Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation

Minutes of the Meeting -- Fall 2007
36th Annual Conference on South Asia
Memorial Library #126 Madison WI
Thursday, 11 October 2007, 2:00-6:00 p.m.

Approved at the CONSALD meeting 3 April 2008 Atlanta AAS

Attendees || Call to order, approval of minutes, treasurer’s report || “Round Robin” introductions and updates
Refresher course on CONSALD structure, election process, listserv || CONSALD Web site || DSAL, DDSA, and SAUC update Cooperative Collections || Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) || Vernacular scripts update Review of new electronic resources

The meeting started at 2:00 p.m.

Attendees: Judy Alspach (CRL), Deepa Banerjee (Washington), Abhijit Bhattacharya (CSSSC, Kolkata), James Bird (Chicago), Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell), Tim Bryson (Emory), Fehl Cannon (LC-DC), Michelle Caswell (Chicago), Jerry Hall (DSAL), Don Johnson (Minnesota), Chowdary Lakamsani (Hyderabad), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Jeff Martin (Michigan), Carol Mitchell (LC-Islu), Laila Mulgaokar (LC-Delhi) , David Nelson (Penn), Jim Nye (Chicago), Mary Rader (Wisconsin), Rich Richie (Yale), Andrea Singer (Indiana), Sunita Vaze (NYPL), Sam Wright (CRL)

Report of the Chair & Treasurer’s Report Tim called the meeting to order, welcomed all, and called for a review of the minutes.  With two additions they were approved. (Under 5.3.BAS update, Frank Conlon has submitted a UNICODE conversion plan, and is awaiting AAS approval. Under 12. Round Robin, Mary Rader, the Guide to the Indexing of South Asian Studies Periodicals, which contains 10,000 records telling where and to what extent South Asian studies journals are indexed, is available at
**It is also linked off the DSAL web site at :
**Andrea reported that the treasury holds a balance of $707.90.

Back to the top Round Robin

**Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell): Bronwen distributed bookmarks related to the exhibition Cornell University Libraries mounted in honor of the 2007 visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
**Mary Rader (Wisconsin):  The legal studies program is growing (2 pre-conferences: Law in India, and Law in Hinduism), and mass deacidification of Telugu materials is proceeding.
**Deepa Banerjee (Washington): The South Asia Oral History project’s second phase was named in honor of Irene Joshi. Washington has three new hires and two new positions. Deepa will be presenting a talk at ALA 2008 on scholarly communication and open access in South Asia, and would appreciate input.
**Rich Richie (Yale): Developments in anthropology, work with members of the Indian parliament, and the independence movement in South Asia
**Sunita Vaze (NYPL): Progress on an integrated library system and a grant for Chinese Tibetan material
**Philip McEldowney (Virginia): July visit to India included Patna, the Institue for Historical Studies in Kolkata (where a possible online project for the Dictionary of National Biography was discussed), and Delhi, where he purchased slum-related resources from NGOs
**Andrea Singer (Indiana):  A  team-taught core course in Indian Studies was offered for the first time this fall. Tibetan collection development has been added to Andrea’s duties.
**Jeff Martin (Michigan): He visited Kolkata, New Delhi, and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Technical Services is changing at Michigan.
**Don Johnson (Minnesota): Gale has digitized the South Asia Collection. Look for his contributions on Gujarati wedding attire at the Peabody Essex Museum this spring.
**David Nelson (Penn): Hindi teachers are retiring, and there will be a conference on Dalit studies next year.
**Judy Alspach (CRL): The latest issue of  CRL Focus focuses on colonial India: Fall 2007, Volume 27, Number 1. CRL recently co-sponsored a conference on human rights at Columbia.
**Sam Wright (CRL): Sam has just joined CRL.
**Michelle Caswell (Chicago): Michelle will be beginning soon as Jim Nye’s assistant.
**Jerry Hall (DSAL): Will report in agenda item 6.
**Jim Nye (Chicago): New initiatives include a JISC/NEH Transatlantic Digitization Collaboration Grant which includes Oxford, the British Library and probably DSAL/SAMP in a one-year project. New appointments include Gary Tubb from Columbia and a permanent lecturer in Marathi. Jim also introduced guests Abhijit Bhattacharya and Chowdary Lakamsani.
**James Bird (South Asia Union Catalog): Has joined the project and is a language expert.
**Tim Bryson (Emory): Described the dynamic Tibetan Studies Program, which has 7 or 8 Tibetan language students and two faculty. The Dalai Lama will be installed as a faculty member this fall.

