To Help



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Nothing in this project could be achieved without you.

It is your interest, your memories, your contributions of material and your ideas which make us interesting and keep us going.



And… we need your practical help!  (please look underneath at “Be a Volunteer”)


Please note, we cannot pay anything at the moment, as this project is run on a purely voluntary basis and does not receive any grants or other material aid from anyone. (sorry!)


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Be a Contributor


Do you have personal memories of Calcutta in the 1940s? Send them to us (both written or recorded) or call us to come and interview you. 

Do you know some one who has personal memories of Calcutta in the 1940s? Let us know and point them towards us, so we can get into contact.


Apart from reminiscences, we are also looking for old maps, photos, diaries, postcards, letters, cinema tickets, theatre programmes, anything else from the era, etc.


In addition to this unpublished material, we are always interested in published material on the era, like memoirs and autobiographies, historybooks, old guidebooks and directories, newspaper articles.


To get yourself going have a look at the questions on page:


Who you are

To find out more about people submitting material to us, we would lke  to know a little bit more about you.  The data will be used for research purposes, as well as allowing us to contact you to get further details or clear up misunderstandings in submissions.


For this please consider the following questions:


Name (see anonymity) ______________________________________


When where you born ? _____________________________________


male [  ],  female [  ]


Where / how can we contact you?








In which language would you like us to contact you?

English [  ],  Bengali [  ],  Hindi [  ],  Other (Please specify: ____________)


When did you come to Calcutta?




When did you leave Calcutta?




Where in or around Calcutta did you live at the time?

(Please specify: ___________________________________________)


Which ethnic community would you consider yourself to be a part of?

Bengali [  ] - Hindu [  ],  Muslim [  ],  Sched. Caste [  ],  East Bengali [  ],  Kolkatan [  ]

Other Bengali [  ],  (Please specify: _____________________________)


Bihari [  ],  Orissan [  ],  Assamese [  ],  Nepali [  ],  Marwari [  ]

Other Indian [  ],  (Please specify: ______________________________)


British [  ],  other European/American [  ],  (Please specify: ___________)


Anglo Indian [  ],  Jewish [  ],  Armenian [  ],  Parsee [  ],  Greek [  ],  Chinese [  ]

Other [  ],   (Please specify: ___________________________________)


What did you do in Calcutta? (please tick)

Military [  ],  Police [  ],  Civil servant [  ],  Worker [  ],  Framer [  ],  Housewife [  ], 

Professional [  ],  (Please specify: ____________________________)

Commercial [  ],  (Which industry? ____________________________)

Student [  ],  School pupil [  ], 

Other [  ],  (Please specify: __________________________________)



Please send the filled in form to:

Calcutta 1940s

c/o Hauke & Sushmita Wiebe

   2/1, Portland Terrace


   United Kingdom



simply e-mail them as an attachment to :





Before you pass on material to us please consider the two following very important issues: anonymity and publication. And read the paragraphs below.



We understand that some of the memories you might want to share with us, are very personal.  Some of the things you might want tell are things, you may want to be recorded for posterity, but do not want to be publicly connected with you or your family.


If you think this is the case, we offer two levels of anonymity.


Firstly, you can always send in material without disclosing your name.

In this case we hope that you can still give us as much detail on you as possible with out identifying yourself (just leave off the name).  The rest of the data will then be used for research purposes.  It will never be used to identify you.

This method has the disadvantage that we will never be able to contact you to ask for further details, clear up misunderstandings etc.


Secondly, you can give us your name but tell us which part of your material you want to be anonymous.  In this case we would know you name, but would not disclose it to outside parties in any publication of any of your material.


This has the advantage that we can get in touch with your for further research, should that be necessary.


Other people’s anonymity

If you want to keep the anonymity of other people you are mentioning in your memories, then either use aliases for them, and then let us know where you have changed any names. If you want us to know the real names but not have those names used in publication, just give us a list of names to be changed together with a list of what you want them changed to.



Most of the material given to us as part of the project will be made public.  At first this will be on our website but in future it can be either in the form of books / articles or in some way of public access to a database.


We understand that not everyone who gives material to us will want that.  If you do not want your material to be made public at any time, let us know.


If you want your material to be made public only after a certain deadline, let us know what that is, and please remember to tell us when we have passed that deadline.  Any material not cleared for publication will then only be used for our own research.


If no notes on anonymity or non-publication are received we assume that the material and all names submitted are free for publication.



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Be a Volunteer



- We will need translators to translate material from various Indian languages into English and in the longer run also into Bengali and Hindi.


- We will also need transcribers to type in texts from books to add them to our database.


- We need people with access to newspaper and photo archives (Telegraph & Statesman etc.) to copy out interesting articles or photos for us.


- We need interviewers who interview (and record and transcribe those interviews) with people who remember Calcutta.  The interviewer will chiefly be needed in Kolkata and Bengal. But we will also soon need interviewers in the rest of India, in Bangladesh and overseas in Great Britain, Australia, North America and other countries where ex-Calcuttans have gone to live.

If you think you can help us, then please contact us at:


Calcutta 1940s

c/o Hauke & Sushmita Wiebe

   2/1, Portland Terrace


   United Kingdom





BUT, We cannot pay anything at the moment, as this project is run on a purely voluntary basis and does not receive any grants or other material aid from anyone. (sorry!)





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