Wealth of India series

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The Wealth of India, launched in 1942, is an encyclopaedic publication comprising monographic articles on plants, animals and mineral resources of India and the economic products derived from them. The encyclopaedia is a continuation of George Watt's Dictionary of Economic Products of India, and was conceived at the eve of independence, when India felt the need to benefit from an exhaustive inventory of its natural resources for development.

The main series consists of 11 volumes and 2 supplements: Fish & Fisheries and Livestock including Poultry.

An exhaustive cumulative index in 4 parts, viz. botanical names, zoological names, active principles and other important compounds and names in regional languages, trade-names and common English names, covering more than 250 pages, is appended to the final 11th volume.

A nice folder is available on the CBD website, or with this direct link.

Unfortunately, this encyclopaedia is available in only a few libraries, and should be better known. The best way would be to digitize it and put it on line. This would also facilitate updating.

It is in particular a good source for local names. This part would merit improvements, as names often appear with only a geographical tag, and not a language tag. Transcriptions should also be standardized.


Wealth of India (The), 1948-1976. A dictionary of Indian raw materials and industrial products. New-Delhi, Council of scientific and industrial research. 11 vol. + 2 suppl. for raw materials, and 9 vol. for industrial products.

Original edition

  • Vol. 1. Raw materials : A-B. 1948. XXVII-254 p. 39 pl.
  • Vol. 2. Raw materials : C
  • Vol. 3. Raw materials : D-E. 1952. XX-236-XXX p., 22 pl., index of vol. 1-3.
  • Vol. 4. Raw materials : F-G. 1956. XXVIII-287-VIII p. 13 pl., 145 fig. Reprinted 1988.
  • Vol. 5. Raw materials : H-K. 1959. XXV-332-XII p. Reprinted 2007.
  • Vol. 6. Raw materials : L-M. 1962. XXXI-483-XIV p. 6 pl., 175 fig.
  • Vol. 7. Raw materials : N-Pe. 1966. XXVIII-330-IX p. Reprinted 2007.
  • Vol. 8. Raw materials : Ph-Re. 1969. XXX-394-XII p. Reprinted 2005.
  • Vol. 9. Raw materials : Rh-So. 1972. XXXVIII-472-XIV p. Reprinted 2005.
  • Vol. 10. Raw materials : Sp-W. 1976. XLIX-591-XV p. 6 pl., 175 fig. Reprinted 1982.
  • Vol. 11. Raw materials : X-Z and cumulative indexes. 1976. XXVIII-385 p. Reprinted 2005.

Revised edition

  • Vol. 1 : A. LX-514+54 p. Revised edition. 1985.
  • Vol. 2 : B. XLII-350+90 p. Revised edition. 1988.
  • Vol. 3 : Ca-Ci. 684+119 p. Revised edition. 1992.