International Leprosy Association -
History of Leprosy

  • International Leprosy Association -
    History of Leprosy


    Maharashtra State Archives


    Category Institutional Archive
    Country India
    Address Elphinstone College Building, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
    Telephone +91 22 284 3971
    Fax +91 22 284 4268


    Maharashtra State Archives holds official Indian government documents relating to leprosy, including leprosy institutions, research and legislation. As a whole, the archive holds files dating from 1630 to the present day, though the files relating to leprosy primarily date from the 1860s to the 1970s.

    A catalogue of the files related to leprosy in the Maharashtra State Archives can be accessed here (PDF, 20 pages).


    There are many documents associated with the establishment, funding, and maintenance of leprosaria, including those at Ratnagiri (Dinsha Manekji Petit Asylum), Trombay (Edulji Framji Albless Leper House), Matunga (Acworth), Belgaum (Rehoboth), Nasik, Hiranand, Poona (Kondhwa Budruk, Pune), Pretoria, Sholapur, and others. The archives contain correspondence with H.A. Acworth (1888), Dinshaw Manockjee Petit (1890) and Rustomjee Jamsetjee Jejeeboy (1862-64) related to their sponsorships of leprosaria.

    Surveys and reports on the prevalence of leprosy in various regions are also included. Potential cures and treatments of leprosy are documented, including a reported cure developed by Bhau Daji, a vaccine created by Captain T.S.B. Williams, and the use of gurjun oil. There are reports on experiments with Nastin B by T.S.B. Williams, Major S. Anderson, Major L. Rogers, Captain F.A.F. Barnardo, and Major J.W.D. Megaw. The archive includes many documents relating to Henry Vandyke Carter’s work on leprosy. There are also medical reports on the Jamsetjee Jejeeboy Hospital's treatment of leprosy patients by H Cook (1874), who is mentioned in the Leprosy Commissioners report of 1890.

    The archives include documents associated with the Lepers Act of 1898. There are also documents discussing problems encountered by the government in its anti-leprosy work, including measures to stop affected people from “loitering” in public areas, questions of the segregation of patients’ children, and proposals for punishment of patients escaped from leprosaria.

    In addition, the archives hold miscellaneous reports on the treatment of leprosy elsewhere: material related to leprosy in North Italy (1863), the Straits Settlement (1872), Gavin Milroy's Report on Leprosy in the West Indies (1873), leprosy in Burma (1873), in British Guiana (1872, 1882, 1908-10), and in Norway (1874).

    Entry updated February 2016


    Name Dr Mahesh Shukla (Director)
    Organization Maharashtra State Archives
    Address Maharashtra State Archives, Elphinstone College Building, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Mumbai, India.
    Telephone +91 22 284 3971
    Fax +91 22 284 4268

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