September 14, 2018, by Angela Shearsmith
British Colonial Office statistics from British Online Archives
We now have access to the following collections available via British Online Archives:
African Blue Books, 1821-1953
These statistics cover the history of thirteen colonies across Africa. Most colonial statistics cover that colony’s funds, its population and the names of its officers. Details of which countries each colony was trading with and what they bought or sold were recorded in these books. The statistics for Africa told the Colonial Office how the British Empire was performing as a business.
Caribbean Blue Books, 1824-1950
The records for each colony are prefaced by a brief introduction to that colony. The population returns are published alongside education reports, while grants of land reveal who held the colonial wealth. Imports and exports are joined by prison records which reveal what the crimes were at that time. As these records are published together, the reader can compare the living conditions and access to services across colonies.