A paper and report on
South Asia Library Information Network February 2004
(Published in the Asian Studies Newsletter, Feb 2004)
by Rajwant S. Chilana

South Asian Studies- Networks and Web Resources

Background || Networks || Projects || Institutions || Associations || Subscription Databases || Online Collections || South Asia OPACs || Miscellaneous

South Asia is one of the prominent sub-continents that have attracted world wide popularity. It consists of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. People in South Asia speak hundreds of languages, follow different religions, and have diverse costumes and foods. Because of its ancient history, civilization, variety of cultures and complex society, academicians from all over the globe are becoming more involved in teaching and research on various aspects of South Asia. Most recently, a number of universities in United States and Canada have experienced a tremendous increase in the enrollments by undergraduate as well as graduate students of South Asian ancestry that are taking courses dealing with their own heritage and traditions. To support teaching and research in the academic institutions, libraries have developed good collections of printed and microforms resources. In recent years there has been a huge proliferation of electronic and web resources on South Asia, and info

A number of online databases have been developed on South Asia, but most of these are in the area of science and technology. There is utmost need for more online resources in the areas of social sciences, humanities and arts. Efforts should be made to produce some qualitative web sites in various South Asian languages. In view of the vast scope of the South Asian countries, and development of online resources, this paper attempts only a sampling of useful Internet resources and networks.

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  • SAARC-the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation provides a platform for the peoples of South Asia to work together in a spirit of friendship, trust and understanding. Its documentation center and library, located in New Delhi, provides information services to Member States (http://www.saarc-sec.org).
  • SAN- the South Asian Network promotes the health and empowerment of people of South Asian origin living in California, and fills a critical service gap in the South Asian Community, which traditionally has been underserved by public interest organizations (http://www.southasiannetwork.org).
  • SARAI- the South Asia Resource Access on the Internet is hosted by the Columbia University, and is one of the best sources for finding web based information in South Asian studies. It provides useful links to reference and bibliographical resources, e-journals, e-news, e-books, and also International Directory of South Asian scholars (http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/indiv/southasia/cuvl).
  • SARN- the South Asia Research Network has been created to promote the production, exchange and dissemination of basic research information in the social sciences and humanities. It provides links to electronic publications, research notes, abstracts, research centres, and conferences (http://sarn.ssrc.org).
  • SASNET- the Swedish South Asian Studies Network is a national network for research, education, and information about South Asia, based at Lund University. It encourages and promotes an open and dynamic networking process, in which Swedish researchers co-operate with researchers in South Asia and globally (http://www.sasnet.lu.se/sasnetf.html).
  • SAWNET- the South Asian Women Network is a useful medium of communication about South Asian women. It exists entirely in the electronic medium and its mailing list is run by a group of volunteer moderators that reaches over 700 women in four continents. (http://www.umiacs.umd.edu/users/sawweb/sawnet).
  • INFLIBNET- the Information and Library Network Centre is the product of Indian University Grants Commission, involved in creating infrastructure for sharing information among academic and research institutions. It is a good source for books, serials and theses databases available in university libraries in India (http://www.inflibnet.ac.in/index.jsp).
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  • CSAL- the Center for South Asian Libraries - is an American overseas research center developed to facilitate scholarly research and teaching on South Asia through improved preservation of and access to the heritage of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. It provides research support facility for American scholars by providing infrastructures and facilities to enhance research effectiveness and the exchange of scholarly information (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/csal).
  • DSAL- the Digital South Asia Library is a project of the Center for Research Libraries, and provides digital materials for reference and research on South Asia to scholars, public officials, and other users. This project has been funded by the Association of Research Libraries' Global Resources Program with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Several languages dictionaries, reference books, and journals have already been digitized and are available free on the web to everyone (http://dsal.uchicago.edu/reference).
  • SALRP- the South Asian Literary Recordings Project records the voices of prominent authors from the region reading excerpts from their works. Recordings are available in Real media and MP3 formats (http://www.loc.gov/acq/ovop/delhi/salrp/about.html).
  • SAMP- the South Asia Microform Project is a cooperative program that acquires and maintains a readily accessible collection of unique materials in microform. Materials are collected both through the filming efforts of the project and through the purchase of positive copies of materials filmed by institutions and companies. It strives to cooperate with libraries and archives worldwide in preserving unique or endangered materials for the study of South Asia (http://www.crl.edu/areastudies/SAMP/index.htm).
  • Universal Library Project- is the result of collaborative efforts of professionals and educationists from India, China and United States. Digitization of materials in South Indian languages has already begun (http://delta.ulib.org/html/index.html).
  • Vidyanidhi- is a project of Indian doctoral theses database established to evolve as an online resource funded by the Ford Foundation and Microsoft (http://www.vidyanidhi.org.in/home/index.html).
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  • AIBS- the American Institute of Bangladesh is a consortium of U.S. Institutions involved in research on Bangladesh; development of educational institutions in Bangladesh; faculty exchanges; and sending U.S. graduate as well as undergraduate student to Bangladesh. (http://www.aibs.net).
  • AIIS- the American Institute of Indian Studies is a consortium of universities and colleges in the United States at which scholars actively engage in teaching and research about India (http://www.indiastudies.org).
  • AIPS- the American Institute of Pakistan Studies encourages and supports research on issues relevant to Pakistan and the promotion of scholarly exchange between the United States and Pakistan (http://www.pakistanstudies-aips.org).
  • AISLS- the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies was established to foster excellence in American research and teaching on Sri Lanka, and to promote the exchange of scholars and scholarly information between the United States and Sri Lanka (http://www.aisls.org).
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  • ACSAA- the American Council for Southern Asian Art is a useful source for the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia. In addition to periodic symposia, usually held every two years, ACSAA pursues these goals through various projects, including its bi-annual newsletter, bibliographies, a color slide project, a microfiche archive and outreach materials (http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/acsaa/hp.html).
  • ALIVA- the Asia Library & Information Virtual Association is the only virtual association of Asia's library and information professionals. The secretariat is located in Bangkok (http://aliva.org/html/about.html).
  • ANHS- the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies provides a platform for people with wide-ranging interests in the Himalayan region. It aims to raise the profile of the world's highest region, increasing awareness of the unequaled diversity of human and natural worlds within the Himalaya-Hindukush (http://www.macalester.edu/~guneratne/index.html).
  • BASAS- the British Association for South Asian Studies is the largest academic association in the United Kingdom for the study of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and the South Asian Diaspora (http://www.staff.brad.ac.uk/akundu/basas).
  • CONSALD- the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation has been created to develop, organize and coordinate information resources and services in Canada and United States (http://www.lib.virginia.edu/area-studies/SouthAsia/Lib/consald.html).
  • ISOSA- the Independent Scholars of South Asia provides an academic "home" for those with a passion for South Asia, a commitment to serious scholarship, and a career path without a tenure track academic position. (http://www.indiastudies.org/isosa).
  • SAAG- South Asia Analysis Group is a non profit non commercial think tank. Its objective is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding (http://www.saag.org).
  • SACAP- the South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program is operated by the Library of Congress New Delhi Office for the benefit of the libraries in Canada and US. It identifies, acquires selectively, catalogs and distributes a wide variety of library materials (http://www.locdelhi.org).
  • SAALG- the South Asia Archives & Library Group consists of representatives of libraries, archives and other institutions in the United Kingdom with specialization in South Asian Studies. Its aim is to acquire books, manuscripts and archival materials (http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/users/gae/NCOLR/salg1.htm).
  • SAJA- the South Asian Journalists Association foster ties among South Asian journalists in North America and improve standards of journalistic coverage of South Asia and South Asian Americans (http://www.saja.org).
  • SALTA- the South Asian Teachers Association is a professional organization with the mission to encourage a more effective cooperation among instructors and educators of South Asian languages, linguistics, and literatures in colleges and universities in North America (http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/salta).
  • SSAS- the Society for South Asian Studies supports advanced research in the history, visual and material culture, ethnography, language, religion and literature. It publishes an annual journal, South Asian Studies. (http://www.britac.ac.uk/institutes/SSAS).
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    Subscription Databases

