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Aside from the commercial e-resources available at Princeton, please refer to the open-access resources listed below for research support during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, you may also want to look at the webpage from the Institute for Historical Research at the School of Advanced Study University of London. This page provides links to general resources, South Asian history to c.1526, South Asia c.1526 to mid-18th century, South Asia c.1757-1947, Contemporary South Asia since 1947, and South Asian Diaspora history resources.
Alphabetical List of Digital Archives outside Princeton
The 1947 Partition Archive preserves oral histories of Partition witnesses through a combined program of crowdsourcing by Citizen Historians, as well as collection by trained scholars. See a selection of interviews on the Stanford Libraries webpage: https://exhibits.stanford.edu/1947-partition
The Afghanistan Digital Library will retrieve and restore works published in Afghanistan between 1870 and 1930; the long-term objective is to collect, catalogue, digitize and provide access to as many of this period's publications as possible.
Ajam Media Collective is an online space devoted to analyzing society and culture across the lands we refer to as Ajamistan. We imagine this landscape as spanning from Turkey in the East across Iraq, the Caucasus, and Iran and into Central Asia, Afghanistan, and South Asia.
Asia Art Archive is an independent non-profit organisation co-founded by Claire Hsu and Johnson Chang in 2000 in response to the urgent need to document and make accessible the multiple recent histories of art in the region. For highlights related to South Asia, see https://aaa.org.hk/en/about/asia-art-archive-in-india
The Bibliography of Modern and Contemporary Art Writing project was initiated by Asia Art Archive in 2011. An annotated searchable bibliography of art writing in 12+ languages. Also offers DH opportunities to explore patterns, trends and correlations between writers, texts, themes and places through interactive maps, tag clouds, and more.
The Bichitra Tagore Online Variorum is the work of the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University. The Ministry of Culture, Government of India sponsored the project on the occasion of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary. It is a fully integrated knowledge site comprising all Tagore's literary works in Bengali and English, but excluding most letters, speeches, textbooks and translations (except Tagore's translations from his own Bengali).
Led by Penn faculty Dr. Sudev Sheth and Penn undergraduate Nitin Rao, this site offers researchers access to new primary source data and some preliminary analysis related to the popular television series Guftagoo hosted by S. M. Irfan and published by Rajya Sabha Television.
BuddhaNexus, a collaborative project of the Khyentse Center, Universität Hamburg, is a database devoted to the study of Buddhist texts and literary corpora in Pāli, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese—with particular emphasis on evolution of scriptures, formation of canons, and intellectual networks—by way of locating textual matches within various Buddhist literary corpora and texts. The current version includes material in Pāli, Tibetan, and Chinese and Sanskrit.
Sign up for a free account to access these materials. BDRC developed the Buddhist Digital Archives (BUDA) as a collaborative platform for Buddhist texts in order to benefit the Buddhist community and BDRC’s many users in academia. With new features and an innovative design, BUDA greatly improves access to a vast collection of Tibetan Buddhist works, as well as to collections of Sanskrit, Chinese, Pali, Burmese, and Khmer materials. It is open source and as open access as possible. Resources are made available by both BDRC and its partner collections.
CrossAsia offers access to specialised information from the entire spectrum of humanities and social sciences from and about Asia.CrossAsia supports the Asia-related studies in research and teaching in Germany and beyond. Digitized collections for South Asia include: Literature on South Asia, Sontheimer Slide Collection, Early Bengali Literature, and Documenta Nepalica.
The Digital Colonial Documents Project (India) is intended to promote study of the rare seminal documents which were influential in the formation of the notions of nation, state and culture during the colonial period.
Originally hosted by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. A DLI Mirror was created in 2018. You can also access a reduced number of titles on the shadow site hosted by Achive.org: https://archive.org/details/digitallibraryindia. Includes links to books, journals, newspapers, and manuscripts.
A project of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC). E-resources pertaining to South Asian Studies include Furniture and Decorative Arts of Sri Lanka, Photo Archives of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS), Center for Art and Archaeology, and Women in Sri Lankan Sculpture and Painting.
An endeavour of National Informatics Centre (NIC) to provide comprehensive, accurate, reliable and one-stop source for the information about the Districts under various State/UT administrations in India. The objective behind the Portal is to provide a single window access to the information and services being provided by the District Administrations of various States/UTs.
