The Princeton University Library catalog will guide you toward primary resources in print and online, depending on your object of knowledge. Use the catalog to find autobiographies, literature, periodicals, census data, reports, and more.
Refer to the Library of Congress Romanization Tables for assistance with transliterating South Asian languages into Roman script. While this is the system used in the PUL catalog, search creatively as more than one system for representing SA languages is in use worldwide.
Notable SAS Collections at Princeton
South Asia Ephemera Collection The South Asian Ephemera Collection is an openly accessible repository of items that spans a variety of subjects and languages and will support research, teaching, and private study. Newly acquired materials are being digitized and added on an ongoing basis. Collections of ephemera and digital art elsewhere include:
Granville Austin (1927-2014) was an independent scholar and political historian known for his work on India's constitution. The collection is composed of Granville Austin's research files on India, mostly in the form of published articles or book excerpts that Austin collected and often annotated. The majority of the research files, notes and drafts relate to Austin's second book, Working a Democratic Constitution, but some files relate to his first book, The Indian Constitution: Cornerstone of a Nation. Topics documented in the collection include the Indian constitution, center-state relations in India, Indian politicians and political parties, U.S. foreign relations with India, cases tried before the Indian Supreme Court, and various other subjects related to India's political and legal systems. Research material on the Middle East, material relating to Austin's other writings, professional and personal correspondence, including State Department files, as well as U. S. Information Service photographs and negatives compose additional parts of the collection.
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy was a noted art historian and champion of Ceylonese and Indian culture. This collection covers a broad spectrum of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy's work in the fields of art history, philosophy, religion, and social criticism.
The Stella Bloch Papers Relating to Ananda K. Coomaraswamy consists of manuscripts, correspondence, drawings, photographs, printed material, and postcards of the American dance critic, art historian, and artist Stella Bloch (1898-1999). This collection documents the relationship between Bloch and the Anglo-Indian art historian, philosopher, and author Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877-1947) who embodied the roles of mentor, husband, and friend.
Dissidents and Activists in Sri Lanka, 1960s-1990s documents the activity of a generation of Sri Lankan radical activists who, in their different ways, attempted to escape the claims of rival ethno-nationalisms and build alternative political and development projects, drawing on Marxism, Christian socialism, and feminism, among other inspirations.
Artist's statement: In the light of anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, I wanted to create a copper plate palimpsest for my time, so that the erasure of our constitutional values will not be forgotten. There are two layers of text in the work. In the partially erased layer seen beneath, is the preamble to the Indian Constitution, declaring its claim to secure justice, liberty, and equality to all citizens, and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. That layer is being eroded, and replaced with textual details of Delhi riots, narrating the incidents of murder and rampage. There are Slogans of violence like “We will enter the house and beat you up” or “Shoot the traitors”. The type face of the second layer of the text is an English font called Samarkan, designed to look like a Sanskrit text, and is intended to act as a visual marker for the Indian right-wing practice of quoting ancient texts to gain validation. It is also a simulation of ancient handwritten palm leaf text manuals from India. The title for the work ‘Everything will be remembered’ comes from the title of the poem written by anti-CAA activist Aamir Azis, lines of which were also recently recited by a member of the band Pink Floyd.
The Princeton University Library has some 9,500 Islamic manuscripts, chiefly bound paper codices, containing a total of more than 20,000 texts. The manuscripts are located in the Manuscripts Division of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, at the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library. Robert Garrett (Princeton Class of 1897) collected approximately two-thirds of these manuscripts and donated them to the Library in 1942. Since then, the Library has continued to acquire manuscripts by gift and purchase. The manuscripts are chiefly in Arabic but also include Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and other languages of the extended Islamic world written in Arabic script. They date from the early centuries of Islam through the fall of the Ottoman Empire. Most of the manuscripts originated in Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and other main centers of Islamic civilization. But there are examples from Moorish Spain and the Maghreb in the West, to the Indian sub-continent and the Indonesian archipelago in the East, and even sub-Sahara.
Purchased in July, 1994, a small collection of 58 books and pamphlets about the harrowing days of the Sepoy Rebellion, including firsthand narratives by survivors, works of military and political analysis, three decker novels, etc. Also, see the libguide "Narratives of Rebellion" for more resources on this topic: https://libguides.princeton.edu/c.php?g=84228&p=541338
The Veerni Project is a non-governmental organization based in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, which provides secondary education and boarding hostels for girls from rural villages in the Thar Desert region. The collection documents the organization's operations, including funding, programming, administration, outreach, and impact.
