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