This extensive collection of rare Indian printed books provides a unique insight into the social, political and cultural life of the subcontinent through published works of the 18th and 19th centuries. Explore digitised collection items spanning central themes in South Asian history, and read articles written by academic experts to learn more about topics including food, science, and religion.
Circa 1948, Films Division was established under the ministry of information and broadcasting, Government of India, a year after independence. A cinema-specific venture, Films division (FD) is entrusted with the responsibility of promotion, production and distribution of documentaries, short films and news magazines for internal and external publicity within the relevant public circles.
This web archive documents regional, social responses to the pandemic, which are critical in understanding the scope of the pandemic’s humanitarian, socioeconomic, and cultural impact. With an emphasis on websites produced by underrepresented ethnicities and stateless groups, the Archive covers (but is not limited to): sites published by non-governmental organizations that focus on public health, humanitarian relief, and education; sites published by established and amateur artists in any realm of cultural production; sites published by local news sources; sites published by civil society across and representatives; and relevant blogs and social media pages. For more information about the Global Social Responses to Covid-19 Web Archive, see: https://libguides.princeton.edu/covid-ivy.
GRETIL is intended as a cumulative register of the numerous download sites for electronic texts in Indian languages. GRETIL registers only e-texts that are freely available for scholarly purposes and can be employed for word search etc. in a standard word processing programme. In general, this excludes PDF files displaying text in Devanagari or other Indian scripts, special formats for proprietary software, as well as e-texts distributed for commercial profit.
Granth South Asia is supported by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai, as part of the Collaborative Project on Digitization of South Asian Archival Resources between the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University and the British Library, UK. The project has allowed us to undertake surveys and extend support to the digitizing and conservation of critically endangered records.
This portal includes printed and lithographed books and pamphlets in Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit and other languages, Indian manuscripts including several palm-leaf manuscripts, copies of texts and notebooks in various languages by Hermann Gundert and his missionary colleagues. The portal hosts all 19th century works in South Indian languages that are in the holdings of the Tübingen University Library, even if they were not strictly speaking from the Gundert legacy. English and German material written by Gundert and his closest colleagues was also added.
Hind Swaraj is a collection of materials from India, with an emphasis on the works of Mahatma Gandhi. In addition to the Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, the collection includes 129 Post Prayer Speeches as well as audio files for a number of other seminal figures, including Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. There are also 76 volumes of the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Speeches and Writings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. The collection also includes all 53 episodes of Bharat Ek Khoj based on Pandit Nehru's Discovery of India. Additionally, a collection of over 12,000 photographs is available for download on Flickr including 221 high-resolution images extracted from the Collected Works.
This digital collection includes more than 200,000 photographs of art and architecture from throughout Asia. The countries included in this collection are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
Iqbal Cyber Library is an online library offering eBooks in a number of languages on a variety of subjects, but, mainly on Allama Iqbal and his related fields. The site is being managed by the IT Department of the Iqbal Academy Pakistan and is being updated on regular basis.
The Jain eLibrary is an online collection of Jain scriptures, Jain manuscripts, Jain dictionary, Jain encyclopedia, Jain articles, Jain magazines, and ancient and contemporary Jain books in English, Hindi, Gujarati, and other languages. It contains Shvetämbar Ägams, Digambar Shästras, Four Anuyogas, Commentary literature, Präkrit and Sanskrut literature, and ancient and modern literature representing all aspects of Jainism. It also includes the literature of various Jain sects. Catalogues of Jain manuscripts of various Jain libraries add to the diversity of this collection.
Jātaka Stories is a free online searchable database of jātakas in Indian texts and art. You can browse stories by textual collection or artistic site, or explore clusters of connected stories that cross between texts and visual depictions. The project is being overseen by Dr Naomi Appleton, University of Edinburgh.
Khamseen: Islamic Art History Online is a free and open-access online platform of digital resources to aid the teaching of Islamic art, architecture, and visual culture. It is sponsored by the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) at the University of Michigan through the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The LUMS Digital Archive is a research repository that aims at collecting, cataloging and preserving rare material (books, pamphlets, newspapers and other items) of historical significance and making them available to researchers. In particular, the archive focuses on events, groups, movements and personalities relating to broader historical, political and cultural trends in South Asia, with an emphasis on preserving the accounts of marginalized and subaltern groups.