Alphabetical List of Primary Source Databases at Princeton
The Afghan Central Press collection brings together four national, Kabul-based publications of Afghanistan whose long runs and prominence provide a concentrated vantage point for understanding developments in Afghanistan for much of the twentieth century. The English-language Kabul Times is presented alongside Pushto publications Anīs, Hewād, and Iṣlāḥ. The archives of these newspapers provide a chronicle of events from the fall of the Kingdom of Afghanistan, the establishment of the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the Soviet invasion, the rise of the Mujahedeen, the establishment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, invasion by the United States and the ensuing period of reconstruction from the view of the capital.
This is a collection of partisan serials from the Wahdat Library, a private collection of rare newspapers and journals from Afghanistan. It includes more than 2,500 individual issues of 46 newspapers and journals published in Persian, Pushto, Arabic, Urdu, and English. Documenting the breadth of Afghanistan’s political epochs, the Afghan Serials Collection covers the use of the press by many groups that sought to shape Afghanistan’s social and intellectual landscape including the Communist People’s Democratic Party (PDPA); exiled loyalists to the deposed Afghan monarchy; independent humanitarians and intellectuals seeking to better their country; anti-Soviet mujaheddin groups from a range of political movements; the Taliban; and minority political parties that have emerged following the post-2001 transition towards democracy.
This collection consists of primary documents from the key periods of the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan. Largely the product of decades of FOIA requests and appeals, these records obtained from the State Department, CENTCOM, the DIA, and other agencies detail many of the problems that beset the American-led occupation, including reconstruction efforts, diplomatic relations with the Afghan government, relations with Pakistan, Taliban-al Qaeda relations, corruption, and narcotics.
South Asia-related collections include:
- Afghanistan in 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War
- Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files
- Evangelism in India: Correspondence of the Board of Foreign Missions, 1833-1910
- Hindu Conspiracy Cases: Activities of the Indian Independence Movement in the U.S., 1908-1933
- India from Crown Rule to Republic, 1945-1949: Records of the U.S. State Department
- Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920
- India-Pakistan Conflict: Records of the U.S. State Department, February 1963-1966
Digital library of more than one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.
See the following for South Asia:
The Archives of the Church in North India - Archival Collection
The Archives of the Church in North India - Monograph Collection
Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, and Marathi Jewish Printing in India Online
Lithographed Editions of Firdawsī's Shāhnāmah Online
U.S. Intelligence on Asia, 1945-1991
South Asia-related collections include:
- The atheist politician and his anti-war daughter: the Bradlaughs, 1833-1948
- Colonial women missionaries of the Committee for Women's Work, 1861-1967
- India, business and control 1806 to 1814: in the records of the Governor-General
- India, uprising and reform 1879 to 1910: in the records of the Governor-General
- Indian and Sri Lankan records from colonial missionaries, 1770-1931
- Indian Communists and Trade Unionists on Trial: The Meerut Conspiracy, 1929-1933
- Taking India, how the military established Company rule, 1752-1774 (Indian Papers of Clive and Carnac)
- World News in Indian Newspapers, 1782-1908 (includes three English language newspapers published in India during the period 1782-1908: The India Gazette (1782-1834); The Bengal Hurkaru and Chronicle (1822-1866); and The Bengal Times (1876-1908)).
This collection of Foreign Office files explores the history of Persia (Iran), Central Asia and Afghanistan from the decline of the Silk Road in the first half of the nineteenth century to the establishment of Soviet rule over parts of the region in the early 1920s. It encompasses the era of “The Great Game” - a political and diplomatic confrontation between the Russian and British Empires for influence, territory and trade across a vast region, from the Black Sea in the west to the Pamir Mountains in the east.
A rich site focused on Indian visual and performing arts that promotes exhibitions, features interviews, and provides access to a number of articles on topics like photography, gender, film, and related to specific artists. The 20th-century articles accessible here are likely not widely available otherwise.
Digital library of early printed books in Arabic script. Covering religious literature, law, science, mathematics, astrology, alchemy, medicine, geography, travel, history, chronicles, and literature, and including European translations of Arabic works and Arabic translations of European books, it exemplifies the long exchange of ideas and learning between Europe and the Arabic-speaking world. 1475-1900
A collection by Adam Matthew. Offers access to India Office Records from the British Library. Contains royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types. Charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1599 to 1947.
A collection by Adam Matthew. Digital edition of journals and newspapers published between 1685-1815 in England, Scotland, Ireland, Jamaica, and British India. South Asian titles include the Bombay Courier, the Calcutta Gazette, or, Oriental Advertiser, the India Gazette, or, India Public Advertiser, and others.
A collection by Adam Matthew. Brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of 'Empire' and its theories, practices and consequences. The materials span across the last 5 centuries and are accompanied by secondary learning resources including scholarly essays, maps and an interactive chronology.
