Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation
Minutes of the Meeting Fall 2002
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
Thursday, 10 October 2002, 2-6 P.M.
362 Conference Room Memorial Library
Submitted by Mary Rader

Approved 27 March 2003
[but, if you know of any revisions and corrections, send to Mary Rader, mrader at, with a copy to Philip McEldowney]

I. Attendees and preliminaries II. Round Robin III. Review and approval of the minutes IV. Treasurer's Report V. SAMP update VI. DSAL/DDSA update VII. CRL update VIII. Brainstorm re: Endangered South Asia Libraries IX. Mapping strengths of our collections Brief Announcements X. LC-Delhi report XI. LC-Islamabad report

I. Attendees and preliminaries
Attending the meeting were: James Armstrong (LC-Islamabad), Larry Ashmun (Wisconsin), Brent Bianchi (TRLN/Duke), Bronwen Bledsoe (Chicago), Tim Bryson (Emory), Merry Burlingham (Texas), James Gentner (LC-OVOP), Monica Ghosh (Hawaii), Alan Grosenheider (Washington), Don Johnson (Minnesota), Patricia Kuntz (Wisconsin), Ved Kayastha (Cornell), Catherine Lee (UCLA), Surya Mittal (DK Agencies), Panna Naik (Pennsylvania), Mary Rader (Michigan), Todd Scudieri (Wisconsin), James Simon (CRL), and Andrea Singer (Indiana)

Robin Rider, the head of Collection Development at U Wisconsin, welcomed the group.