  • AIIEBIP- the All India Index to English Books in Print is the first electronic version of Indian Books in Print that lists thousands of books not found in elsewhere, along with their prices. A Directory of Indian publishers with complete addresses and contact details is also included (http://www.nisc.com/factsheets/qebip.asp).
  • BAS- the Bibliography of Asian Studies is on-line version of the Bibliography of Asian Studies that contains records on all subjects, especially humanities and social sciences, pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to the present (http://ets.umdl.umich.edu/b/bas).
  • DELNET- the Developing Library Network provides a Union Catalogue of books, Union list of current periodicals, CD-ROM Databases, Database of Indian specialists, Database of periodical articles, Union list of video recordings, Urdu manuscripts' database, Database of theses and dissertations on India (http://delnet.nic.in/).
  • India Statistics- provides an oceanic depth of India-specific socio-economic statistical facts and figures culled from various secondary level authentic sources. Over half-a-million pages of statistical data have been qualitatively analyzed, condensed and presented in a user-friendly format (http://www.indiastat.com).
  • ISID- Index to Social Sciences Periodicals is the On-line Index to over one hundred Indian Social Science journals and press clippings files of national English dailies. (http://isidev.nic.in/odb.html).
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This paper and report of Feb 2004 written by
Rajwant S. Chilana, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Library Administration
& South Asian Studies Librarian
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
E-mail: rchilana at uiuc.edu.

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