Covers every region of the world and features the work of many of the most influential documentary filmmakers of the 20th century, including interviews, previously unreleased raw footage, field notes, study guides, and more for the study of human culture and behavior.
Translation service of the U.S. Government, usually attributed to the Central Intelligence Agency. It covered political, military, economic, environmental and sociological news and commentary, as well as scientific and technical information. Can narrow results geographically. For later years see World News Connection.
Material from the British government on the countries of South Asia from shortly before Indian partition and independence up to 1980. Includes DO 133, DO 134, FO 371 and FCO 37 files from The National Archives, Kew.The Foreign Office was created in 1782 and became the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1968. It was the government department responsible for the conduct of British relations with nearly all foreign states between those dates (British colonies and dominions were dealt with by separate departments)
Hindustan Times is one of the largest newspapers in India and was founded in 1924 by the leader of the Akali movement, Sunder Singh Lyallpuri. Introduced at the opening ceremony by Mahatma Gandhi and edited by his son, Devdas Gandhi, the Hindustan Times played an essential role in the Indian independence movement. The digital archive of this newspaper serves researchers interested in colonialism and post-colonialism, British and world history, class and gender, international relations, comparative religion, international economics, and more. Hindustan Times is the second most widely read English newspaper in India (after The Times of India).
Over two million images of objects, events, places, works of art, sports, and scientific pursuits, from dozens of collections such as Getty Images and the National Geographic Society. Each image includes full citation and copyright information. Rights have been cleared for education use.
Focusing on the North-West Frontier, this collection contains Army Lists; Orders; Instructions; Regulations; Acts; Manuals; Strength Returns; Orders of Battle; Administration Summaries; organization, commissions, committees, reports, maneuvers; departments of the Indian Army; and regimental narratives. Reproduction of the originals from the British Library. Date range of documents: 1914-1920.
English-language archive of U.S. government translations of foreign scientific, technical, and social science monographs, reports, journal and newspaper articles, and radio and television broadcasts. Can narrow results geographically. Companion to Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports, 1957-1995.
Provides digital access to historical legal treatises and commentaries covering the law in a variety of foreign jurisdictions including Afghanistan, India, and Sri Lanka as well as international, comparative and religious (Canon, Jewish, and Islamic) law topics.
Digital edition of the Goldsmiths'-Kress collections of books that document economic and business activity in the West, from 1450 to 1945. Materials include books, pamphlets and ephemera and cover a broad range of topics in political science, history, sociology, and banking, finance, transportation and manufacturing.
The MARG Magazine began in 1946 and is published four times a year. It’s founding editor was writer Mulk Raj Anand, who intended it to be a loose encyclopaedia of the arts of India and related civilizations. Now it is a quarterly, produced in Mumbai.
Policy Commons preserves and provides access to more than 30 million pages of curated policy reports and briefs, analyses, working papers, books, case studies, tables, charts, media, and statistical publications created by 25,000 policy organizations (NGOs, IGOs, foundations, think tanks, government agencies, etc.) from around the world. Platform provides multiple filters and advanced searching operators.
Daily stock price data and detailed fundamentals data for companies in India. Both private and public companies are included. Produced by Centre for the Monitoring of the Indian Economy (CMIE). Also contains data on Ownership and governance (board composition, meetings, major stakeholders, subsidiaries etc.) and mergers & acquisitions. 1989+
The South Asia Archive is a resource for students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences, and the historical documents within it cover colonial and early post-colonial India and the wider sub-continent. Comprising material sourced from collectors and archivists by the South Asia Research Foundation, this Archive brings together primary and secondary content.
Chronicles conflicts as well as contemporary perspectives on independence movements, early statehood, and the extensive economic and social growth taking place in South Asia. The collection covers several countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan), India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, and features multiple languages such as Bengali, Dari, English, Nepali, and more.
Daily Business Post, 1963-1973
Dainika Basumati, 1962-1992
Eastern Examiner, 1962-1973
Kerala Chronicle, 1962-1963
Lahore Chronicle, 1850-1868
Malabar Herald, 1962-1972
Pakistan Observer, 1962-1971
Fiction & poetry written in English by authors from South & Southeast Asia & their Diasporas. Focusing on works composed during the late-colonial & postcolonial eras, the collection will also feature author interviews & manuscript materials.
Includes the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from 1715 to the present (with supplementary material back to 1688) and the House of Lords Papers from 1715-1910. Includes searchable full text and subject indexing. The Parliamentary Papers are an essential primary source for Britain, its colonies, and the wider world. They are the working documents of government for all areas of social, political, economic, and foreign policy. 1688+
Designed to track the rise or decline of radical Islam on a national, regional and global level. Focuses on the nature of the contemporary Islamist threat around the world, and on the current activities of radical Islamist movements worldwide.