Back to the top II. Round Robin

  • Larry Ashmun: Larry introduced their new student assistant, Todd Scudieri. UW is searching for a new project manager for the PAIR (formerly DAL) project. Wisconsin has a new Center Director, Vinay Dvarkar and they are working to coordinate the new Summer Language Institute.
  • Andrea Singer: Jerry Larson is retiring and so they have begun their search for a new head of their India Studies program. Over the weekend, IU is hosting the CIC program on new technologies for research and teaching in International Studies. Andrea also mentioned that they are now allowed to tap general collection funds for the India Studies collection.
  • Don Johnson: Minnesota is beginning a search for an Urdu professor. DAL officially ended on Sept. 30th but as of Oct. 1st, its new incarnation, the Portal for Asian Internet Resources (PAIR) began. Through PAIR, they will explore issues related to the funding of web archiving and associated copyright issues. UMinn Libraries have a large project to scan maps, photographs and so on from their rare book collection-in total they hope to digitize approximately 2000 titles. Of those will be photos from 1900-1930 documenting the "Infrastructure of the Raj." Don anxiously awaits next year's publication of Wedding attire on five continents, to which he is both contributor and editor.
  • Merry Burlingham: Three new faculty members have joined Texas: R. Kumar (Hindi), S. Hassan (Urdu) and O. Freiberger (Buddhism). They are in the process of recruiting a new South Asia anthropologist. The map librarian at UT is digitizing approximately 270 sheets of US Army maps from the 1950s, some of which will be from India and Pakistan; these will most likely be available in 2003 (through the Perry Castaneda Library's map collection). Harold Billings, their library director, will be retiring next year. UT is participating in the Knowledge Gateway, a digital system interlinking documents such as historical children's literature, travel literature, guidebooks and the like.
  • Ved Kayastha: Cornell's South Asia section experienced a 0% budget increase this year and will probably see this trend continue for the next 3-5 years. All funds, it seems, are being channeled to digital and electronic resources.
  • Panna Naik: David Nelson is currently on a trip and it is expected that he will acquire important Jain manuscripts from the L.D. Institute. Penn's budget is good and they are buying lots of videos and DVDs which they are happy to see heavily used. Panna's second book of short stories will come out in a month; she was also awarded the Gujarat Literary Academy of America award for her work.
  • Catherine Lee: UCLA has received a Freeman Foundation grant to develop the East and Southeast Asia library collections. They purchased the new critical edition of the Tanjur (circularized through LC). Their Center for Buddhist Studies continues to grow with the addition of Boswell (China), Bottiford (Japan) and Schopen (SAsia and Tibet). Last month, the Southern California South Asia group hosted a conference on Mirabai. UCLA is searching for a new University Librarian and a new Southeast Asia librarian. They did not experience budget cuts so far this year but they are facing serials cancellations.
  • Todd Scudieri: Todd is in his second semester of his MLS at U Wisconsin. He received his MA in South Asian studies at U Wisconsin as well.
  • Brent Bianchi: As Avinash Maheshwary's duties have expanded to cover the Research Triangle's library network, they have added a second person to help with collection development. Brent enjoys working with Avinash at Duke and welcomes comments or suggestions on issues related to cooperative collection development.
  • Surya Mittal: DK Agencies is an associate of the Asia Studies Virtual Website. In addition, DK hopes to contribute records to OCLC in the near future.
  • Patti Kuntz: Patti is the African Studies librarian at the U of Wisconsin.
  • Monica Ghosh: Hawaii has a couple of new hires: M. DasGupta in Ethnic Studies (SA diaspora) and L. Parrot in philosophy. They have experienced no change in their budget but they are experiencing different distributions of it. Hawaii significantly revised their LC profile last year. Hawaii is hosting two Rockefeller scholars: one who works on women in construction and one how works on border issues. G. Spivak is coming to their English department next semester. They are having a spring symposium on film and social justice. Monica has also assumed duties as the faculty director for Hawaii's Center for South Asian Studies.
  • Bronwen Bledsoe: Bronwen assures us that the large- scale projects headed up by Chicago are moving forward. In the next year, Chicago hopes to recruit faculty to teach Marathi, Kannada and Telugu.
  • Mary Rader: Michigan will have a search this year for 2 new positions: South Asian Islam and South Asian Media Studies. The Library has begun a project to index architecture-related journals for the BAS. The Scholarly Publishing Office of the Library is beginning an effort to digitize the Area Centers' out of print publications.
  • James Simon: postponed his comments until later in the meeting.
  • Alan Grosenheider: U Washington has made the significant acquisition of a Gandharan manuscript. The Library has been pleased to see an increase of gifts related to this acquisition. Anand Yang has been appointed the new director of the Jackson School. Last year, their budget was cut approximately 10%. Although it is still unclear as they haven't yet been given their budget allocations, they hope that this year's budget will not be cut as much. On a personal note, Alan became a father this year.
  • James Gentner: At the time of the meeting, LC had still not received its budget from Congress; they are hoping to have it by Monday (Oct 14). There have been some personnel changes at LC: Karl Lowe's contract has ended and Robert Warden of the Federal Research Division is the acting chief of the Asia Division. Lygia Ballantyne's last day will be next Friday (Oct 18); after her departure from Delhi, Lygia will be a Field Director in Residence in Washington. Carol Mitchell will be the acting Field Director until January when Laila Mulgaokar takes Lygia's place. The Cairo position will be posted; in the meantime James will be the acting director. Will Tuchrello will be taking a leave of absence next year; Jim Armstrong will be moving to Jakarta to fill his position. Laila will attend the AAS next spring, as will Lygia most likely. The anthrax scare lingers at LC; USPS continues to direct mail for irradiation and the Library is just now receiving mail sent in August. Although books are also being irradiated, participants' materials are not as the materials in the lift vans come directly to the Library from Delhi.
  • James Armstrong: Jim reserved his comments for later in the meeting.
  • Tim Bryson: Currently in his 4th year at Emory, Tim reports that their budget continues to be strong. Emory lost their Sanskrit professor this year but have hired 2 new people, Nadine Berardi and Diana Dimitrova, a 2nd Hindi professor. The Asian Studies chair reports that they will be looking for a Telugu instructor and perhaps a Tibetan instructor soon. They are trying to increase their development efforts in the local community and the Library has a new initiative to "market" the library to potential user groups. On a personal note, Tim got married 2 weeks after the last AAS.

Back to the top III. Review and approval of the minutes
A few typos and corrections were noted after which the minutes from the March meeting were passed.

IV. Treasurer's Report (Rader)
The current balance in the CONSALD account is $913.23. The question was raised if the South Asia Council might give money to CONSALD. A report on this will be given at the next meeting.

