Introduction

Map of Bombay

This map of Bombay is entitled "Island of Bombay" and was published in 1908 in Imperial Gazetteer of India. 

Imperial Gazetteer of India

This is the Imperial Gazetteer of India, a book that contains a lot of information on the state of India during the colonial period as the British governed it.

This map of Bombay, entitled “Island of Bombay” is from Imperial Gazetteer of India: New Edition (Volume 8): Berhampore to Bombay that was published in 1908 by the Oxford University Press during the period from 1885 to 1947 when Bombay was still under British rule and undergoing the independence struggle. With a scale of 1 inch to 1.1 miles, it was “published under the authority of His Majesty’s Secretary of State for India in Council,” revealing that this publication was directly approved by the monarchy and thereby endowing it with much political significance (1). The intended audience for the map is most likely British people both in India and in England because it was published entirely in English, and this gazetteer was one of the encyclopedic volumes that covered the geography, economics, history, and administration of India during the colonial times (2). The stylistic choices of this map, along with its publication context, reflect the strong influence of the British, who intended to, in Bombay, articulating the various ways in which Bombay was under their dominion and shaped by their goals even though it was produced during the period when India was vying for independence. 

(1) “Imperial gazetteer of India .” n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2016.

(2) Scholberg, Henry. The District Gazetteers of British India: A Bibliography. Switzerland: Inter Documentation Company, 1970. Print.