Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation
Minutes of the Meeting Fall 2004
Conference on South Asia
Thursday 14 October 2004, 2-6 pm pm
Memorial Library #362
Madison, Wisconsin
Submitted by David Nelson

These Minutes were approved by CONSALD at its March meeting 2005

Attendees 1. Minutes from previous meeting 2. Treasuere's Report 3. Portal to Asian Internet Resources (PAIR) 4. Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) 5. South Asia Union Catalog 6. Discussion on South Asia titles for JSTOR 7. AIIS-funded library project 8. Diasporic newspapers 9. Non-roman scripts in catalogs 10. Federated searching 11. Library of Congress Reports
Documents: JSTOR list || Binding Note

Attendees: Carol Mitchell, Mary Rader, Merry Burlingham, David Magier, David Nelson, Allen Thrasher, Rukhsana Saood, Jim Nye, Nuzhat Khatoon, Donald Johnson, James Simon, Philip McEldowney, Monica Ghosh, Atish Chatterjee, Fehl Cannon, Catherine Lee, John Loud, Wayne Hayes, Jerry Hall (DSAL), Edward Miner, Tim Bryson, Lisa Klopfer, Brent Bianchi, Bronwen Bledsoe, Rajwant Chilana, Monica Ghosh, Adnan Malik, Andrea Singer, Frank Conlon

The meeting was opened by M. Rader at 2:35 PM, 10/14/04 with an introductory greeting by Ed VanGemert on behalf of the UW Library.

Back to the top 1. Minutes were read silently and approved. [It was suggested to SAC representatives Anita Weiss and Michael Fisher that they consider inviting South Asian librarians, as well as faculty members/scholars, to attend AAS meetings. M. Rader will follow up on those developments.]

2. Treasurer's Report. D. Nelson reported that the CONSALD account has a balance of $722.66 with no expenditures during the past year.

3. Wayne Hayes, Project manager for the Portal to Asian Internet Resources, gave a presentation on PAIR. A number of new features have been added including a new manager, site, URL and a number of new records. There has been a nearly fourfold increase in the number of South Asia related records from 2001 to the present (385 area records - 1284 area records). URL: New developments include true [native] script capabilities including searching using Unicode. Records are all entered into OCLC and thus appear in WorldCat. Includes a section on featured or newly added resources. Wayne gave a demonstration on site searching in PAIR. Upcoming plans include working with the Central Eurasian Digital Infrastructure to digitize 500 critical texts as well as provide an e-publication repository. Plans are also underway to conduct annual virtual conferences.

Question: will you have scripted titles, the Romanized transliteration side by side -- yes: both forms appear in the full record display.

Back to the top 4. Jerry Hall, DSAL. A handout on DSAL usage was distributed. Over 1 million hits per month and downloading has doubled. DSAL remains on the first page in a Google search. There are now nearly 15K images from AIIS; 2k added this year. Plans are underway to digitize Schwartzberg's Historical Atlas. The 26 volumes of the Imperial Gazetteer have been scanned. Expect more dictionaries to come up in the near term.

Open Archives Initiative: made arrangements with the U. of Chicago Library to be a data provider and have also had discussions with U. of Michigan and U. of Illinois on how to make possible for other people to put up their metadata and objects in OAI.

Comment for Jerry: Summarize the status for the digital dictionaries implementation. What will come up and when? Query was fielded by Jim Nye.

Work is continuing; currently adding Perso-Arabic script and other scripts to relevant dictionaries. We are expecting the release of some 15 dictionaries in the next several months; they are in beta-testing right now. Delivery has also been made of 3 additional dictionaries during the past month. Contracts continue to be written.

Back to the top 5. Jim Nye gave an overview of the South Asia Union Catalog which will cover the years 1556-1947 for Phase I (South India and Sri Lanka). Phase II will encompass regions of Orissa, Bengal and Assam and Colonial Burma. A funding source has been identified. Phase III -- Hindi speaking region (including Nepal) and Gujarat and Maharashtra will be submitted to DOE. Phase IV, a funding has not yet been identified will be for Afghanistan (primarily Perso-Arabic scripts).

There are currently 360K records from LC and 300K records from other sources. Regional scripts are included where applicable. CDS-ISIS is the database software. Holding libraries will be added to the record.

6. David Magier led a discussion on the question of JSTOR and serial titles from South Asia that can be included in their ongoing scanning program. Discussed were questions such as what would be appropriate methodologies for selecting titles, how to submit titles to JSTOR for consideration, how to determine core journals, purpose of JSTOR itself and its interest in expanding its journal list to be of more interest to a world-wide audience, who to contact at JSTOR, should the suggested list of journals be limited to South Asia or include Southeast Asia also, etc. One possible technique is to look at the hits on BAS (look at bookbag and journal browse) Frank and David will find out if possible to extract relevant statistics from BAS. Mary Rader will contact JSTOR to discuss CONSALD's interest in submitting serial titles for scanning.