This online collection aims to digitize almost 6,000 Hindu manuscripts so they are available for generations to come. Written on palm leaves by scholars over 1,000 years ago, each have high-resolution digital copies made which will be published online as part of a joint project between DAV College, Chandigarh Library and Mr S.P. Lohia (Chairman of Indorama Corporation).
Browse their collection of 60 color photochroms produced by Zurich’s Photoglob Co. during the period of British India. These photochroms depict a number of religious sites, monuments, street scenes, and historic places. Free to use and reuse.Browse their collection of 60 color photochroms produced by Zurich’s Photoglob Co. during the period of British India. These photochroms depict a number of religious sites, monuments, street scenes, and historic places. Free to use and reuse.
An Omeka-based digital collection of oral history interviews, films, cartoons, news clippings, government documents, and court judgments related to the time of the Indian Emergency (1975-1977) by Prof. Srirupa Roy of the Centre for Modern Indian Studies (CeMIS) at the University of Gottingen.
The Medical History of British India collection consists of official publications varying from short reports to multi-volume histories related to disease, public health and medical research between circa 1850 to 1920.
The Muftiships Web Archive preserves the websites — which may include videos, images, and PDF files — of Muftis and leading jurists from the Islamic world. These websites cover the responses of leading judicial authorities to current events in their respective countries (and in some cases well beyond). In addition to the content, the websites illustrate the manner in which these authorities engage with their public, and the ways in which Islamic law is administered in the digital age.
The Museum of Material Memory is a digital repository of material culture of the Indian subcontinent, tracing family history and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles and objects of antiquity.
Through storytelling, each post on the Archive reveals not just a history of objects and the people they belong to, but also unfolds generational narratives about the tradition, culture, customs, conventions, habits, language, society, geography and history of the vast and diverse subcontinent.
To make available to the learners community learning resources through a single-window, National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) has sponsored the National Digital Library of India (NDLI) project and arranged funding through Ministry of Education.
Focuses on promoting and disseminating knowledge concerning the Himalayan Region and South Asia. Focus areas: Health, Environment, Poverty, Biodiversity, Social Capital Conflict, Food Security, Education, Climate Change, Social Justice, Remittances, Energy, Water, and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Includes conferences (e.g., Annual Himalayan Policy Research Conference), workshops, e-seminars, and publications, as well as two peer-reviewed academic journals. The open-access Himalayan Research Papers Archive showcases academic research work on the Himalayan Region and South Asia.
The Nepalese-German Manuscript Cataloguing Project was launched in April 2002. Its main purpose is to prepare a comprehensive descriptive catalogue of the more than 180,000 Nepalese manuscripts microfilmed under the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project.
The Northeast India AV Archive is an audiovisual public archive at the Department of Mass Media, St. Anthony’s College, Shillong, India.
Established in 2019, The Northeast India AV Archive aspires to lend itself to a deeper, more intricate understanding of our society’s sojourn through time and chart shifts in ideals, traditions and perhaps most importantly perspective.
This project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, traces the development of anthropology as an academic discipline in India and as an instrument of state formation across the transition to independence, ca. 1900 to 1970.
The Panjab Digital Library (PDL) seeks to locate, digitize, preserve, collect and make accessible the accumulated wisdom of the Panjab region, without distinction as to script, language, religion, nationality, or other physical condition. Offers a wide range of digitized materials, including manuscripts, books, magazines, newspapers, photographs and pamphlets.
PARI is a living journal and an archive. It will generate and host reporting on the countryside that is current and contemporary, while also creating a database of already published stories, reports, videos and audios. All of PARI’s own content comes under the Creative Commons and the site is free to access.
This archive offers a window into the story of South Asian immigrants from the Punjab region in north India to California since the turn of the twentieth century. Explore over 700 video interviews, speeches, diaries, photographs, articles, and letters in which Punjabi Americans share their life stories, values, and contributions to California’s history over the last hundred and twenty years.
The Regional Bhakti Scholars Network (RBSN) is a virtual community of scholars who study India’s diverse regional bhakti traditions in their broader historical, socio-political, intellectual, and literary contexts. The group’s main purpose is to provide a platform in which people with particular linguistic skills and knowledge bases to share and benefit from each other’s expertise.
This is an effort of the Rekhta Foundation with the objective of promoting and disseminating Urdu literature, especially Urdu Poetry to an audience beyond those conversant with the Urdu script. The content is available in Devanagari and Roman scripts in addition to the Urdu script.
