Draft Minutes of
the Meeting Fall 2005
35th Meeting of the Conference on South Asia
Thursday October 6th 2005, 2-6 pm
University of Wisconsin
Submitted by Adnan Malik
[Send revisions and corrections to Adnan Malik amalik at
library.berkeley.edu with a copy to Philip
2. Minutes from previous meeting
3. Project updates and new initiatives
4. Round Robin
Attendees: Bronwen Bledsoe (Chicago),
Merry Burlingham (UT-Austin), Fehl Cannon (LC), Rajwant Chilana
(Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Frank Conlon (University of Washington),
Monica Ghosh (Hawaii), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Catherine Lee
(UCLA), David Magier (Columbia), Adnan Malik (Cornell), Ed Miner (Iowa),
Carol Mitchell (LC), Laila Mulgaokar (LC), David Nelson (Penn), James
Nye (Chicago), Mary Rader (Wisconsin), Rich Richie (Yale), James Simon
(CRL), Andrea Singer (Indiana), Surya Mittal (DK Agencies)
from the previous meeting (March 29th 2005, Chicago) were silently
read. Two corrections were suggested and adopted, following which the
minutes were approved
3. Project updates and new initiatives
Mary Rader and Merry Burlingham shared
their discussion of how to go about setting up an archive for CONSALD.
Mary showed examples of some things she would recommend for archiving.
It was recommended to preserve the organizational history of CONSALD for
interested students etc. Don Johnson sent all he had of SALNAQ, South
Asia Library Notes and Queries to Mary. There was need to preserve the
web versions of such documents, e.g., the CONSALD web page, email
correspondence, etc. Mary offered to store the paper documents at
Wisconsin which would be a logical choice as CONSALD meets there every
year. David Magier and Merry Burlingham also had material from earlier
CONSALD years. It was recommended for all to go back and see what
material of interest they have in their offices. David recommended that
there be institutional commitment to make this an open archive. James
Simon stated that CRL maintains historical archives for the AMPs, but
may be less inclined to store files for a project not under its
direction. However, CONSALD may wish to make a formal request. James
Nye suggested LC Delhi also help by preserving queries and working and
Journal Indexing Project:
This past summer Wisconsin
started a project to see what percentage of South Asian periodicals have
been indexed and where. The aim was to see what had been done and then
to request funding. She wanted to know about potential sources that
could be consulted and would like to have listed all the periodicals
supplied by LC. David Magier suggested seeking small amounts of funding
and that table of contents also be included. Jim Nye suggested updating
OCLC and RLIN records rather than building a new isolated site. Mary
sought questions and comments from others.
David Magier gave an update on behalf of
Aruna Magier who was not able to attend. He reported that every record
now has an ISSN for the article in question, i.e., it has an open URL.
Frank Conlon returned from an Asian marketing tour for the BAS and the
only negative feedback he got was for lack of vernacular script support.
There is Unicode support in BAS, but we need to figure out how to
convert the existing dataset not in MARC format to Unicode. David asked
for suggestions about how to do this.
Columbia Table of Contents Project:
David Magier reported
on how Columbia is dealing with the need for appropriate bibliographic
data for material that is being sent to remote storage. The solution is
to either know where the material is indexed or, if that is not
possible, scanning the table of contents. Columbia is currently
photocopying the contents pages before scanning them and capturing
barcode and other identifying information with them. They will do this
for the entire Indian census. Jim Nye suggested hyper-linking on line
those years of the census that are available. Since this project is
valuable beyond Columbia, David expressed his hope to see more
cooperation from other institutions and wider availability. Currently
Cornell and Columbia are collaborating on this project.
Endangered Urdu Archives Project:
Adnan Malik reported
that he ran into visa problems and so was not able to visit Aligarh to
oversee the start of the project. However, Jim Nye was able to visit
Aligarh and had fruitful discussions with the people there on how to go
about the project. A preliminary list of ten titles has already been
agreed upon, and micro-filming should start soon.
Mushfiq Khwaja Collection:
Jim Nye reported that there was
enough interest expressed in the conference call he had arranged to
proceed and purchase the collection. He acknowledged the good leadership
AIPS has shown and hoped LC Islamabad will help with the digitization.
He reminded everyone that libraries that want to join need to make a
commitment by the end of October. This could be done by purchasing one
share for $10,000. More than one library can come together to purchase
one share. He requested that those libraries that have made the
commitment need to pay the first installment by the end of the month. So
far, commitments have reached $50,000. He hoped that CSAL would also
contribute to the project, especially in the area of training.
James Simon reported on some new features for DSAL that were funded by
the second phase of TICFIA called SAIA. Two photograph collections have
been added to the collection. The first is the Keagle Collection, and
the second is the Bond Collection. Both are about WWII and will be up
The other big project is the historical atlas of South Asia. There
are some delays with implementation because of transferring to a new
The web site is currently receiving about 30,000 hits a month.
