AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Baké, Dr Arnold Adrian

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0102 PP MS 21
Held at: School of Oriental and African Studies
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Full title: Baké, Dr Arnold Adrian
Date(s): Created c1932-1961
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 7 boxes
Name of creator(s): Baké | Arnold Adrian | 1899-1963 | Sanskrit scholar


Administrative/Biographical history:

Arnold Adrian Baké was born in Hilversum in the Netherlands on 19 May 1899. He was educated at the Haarlem Gymnasium and entered the University of Leiden in 1918, where he studied languages including Javanese, Malay, Arabic and Sanskrit. His hope was to enter government service in the Netherland Indies. Economic pressures on the government meant that this was not possible and instead, Baké considered becoming a professional singer. In 1923 he went to the University of Utrecht to work on Sanskrit treatises on the theory of music. This research became the basis of his doctorate gained in 1930. He also met Rabindranath Tagore for the first time. In 1925 Baké married Cornelia Timmers and for the next four years they lived in Santiniketan where Baké continued his studies and came into contact with many Indian musicians and scholars, especially through Rabindranath Tagore.

In 1931 he went to India under the auspices of the Kern Institute at Leiden, during which time he began to record material including music from Nepal. He returned to Europe in 1934, and embarked on a lecture tour of the United States. In 1937 he became a Senior Research fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. During the War he remained in India working as Music Adviser to All-India Radio, returning to England in 1946. He became a lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies in Sanskrit and Indian Music in 1948 and was appointed Reader in Sanskrit in 1949. In this position he was not only responsible for encouraging research into Indian music but also into other non-European languages.

He was a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, the International Folk Music Council, the International Society for Folk Narrative Research and the Council of the Folk-Lore Society and an original member of the Committee for Ethnomusicology of the Royal Anthropological Institute. In 1958 he was involved in a street accident in Leiden, which led to recurring bouts of ill health. He died on 8 October 1963.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, c1932-1961, of Dr Arnold Adrian Baké, comprising notes on Indian music and folklore, in addition to songs in various Indian languages and translations in English and Dutch.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
Sinhalese, Tamil, Urdu, Sanskrit, Marati, Kanarese, Dutch, English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

No publication without written permission. Apply to archivist in the first instance.

Finding aids:

Unpublished handlist.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated in 1985.

Allied Materials

Related material:

The School of Oriental and African Studies Music Department holds Baké sound recordings.

Correspondence and papers (1925-1963) are held at the British Library, Oriental & India Office Collections (Ref: MSS Eur F 191).

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Source: introduction based on obituary in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol XXVII (1964).

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
15 May 2000

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"