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South Asian Electronic Resources

Most of the following South Asian e-resources are continuing subscriptions and can only be accessed onsite.Disclaimer

Archives Unbound: India/Pakistan collections

Five collections of government documents pertaining to various topics in South Asian history in the twentieth century:


British Online Archives

British Online Archives (BOA) builds upon a long and illustrious history of archival publishing and preservation that stretches back almost sixty years, operating under its parent trading company, Microform Academic Publishers. The BAO Collections are divided into twelve broad topics. One of these topics – “Records of the Raj” – contains three collections pertaining to the history of British colonialism in South Asia:


Center for Research Libraries

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) holds approximately five million newspapers, journals, dissertations, archives, government publications, and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. Current acquisitions emphasize materials produced outside the United States, especially publications and archives from developing regions. CRL's Area Microform Projects are important sources of this material.

The South Asia Microform Project (SAMP) strives to cooperate with libraries and archives worldwide to preserve unique or endangered materials for the study of South Asia. Created in 1967 and affiliated with the Association for Asian Studies, SAMP’s subscribing members acquire and maintain materials from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives in microform. To access all SAMP collections, click here.


East India Company

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, East India Company Module I charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1600 to 1947.


Empire Online

Empire Online is a powerful and interactive collection of over 70,000 images of primary source documents, sourced from leading archives around the world. This project has been developed to encourage researchers to explore colonial history, politics, culture and society. Material in the collection spans five centuries, charting the story of the rise and fall of empires; from the explorations of Columbus, Captain Cook, and others, right through to de-colonisation in the second half of the twentieth century and debates over American Imperialism. There is a good balance between highly indexed manuscript and full text printed material, with a broad range of document types; written by women and men from the European and non-European perspective. The Image Gallery also showcases stunning color photographs and illustrations from the collection.

Encyclopaedia of Islam

The Encyclopaedia of Islam sets out the present state of our knowledge of the Islamic World from religion and history to politics and culture. It embraces articles on distinguished Muslims of every age and land, on tribes and dynasties, on the crafts and sciences, on political and religious institutions, on the geography, ethnography, flora and fauna of the various countries and on the history, topography and monuments of the major towns and cities. Its geographical and historical scope encompasses the old Arabo-Islamic empire, the Islamic countries of Iran, Central Asia, the Indian sub-continent and Indonesia, the Ottoman Empire and all modern Islamic states. Access is available to the 2nd (new) edition, the 3rd edition, and the Encyclopaedia of Islam Glossary and Index of Terms. Additionally, access is provided to the Historical Atlas of Islam, 1st and 2nd editions.


Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980

The files in this collection cover these events from the standpoint of British officialdom. In addition to high politics, the papers in the files cover such issues as economic and industrial development, trade, migration, visits to South Asia by British politicians and by South Asian politicians to Britain and elsewhere, education, administrative reorganisation, conflict over language, aid, political parties, agriculture and irrigation, and television and the press. Together they form a resource of fundamental value to scholars and students of modern South Asia.

  • Section I. Independence, partition, and the Nehru era, 1947-64
  • Section II. South Asian conflicts and independence for Bangladesh, 1964-71
  • Section III. Afghanistan and the Cold War, emergency rule in India, and the resumption of civilian rule in Pakistan, 1972-80


Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online is the first comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. More than 9,000 pages of material, combined with entries by more than 700 expert contributors from all over the world, make this the most complete body of work focused on world music. Each volume contains an overview of the region, a survey of its musical heritage, traditions and themes; and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instrument, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study.

See Volume 5, South Asia: the Indian Subcontinent.


Hebrew Printing in India

Rare Printed Books from The Valmadonna Trust Library, London. The Valmadonna Collection of Hebrew and Jewish books from India is a unique and unparalleled resource for the study of oriental printing and lithography, Hebrew poetry and liturgical history, Eastern Judeo-Arabic literature, and the folklore traditions and vernacular writings of the Jews of South Asia. IDC Publishers will make the entire corpus of Indian Jewish literature accessible to researchers for the first time.