Starting on Oct 1st, a new phase of TICFIA will award about
$800,000 over four years from the Dept of Education. The money will fund
activity on several fronts:
* Conversion of audio files of the linguistic survey of India and
making them digitally available over the Web. The conversion will take
place at the British Library to be delivered as MP3 files. There will
also be a copy at RC India.
* Continued work on the South Asia Union Catalogue. TICFIA funds
"phase III & IV," covering North Central India and Nepal, as well as
western South Asia including Pakistan and Afghanistan. The grant will
fund the creation of 120,000 records by members of CSAL. Records are
being created from Quarterly lists and other sources. The aim is to make
full MARC records and also include titles with no copy. Funds are being
sought for phase II of the project covering East India and Burma.
* Preservation and indexing of periodicals. The grant will fund the
creation of 1200 journal index records and microfilm preservation of
about 200 periodicals.
* Development of a pilot to deliver articles electronically between
South Asia and the US. The approach is cautious because of copyright
Jim Nye reported on the latest developments
of DDSA. Many new dictionaries have been added. These include two
Balochi dictionaries, a Bengali-English dictionary, Old Marathi
dictionary, and Schmit's Nepali-English dictionary. Apte's Sanskrit
dictionary is also available and negotiations are ongoing to add the
Hindi Sabdasagara. Monier William's Sanskrit dictionary is also in
progress, but is not a priority at this time.
4. Round Robin:
- Monica Ghosh, University of Hawaii: Hawaii is maintaining the
status quo and does not expect any more budget cuts after last year's
drastic one. They have hired a new tenure-track faculty member in Ethnic
studies who is interested in the South Asia Diaspora. Hawaii
participated in an art exhibition titled, Making Connections that
showcased rare material from the library about Asia and the
- Ed Miner, Universiy of Iowa: A small Islamic studies program
has started on campus, which has introduced collection of material in
Arabic that is being handled by Ed. He was able to add Kannada to the
South Asia profile and would like to collect more from Afghanistan and
Pakistan because of interest in global Islam. He visited Delhi and
Bangalore to fill in the gaps in the Kannada studies core title list
compiled for the NRC center at Iowa.
- Merry Burlingham, University of Texas, austin: Two new
faculty members were hired in government and international development,
trade and Environment. They want to hire two more South Asia faculty
working on films and geography, ecology and the environment. There will
be a Texas book festival at the end of October with Salman Rushdie as
the guest of honor. A mentoring program has started on campus for people
pursuing a joint MLS and Middle East studies degree. Merry, Don Johnson
and Rajwant Chilana volunteered to work on a basic bibliography on South
Asia for undergrad schools.
- Frank Conlon, University of Washington: The search for a new
South Asia bibliographer continues.
- Surya Mittal, DK Agencies: Surya Mittal from DK Agencies gave
an overview of the latest projects undertaken by the book suppliers. These
include adding table of contents to records as well as original scripts.
They already have web data in Hindi.
- Jim Nye, University of Chicago, DSAL: Jim talked about his
trip to India and Pakistan in relation to the Endangered Archives
Project. In addition to the project for Urdu periodicals there are three
other projects being funded by the British Library. There is a project
dealing with Marathi books at the Bhandarker Institute and another at
the SVK involving the preservation microfilming of Telugu books. He
suggested that if CONSALD or SAMP were interested there was still time
to apply for grants for similar projects.
He reported on a seminar
abroad being run by USEFI for fifteen librarians and archivists. The
emphasis is on high school and junior college librarians. The candidates
will spend 5 weeks in India. The University of Chicago will host the
pre-departure orientation. Jim sought suggestions for readings for the
candidates. He also asked if there is a way to link USEFI for CONSALD's
He also mentioned the
survey on the state of libraries in Goa done by Abhijit Bhattacharaya.
He will do more surveys in Assam etc. There are surveys available for
Nepal and the Deccan. Jim wondered if CONSALD wanted to take the
initiative in similar activities.
He also reported that
the Aligarh Muslim University showed interest in collaborating in
preservation and greater access, not just for its Urdu holdings but also
Sanskrit and Hindi.
Finally he reported that
the private Marathi collection of R C Dhare was up for sale. It is one
of the finer collections in Pune, and is strong in periodicals, literary
works, and family histories. It might be possible to house it on the
upper floor of the AIIS office in Pune. The collection has 16-18
thousand monographs and about 400 periodicals and the price is $35,000.
Those interested should contact Jim.
- David Magier, Columbia University: Bindu is back after 3
months of sick leave and projects are moving again, including the final
cleanup of the South Asia backlog. The South Asia studies is on the rise
with new faculty appointments, including Sheldon Pollock from Chicago.
Partha Chatterjee is the current chair of the South Asia/ Middle East
Dept. A new grant was awarded to the Language Resources dept for Tamil
Aruna and David got
married on Sept 10th. Aruna is teaching Telugu part time and indexing
BAS full time.
David visited India and
Nepal. He visited RMRL in Chennai, SVK in Hyderabad and Madan Puraskar
Pustakalaya in Kathmandu. Each of these centers wants to standardize the
services they offer visiting scholars, and he wondered if CSAL could
play a role in that.
