Numbers in Business: Documenting Chettiar Mercantile Account Keeping Practices in 19th-20th century South India (EAP1309)

Aims and objectives

The Chettiar Mercantile archive is valuable to understand the nature of pedagogic training in elementary arithmetic skills and how it actually transformed into the context of work, at the desk of the accountant. Also the relationship between accounting virtuosity and computational prowess embedded in the history of mercantile trading households, which resulted in the cultural hegemony of an entire community as computationally sharp and financially prudent. This unique family archive is like the biography of the computational practices of a business household, which will connect the school to the accountant’s desk to the commodities, ships, sea and foreign landscapes.