
(2) On the occasion of the nest revision of statistics in the B volume should be recompiled and this volume should be expanded by adding to it any matter that might be required to correct or supplement the A volume. Thus if there had been a famine since A was published , if new railway had been opened and so forth information on these points would appear in B as supplementary to the appropriate chapters in A.
(3) This process would go on till the time had come for revising the A volume. Then all the supplementary text matter should be incorporated in the new a Volume and B would revert to its original form as a statistical appendix with explanatory Notes.
(4) A new edition of the B volume should be brought out after each census. The revision of the A volumes must be left to the discretion of the local Governments . The occurrence of a new settlement will ordinarily be the best time for such revision; but it may well happen that plenty of copies of the original A volume are still available and that the settlement and lapse of time have not brought any important change in the conditions of the district. In that case the revision of A should stand over till the stock of it no longer suffices for the demand; but a brief account of the settlement operations and of the changes which they have produced or disclosed in the state of affairs described in the A volume , should be prepared by the Settlement Officer before he is relieved of his duties, for inclusion in the next decennial V volume.
(5) The statistical part or the B volume should be issued with interleaved blank pages so that those who use it can have the figures of later years written in . The tables included in the B volume should be drawn up on uniform lines and should contain the main administrative statistics of the districts and its tahsils of other sub-divisions. Those prescribed enclosure D to my circular letter of 24thSeptember , 1902 No. 2948 –60 , seem generally suitable for adoption , but local Governments will doubtless vary or add to these as local circumstances demand. It is thought that including the explanatory notes they should not ordinarily exceed a maximum limit of 50 pages.
(6) Similarly a limit of size for A volumes might be fixed at about 300 pages within which compass it should be possible to comprise all really useful information . Some of the present provincial gazetteers err in the direction of excessive size. The history chapters for example could often be materially condensed by assuming a general knowledge of Indian history on the part of the reader and dealing only with events which occurred in or were connected with the district. Where adjoining districts resemble each other in respect of climate , physical features , fiber and fauna history, distribution of castes, and economic conditions much labor might be saved by writing a single account of these and reproducing it. With the necessary local adaptations , in each district volume . It seems desirable that in future editions the several districts should be dealt with in separate volumes.
(7) The Government of India have decided that there shall be a separate Index volume in the case of the Imperial Gazetteer and think that it would be very convenient for purposes of reference if a similar index were prepared for each series of provincial gazetteers.