He suggested a blog for
area studies librarians considering that area studies are under threat
and it is getting hard to secure funding for traveling abroad and
within the US.
- Philip McEldowney, University of Virginia: Philip McEldowney
announced that the University of Virginia has completed the cataloging
of Indian District Gazetteers. The South Asia collection acquired a
Koran published in 1900. They hired a new person to do digital Tibetan
work. Calvin Hsu was hired as the new East Asia librarian.
Philip was given $20,000
to spend on Arabic material in 5 months. The East Asia and South Asia
collection will shortly receive a big donation for the study of
religion. Work continues on the Rosetti Project, the Blake Project,
Valley of Shadows (Civil War), and TV clips about the Civil Rights
- Catherine Lee, UCLA: UCLA just established a new Center for
study of India and South Asia with Sanjay Subramaniam from Oxford as its
director. It is hard to get a South Asia librarian for UCLA. The
chancellor will step down to teach next year.
- Rich Richie, Yale University: The South Asia Program is
growing slowly with a new PhD on Asian religions. They have also begun
to teach Tamil in addition to Hindi.
- David Nelson, University of Pennsylvania: There were no new
hires but the search is on for a new South Indianist and a post doc
Sinhalese position. Many prominent Sanskrit faculty members have either
retired or moved
The position for
director of collection development is also vacant. Currently those
duties are being executed by a collection development council of 5
members which includes an area studies librarian on a rotating basis.
Penn now subscribes to Newspaper Direct, which provides access to 9
newspapers from India.
- Andrea Singer, Indiana University, Bloomington: Incoming
freshmen were assessed an extra $1000 in tuition to support
international programs. The library was given money for the Middle East,
South Asia etc. The Indian Studies program has also been granted a
centrally located house.
The South Asia
collection has expanded its profile to include Urdu. The Tibetan
collection has benefited from moving material to off site storage
because now it is housed in better conditions.
Andrea thanked all who
worked at SAMP last year on the Manring subvention project.
- Adnan Malik, Cornell: Things holding steady. There were new
hires to teach languages, primarily Sinhalese, Sanskrit and Bengali. The
South Asia program is planning a big conference on religious identity
and economic development on 15-16 October.
- Rajwant Chilana, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign:
The interest in South Asia is growing on campus. There are two new
hires, one for Indian history and the other for Indian cinema. UIC will
submit an application for the Title VI grant for the first time.
Rajwant just released
his book titled, Index to Sikh Religion and Culture, and will now work
on Indian cinema.
- Mary Rader, University of Wisconsin, Madison: Mary had
already talked about the indexing project. Wisconsin lost their Tibetan
person to Emory. Mark Kenoyer will be the new AIPS president and his
office will be at Wisconsin
- James Simon, CRL: The Global Resources Network will be transferred to
CRL. This move consolidates considerable international activity under
one roof -- CRL will work with participating institutions to collect
"harder and smarter," with more integration of projects and distribution
of responsibility. James made his first trip to South Asia
- Fehl Canon for Allen Thrasher, Library of Congress: Allen
would people to know that Anne Della Porta of RCCD told him that what
languages get selected for cataloging in original script via Unicode
depends upon demand from other institutions. CONSALD and other
institutions may want to express their concerns to LOC in a resolution
or some other way.
Mi Chu Wiens, area
specialist in the Chinese team, made permanent head of Reference
Services in Asian Division. The Southern Asian section has been split
into South Asian and Southeast Asian teams. Large areas of the South
Asia collection are being sent to remote storage at Fort Meade. The
Tibetan collection will stay on Capitol Hill.
Phong Tran has completed
cataloging books from Albrecht Weber's library and will begin on
Indo-Aryan manuscripts. IN RCCD, the South and Southeast Asian teams
have combined to form one team called SSA.
LC is buying all the IDC
microfilm collections of British political intelligence files on Asia.
IDC will probably microfilm the Burma Papers consisting of 1. files from
Japanese occupied Burma seized by Gen. Stillwell's troops, and 2. files
of interrogations of suspected communist insurgents after the war, given
by the government of post-colonial Burma to Cecil Hobbs. The first
component contains material on the Indian National Army and the resident
Efforts are being made
to improve acquisition of publications about Asia from Europe and
elsewhere. The gaps for South Asia are not that bad.
Certain problems in
updating and maintaining Country Portals have been fixed.
Allen visited the field
offices primarily to look over acquisitions and came back satisfied.
- Bronwen Bledsoe, Univesity of Chicago: Lots of changes in the
South Asia department. Most of the old guard is gone. There is more
gender parity and also lots of non-US European and South Asian hires.
The library is well equipped to meet needs.
Jim introduced a resolution that in "alphabetical order"
Bengali, Devanagari, Tamil and Tibetan to be seen as a unit not in order
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6 pm.
[Minutes taken and submitted by Adnan Malik. ]
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