[See e-mail message sent out by Mary Rader, 11/15/2004, "Final Lists for JSTOR suggestions" Go to message]

Back to the top 7. Lisa Klopfer (Asst. Professor and Librarian, Bruce T. Halle Library Eastern Michigan University) gave a slide presentation on her AIIS library funded project in Pune that focused on the users of small private stall libraries run by entrepreneurs. She explored the functions of these small lending libraries. For those interested in more information on her project, Lisa can be contacted at lklopfer at

8. Allen Thrasher brought up the issue of the retention of diasporic newspapers published in the USA and what should we do with them? There are over 30 Bengali weeklies in the NY area alone. It is not clear how many titles are covered in Ethnic News Watch which are, however, English only titles. Allen will try to get sample issues of serials once freeze on serials is lifted. Allen posed a number of questions: is this a CRL type activity? Or can people agree that they could obtain those titles published in their respective states—that is, for documenting their own state.

Jim Nye observed that the U.S. Newspaper program still lives and this topic would be in scope for this program. (see for description and scope). Some libraries, such as the Queens Library in NY, might have a large holdings of newspapers of interest to us. Jim Nye suggested that perhaps we could keep only specimen issues in a manner similar to the British during the colonial period.

Monica Ghosh raised the question of what exactly is a diasporic publication? At Hawaii, for example, the emphasis is on the "-American" part of the hyphen.

The discussion will be continued at AAS in Chicago.

Overall, this topic generated a lively discussion on a number of related issues.

Back to the top 9. David Nelson gave a short summary of the ALA Summer 2004 program entitled Library Catalogs and Non-Roman Scripts: Development and Implementation of UnicodeTM for Cataloging and Public Access. He drew particular attention to the useful and informative paper by Jack Cain on library issues concerning Unicode implementation ( The presentations can be found at:

10. Merry Burlingham brought up the issue of federated searching. One matter is that South Asia materials are not compatible with the systems such as OneBox. ( Undergraduate instruction tends to focus only on the large multidisciplinary databases, yet a large number of our types of searches require accessing various databases while at the same time, undergrads tend to not want to undertake such searching strategies.

David M. observed that there are several issues here: the actual construction of a federated searching system or simply the useful grouping together of databases relevant to South Asia studies. In searching, one needs both a search box (command line) and browse capability -- to be able to go from the specific to the more general. Columbia has looked at a number of software solutions for federated searching, and the one that seemed to be the best was the one used at the Cleveland Public Library. They have something called OneSearch ( . Problems associated with general federated search structures were discussed.

Back to the top 11. LC Report. Carol Mitchell reporting. Judy McDermott retired on Oct. 1, 2004 and Lygia Ballantyne is the Acting Head of OvOp. Laila was interested in knowing if it would be useful for her to also set aside time for meeting with South Asia librarians at the various conferences. Carol reported that there had been a vendor conference in Delhi for vendor training where collection issues, business issues, and business practices. There was a discussion on overhead cost differences between the various offices and the reasons for the difference.

Rukhsana Saood gave the report for Islamabad. Will T. is still field director for Islamabad and commutes regularly from his stay in Delhi. There have been efforts to process a number of back volumes. There have been a number of improvements to SACAP with increased acquisition efforts, notably the Kabul tour.

The matter of serials back issues was brought up. The question of whether or not English and non-English books can be separated when shipped—for Delhi this not possible, but perhaps so for Islamabad. Monica asked if we will see the bill spike again and the answer was no.

David M. asked what special and ephemeral materials from Pakistan or Afghanistan will be coming in? In this regard he mentioned the special project that had been underway with Judy McDermott: "America in the eyes of the Islamic World" in which posters, political ephemera, textbooks, etc.

Jim Nye posed a question if there can be a greater CRL involvement Perhaps follow the CRL model for acquiring microform sets. The question of where will the funding come from was raised. A discussion on this issue ensued.

David M. asked if they are going to get Uzbek materials -- will not acquire in Uzbekistan, but if found elsewhere will pick up.

Rukhsana S. stated that the Perso-Arabic script is still not added to the catalog records, this matter is under discussion.

Carol M. reported that the Nepal coordinator has left. The new coordinator has been hired and this person should be able to bring things to date. There is now an Urdu cataloger in Delhi.

Serial freeze is still on.

Sri Lanka acquisitions problem and there will be a solution this year but dealers are sending materials through. The Malayalam cataloger is now independent and also does Sinhala.

LC will take care of the reply button problem.

Atish C. When making special request please specify how the item should be sent back.

Reprints are usually for pre-1950 titles as the selection criterion. David M. suggest pre-1960 -- which would be just prior to the inception of the program. These will continue to be circularized.

Please send requests to generic address and individual liaison person will send reply within 48 hours.

There has been an increase in the coverage by state and subject. They will try to acquire more regional films.

Binding question. Can they send books/pamphlets not bound. There is often a problem with the gutters.
[See Addendem to notes: Binding Policy statement, 22 November 2004]

Serial question by Don.: Don't put label on bottom of spine.

Carol solicited locations for travel. Rejection rate was around 50% and they want to get that down to 20-25%. Acquisition will be calling dealers monthly and now have 26 dealers.

Back to the top Meeting was closed at approximately 6 PM.

Minutes taken and submitted by David Nelson, University of Pennsylvania

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Webbing - Philip McEldowney, University of Virginia

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