India: Raj and Empire

Provides historical material from the manuscript collections of the National Library of Scotland covering South Asia between the foundation of the East India Company in 1615 and the granting of independence to India and Pakistan in 1947. India, Raj and Empire traces social and urban history, Indian politics, the growth of Nationalism, and colonial administration. The Raj typically refers to areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, as well as the princely states ruled by individual rulers under the paramountcy of the British Crown - which in this resource includes Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Singapore. Thematic areas that can be browsed:

  • The East India Company: Government and Administration c.1750-1857
  • Agriculture and Trade c.1750-1857
  • Society, Travel and Leisure c.1750-1857
  • The Mysore and Maratha Wars Indian Uprising 1857-58
  • The Raj: British Government and Administration of India after 1858
  • Agriculture and Trade after 1858
  • Society, Travel and Leisure after 1858 India: Literature, History and Culture.


Oxford Bibliographies Online

Oxford Bibliographies Online (OBO) is a tool designed to help busy researchers find reliable sources of information quickly by directing them to exactly the right chapter, book, website, archive, or data set they need for their research. OBO is a library of disciplined-based subject modules. In each subject module, leading scholars have produced a literary guide to the most important and significant sources in an area of study they know best. The guides feature a selective list of bibliographic citations supported by direct recommendations about which sources to consult. Each topic has a unique editorial commentary to show how the cited sources are interrelated. The citations promote discoverability as they link out to the sources via your library collection or through Google books and more. Bibliographies are currently available in the following areas:

  • Classics
  • Philosophy
  • Islamic Studies
  • Medieval Studies
  • Biblical Studies
  • Buddhism


ProQuest Historical Newspapers and Periodicals

Contains digital reproductions of every page from every issue--cover to cover--from over a dozen historical United States and British newspapers along with hundreds of American periodicals.

Notably, it also contains Times of India (1838-2004).


SCC Online

This database provides extensive coverage of the case law, statutes, regulations, and bills of India. Additionally, the database provides significant coverage of secondary Indian legal material, including Constituent Assembly Debates, commission and committee reports, legal articles, treaties, and policy documents. Finally, the database provides full text of the Court of Appeals and the High Court judgements for over 20 countries, with emphasis on the courts of South Asian and African countries.


South Asia Archive

The South Asia Archive is a specialist digital platform providing global electronic access to culturally and historically significant literary material produced from within - and about - the South Asian region. It is not merely a repository, but a vehicle for targeted research, and one which has been intelligently structured to ensure efficient content discovery.

  • Documents have been selected and catalogued by subject specialist editors, with expert commentaries provided to guide users through serial content.
  • The archive contains millions of pages of digitized primary and secondary material in a mix of English and vernacular languages dating back to the start of the eighteenth century, up to the mid-twentieth century.
  • It is derived from original archive materials held by the The South Asia Research Foundation.
  • It provides online access to previously unavailable resources in South Asian studies
  • It is a versatile resource with benefits for researchers, lecturers, and students across a diverse range of subject areas.


South Asian Newspapers

Representing the largest fully searchable collection of historical newspapers from around the globe, the World Newspaper Archive will advance research and offer opportunities for fresh insight across wide-ranging academic disciplines. This expanding online resource was created in partnership between Readex, a division of NewsBank, and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL)

Providing exact digital replicas of newspapers published in English and a variety of other languages, the World Newspaper Archive chronicles the history and politics of diverse peoples and cultures during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Through eyewitness reporting, editorials, legislative updates, letters, poetry, advertisements, matrimony and death notices and more, these historical newspapers offer students, teachers and scholars new perspectives on local, national and global issues as well as on daily life around the world.


World Biographical Information System

WBIS contains biographies of 10 million men and women, living and deceased, from all social classes and professions, from all countries and regions, from 4000 BC to the present.

While not strictly a South Asia database, WBIS has biographical information on many people from the South Asia region, as well as important European figures from the colonial period.


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  April 22, 2019
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