Back to the top V. SAMP update (Rader)
SAMP will have elections for 2 executive committee members (1 librarian, 1 faculty member) at the AAS meeting in New York. The nominating committee for this election consists of Monica Ghosh, Ray Lum and Andrea Singer. The AISLS-SAMP collaborations discussed in March are on hold due to Sri Lanka National Archives priorities and projects. Hopefully smaller AISLS identified projects can move forth in the meantime. The approved proposal for filming of the Indian Review has been tabled as it was discovered that IDC has already filmed this title. A representative of the National College of Arts (formerly the Mayo School of Arts) in Lahore contacted us as they are interested collaborating with SAMP on projects to preserve their archives (which include their institutional archives as well as folios, books, maps, building plans, drawings and photographs from 1880-1950, etc.). James Simon added that SAMP might like to consider making a suggestion to the next round of CRL purchase proposals. He also noted that Shab Khun is now ready for use.

Back to the top VI. DSAL/DDSA update (Simon)
James Simon reported on the Digital South Asia Library (DSAL), Digital Dictionaries of South Asia (DDSA) and the new South Asia Information Access (SAIA) projects.

As of July, Rebecca Moore stepped down from DSAL and Gerald Hall has been the acting project manager since. (Rebecca can be contacted at rebeccaisretired at CRL was granted a one-year extension for the DSAL project. In July, the DSAL server experienced a crash but no data was lost; a new firewall and standby server have been put in place. Unfortunately, this crash has postponed the uploading of some material but that will begin again soon. DSAL now has over 40 distinct resources (within 7 categories) in its collection which includes almost 200,000 records. They plan to soon add the final volumes of the Imperial Gazetteer of India; a database of prints, drawings and photography from the Oriental and India Office Collection; and the final issues of Mahfil. At the present time, there are 5 dictionaries (in 4 languages) available through DDSA: Pali, Urdu, Persian and Anglo-Indian. 15 other dictionaries will be uploaded by the time of the AAS. Devanagari is now displaying properly and they hope to have other South Asian scripts available soon. Both DSAL and DDSA have observed a steady increase in the number of users. On average, they count approximately 8,000 unique domains each month.

On October 1, funding for the new phase of the DSAL project, South Asia Information Access, became available. This second phase will allow the development of a collaborative project by a federation of institutions to deliver additional digital research materials concerning South Asia to users in the U.S. and throughout the world by means of the already established DSAL site. James Simon will be the co-project manager of this project. Monica Ghosh asked if SAIA might want to consider collaborating with the Central Institute of Indian Languages. Brent Bianchi asked for more clarification about the geographic scope of the project.

Back to the top VII. CRL update (Simon)
A recent Mellon grant has enabled CRL to begin cataloging what were formerly uncataloged foreign dissertations. Although this is not full-level cataloging, so far CRL has been able to produce approximately 1,000 records a week, or 70,000 dissertations in the first 8 months of the project. (Don Johnson suggested that CRL consider adding Canadian dissertations to the foreign dissertation collection.) CRL has engaged in a strategic plan review which has led to a highlighting of CRL strengths such as the Area Studies Council (ASC) projects. They are looking at possibilities for creating collaborative software (like e-room software). Another Mellon grant has funded a collaborative project (partners include CRL, Cornell, NYU, Stanford, TX and LC) to archive internet resources. The hope is that this project will help address some of the problems of this kind of work, particularly how to identify and curate/update these records; they will provide post-study recommendations when they're complete (in 2004). CRL is hosting a Cooperative Collection Development Conference in November in Aberdeen Woods.

VIII. Brainstorm re: Endangered South Asia Libraries (Singer)
On behalf of Rebecca Manring, Andrea solicited suggestions for funding sources for South Asian Libraries in danger of destruction, etc. They already have explored IFLA and UNESCO's "Memory of the World" projects. If anyone has any suggestions, please contact Rebecca at rmanring at

Much discussion ensued, particularly addressing issues of the need for further clarification of potential projects; whether grants to doctoral students through CLIR might be applicable; if Fullbright's "Senior Specialists" program might apply to these kinds of projects; how the Africa Research Central website lists research centers and their needs; how there is a need for collective pooling of knowledge and a need to reach out.