Resources for Kanjur & Tanjur Studies (rKTs) is dedicated to making research on Tibetan Buddhist canonical collections openly accessible. The website provides comprehensive tools for studying canonical literature in more than 50 Kanjurs and manuscript collections, such as online catalogues, searchable e-texts, and an extensive archive of images of Tibetan manuscripts as well as secondary sources. The various databases are compiled and maintained by the members of the Tibetan Manuscripts Project Vienna (TMPV), located at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna.
Not strictly a collection of primary sources. Sahapedia is an open encyclopedic resource on the arts, cultures and histories of India. Sahapedia offers digital content in multimedia format—articles and books, photo essays and video, interviews and oral histories, maps and timelines, authored by scholars and curated by experts.
The Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive is a rich collection of materials from letters to manuscripts to photographs. Containing over 4000 items, the collection documents the life and career of Sajjad Zaheer and highlights contemporaneous writers, politics and the Zaheer family from Lucknow, India.
Aims to produce a full catalogue of the Sanskrit manuscript collections at the University Library at Cambridge and to digitise a substantial proportion of them. These comprise more than 1,600 works in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Tamil and other ancient and medieval South Asian languages, produced over a time-span of more than 1,000 years, and written in over a dozen scripts and on different writing materials, such as paper, palm leaf and birch bark.
SARIT offers electronic editions of texts in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. These are documented, dated and have embedded notes about their change history, so that they can be publicly cited and used with confidence. All the texts at SARIT are licensed under a Creative Commons license. You can download all the texts in the following formats: XML, EPUB and PDF; and you can also open the XML-file online.
The Siddham database is a resource for the study of inscriptions from South and Central Asia. The project focuses on the period of the Guptas (circa 320 to 550), a pivotal moment in the history of Asia, marked by an astonishing florescence in every field of endeavour. The Gupta kingdom and its networks had an enduring impact on India and a profound reach across Central and Southeast Asia in a host of cultural, religious and socio-political spheres.
The South Asia Open Archives (SAOA), a subset of the South Asia Materials Project (SAMP), creates and maintains a collection of open access materials for the study of South Asia. This major collaborative initiative is aimed at addressing the current scarcity of digital resources pertinent to South Asia studies and at making collections more widely accessible both to North American scholars and to researchers worldwide.
Launched in 2000 by the New Delhi field office of the Library of Congress, this project contains more than 800 audio recordings of 90 South Asian authors reading and discussing their own works in 22 languages. All mp3 files are freely available online.
SWAY currently contains nearly 900 pdf documents in both English and Nepali, many of them from the Nepali media, and a number of videos related to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
To access the whole collection, please click on ‘All Items’. Items will then appear in alphabetical order by title, with English language items coming first, followed by items in Nepali. It is currently possible only to conduct searches based on the collection's metadata; the text content of all items will be made fully searchable at a later stage. To view or download an item, simply double click on it, then click ‘pdf’.
A House of Pictures. Picture essays, periodically updated, on South Asia's popular visual sphere including posters, calendar art, pilgrimage maps and paraphernalia, cinema hoardings, advertisements, and other forms of street and bazaar art.
The Tibetan Oral History and Archive Project (TOHAP) is a digital online web archive of oral history interviews in Tibetan and Chinese with accompanying written transcripts (in English) that documents the social and political history of modern Tibet.
The Virtual Museum of Images and Sound (VMIS) is a virtual museum created by using the resources of two image and sound archives of the AIIS – the Center for Art and Archaeology (CAA) and the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE). Content includes images, audio, and video recordings.
IndCat is a free online Union Catalogue of Books, Theses and Serials of major university/institute libraries in India. The IndCat contains bibliographic information, location and holdings of Books, Theses and Serials.
The International Union List of South Asian Newspapers and Gazettes has been compiled by Irene Joshi formerly of the University of Washington Libaries South Asia Section. This union list contains information on 3,000 newspapers and gazettes published in South Asia and abroad, including publications serving diaspora communities world-wide.
Comprehensive online catalog of library holdings. Lists books, journals, maps, recordings, films, scores, and other materials located in public, academic, corporate, school and specialized libraries all over the world. Check Worldcat for holdings of material that are not available at Princeton. Available items may be requested through Interlibrary Loan.