The archives relating to Bahrain in the India Office Records, London, are particularly rich in historical interest. This collection provides evidence for the development and character of the state, organized within a chronological documentary framework. Key documents illustrate the origins of the state of Bahrain, regional rivalries, relations with the British, civil administration, economic growth and political development, with accounts of Al-Khalifah rule and succession. Early records include topographical descriptions and surveys by officers of the Bombay Marine in the 1820s and 1830s, Colonel Wilson's 1833 report on pearl fisheries and Durand's 1875 report on Bahrain antiquities. Documentation on regional affairs, boundary and sovereignty issues including relations with Persia and Persian claims, particularly over the Zubarah dispute, and Saudi Arabia. Important material on internal administration, including finance and social policy, throwing light on the administrative reforms of the 1920s and the Belgrave years, and providing records of judicial administration in the Bahrain courts.
Records of the evolution of the pearl industry, the development of shipping, oil exploration and exploitation are also included.