Back to the top IX. Mapping strengths of our collections (Ghosh)
Monica lead a discussion on how to present ourselves collectively (and, perhaps individually). The main question driving the discussion was that of collection development policies-who has them, what are they, where are our strengths and weaknesses? Monica sees a lack of library literature about South Asian collection development and believes this kind of study would be of great use. Some discussion ensued: Merry suggested consulting the North American Title Count; Don Johnson suggested that an analysis re: what resources physical libraries continue to provide vs. what web resources do would be helpful; Ved suggested that a comparison of what LC provides vs. what outside vendors might would be of interest; James Simon mentioned that such a study would be of interest to CRL, particularly as it might identify where gaps are in national collections, etc. The final result was that Monica is going to devise and send out a survey that will be reported on by the time of the AAS.

Brief Announcements:
Merry alerted us to the Adam Matthew product "Empire on line," which contains British Library and Oriental and India Office Collection materials, particularly aimed at the undergraduate level. Also of potential interest would be Adam Matthew's "India through western eyes."

It was reported that David Magier would like to invite the Bibliography of Asian Studies indexer to attend the AAS meeting in the spring, to address concerns about what is being indexed, who is doing the indexing, etc.

Tim Bryson reported that Rich Richie (Yale) is curious if we can organize a joint meeting of South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia librarians at the next AAS to discuss common concerns (as part of the ALL committee).

Back to the top X. LC-Delhi Report (Gentner)
James Gentner gave Lygia's report.
The LC-Delhi office is celebrating its 40th anniversary. As part of this, on Sept. 27th they officially released the South Asian Literary Recordings project website. For more on this event, see: Carol Mitchell will be the interim head until Laila Mulgaokar takes over in January. Laila has already visited the office and had a two-week overlap with Lygia. The Delhi office has increased its updates to the website, most notably in the areas of serials, ephemera, newspapers and the fiche collection. The office has been collecting and microfilming reactions to the events of Sept. 11th. They have also been busy collecting materials regarding the recent violence in Gujarat, such as white papers, government and NGO materials and videos. 489 titles were circularized to participants this past year. If participants are interested in more circulars, we should bring that to Laila's attention; they have been doing this quite extensively in the Cairo office. SCIMS is now fully operational; they have cut their check-in time from 3 days to 1-1/2 days, automated lists are easily generated and it is possible to generate a list of serials by levels of selectivity. There as been a 12% decrease in newspaper subscriptions and other formats are down 32% from the previous years. That said, there is a 3% increase in monograph and 5% increase in serials acquisition. After a trip to Dhaka, LC has a new dealer (University Press Ltd) and the acquisitions from Bangladesh are up 40%. Catalogers at the Delhi office were trained in H Schedule cataloging last winter; full descriptive and subject cataloging from Delhi should be up 75% in the upcoming months. Again, all belle lettres cataloging will be done at the minimal level-they will include the LC call number but will not be shelf-listed. Microfilm production in Delhi has decreased from 2086 reels to 1071 reels while fiche production has increased 43%. They have added more bibliographic detail to the film leaders. 10 lift vans were shipped to LC this year. Sage Publications is going to discontinue publishing the South Asia Bibliographer.

Back to the top XI. LC-Islamabad (Armstrong)
After Sept. 11th, Jim was evacuated from Pakistan. He returned in December and was evacuated again in March. Although he technically would have returned at the end of September, his position at LC- Islamabad ended on Sept. 30th (Jim is headed for the Jakarta office). Jim urges Judy McDermott to post and fill the Islamabad position, even if it may need to be staffed differently given the current circumstances.

The Islamabad office has seen an increase in publications from Afghanistan but overall the level of acquisitions has been stable over the year (compared to last year). Jim reports a relatively free press in Pakistan although the LC office is cautious not to go against the local government's laws (for example, the circular over the last year about illegal types of publication). The office has seen some administrative improvements, notably the new website at, a new click-stamp postal arrangement and a new office scanner (they will entertain requests for scanned documents). They are starting to get bibliographic control over approximately 870 titles as part of the Afghan microfiche project. These cover broad subject areas (back into the Soviet period) and should be available through LC photodup. There have been a number of senior staff retirements over the past year. Oxford UP publications should be coming faster; participants can select all or no OUP publications, etc.

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