Back to the top CONSALD Structure and Update Tim reported that the CONSALD constitutional changes (Articles 3 and 5), which align membership and elections with AAS practice,  will mean that our next nominating committee will look for people willing to stand for a three year term so that staggered appointments will result.
**Thanks to Merry Burlingham of the University of Texas (Austin), who has managed the CONSALD e-mail list for many years. The list will move to the University of Wisconsin, under Mary Rader. (NEW ADDRESS:

Back to the top CONSALD Web site: Tim prefaced the discussion by thanking Philip McEldowney, who has served as webmaster for many years – since early days when the site evolved from SALNAQ (South Asia Library Notes & Queries) endeavors.
**New CONSALD members have brought to the fore a desire to increase visibility and add more content to the site.
**Tim directed participants to the Web site proposal from James Simon (27th September 2007), which is included on the meeting agenda at :
**Tim then asked Bronwen Bledsoe to lead the discussion.
**Ideas from discussion:
      Collection development sources might be enlarged.
      New three part design with news at the right, fixed information at left?
      Who are audience members? Librarians? Users? Do we need a restricted area for SACAP participants?  Is it a recruitment tool? For AAS members? A SALNAQ tool for academics?)
      Would using Wikipedia work? Would a WIKI work?  (More people would be able to find our site…) Probably too vulnerable as Wikipedia entry…
      Could we follow others and get AAS money for our own domain name?
      Should the site be broader?
      Mary Rader volunteers to do the archive.
      Question: Should CONSALD begin raising money, having members pay dues so that we will have resources?
      Philip thinks a WIKI a good idea with a change from the Virginia URL to a CONSALD one. (He would work with 2 or 3 people and report at our next meeting.)
      Volunteers, who will work with Philip, are Carol Mitchell, David Nelson, and Sunita Vaze.

Back to the top DSAL, DDSA,  SAUC Reports.
** Jerry Hall reported that the immense Linguistic Survey of India Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) project, which uses AJAX technology, will be available in April. It is envisioned as a three part project including audio and transcription, full text volumes, and maps from the Linguistic Survey and about it.  (There are 262 phonographic transcriptions.) The 11th Five year plan includes money for a new survey, so DSAL may have new data to add to the old.
** Jim Nye reported that in the Digital Dictionaries of South Asia (DDSA) portion of DSAL, agreements have been signed for Hindi, Bangla, and Oriya dictionaries. The South Asia Language Resources Center wants to make a Sindhi dictionary available. Courtesy of Tokyo University, a Telugu dictionary will be available in the spring. Perso-Arabic script has been added to 5 dictionaries.  In response to a question about clean-up,  Jim replied that corrections are encouraged.
** The South Asia Union Catalog (SAUC) has improved its search technology, and will be totally compliant open source by the end of October. Limited UNICODE search and regional language display is present.  It will be able to take in and output MARC records, and NACO independent status is coming to the cataloger. There will be a proto name authority file, and emphasis is on the historical database.  Questions about how to index the entries and get GOOGLE to crawl through are being considered.

Frank Conlon, the managing editor of the Bibliography of Asian Studies, joined the group and was introduced by Tim.

Back to the top Cooperative Collections Mary Rader reported that the working group of James Simon, David Magier, Bronwen Bledsoe, David Nelson, and herself has been compiling data and working to formulate suggestions and strategies for cooperation since our last meeting.  For documents and data see:
**The web site includes a comparison of SACAP profiles from 2005-2006 as well as a summary report of the survey conducted last spring, which was viewed by 40 people, with 23 responses. Mary reviewed the survey document, and answered questions and led discussion about cooperation. (Sam Wright assisted with the survey.) She expects the working group, which is open to new collaborators, to work at determining what to do and who would like to do it. Figuring out how will follow. The group expects to present new directions at the CONSALD meeting at AAS in Atlanta.
**The group was enthusiastic in discussing cooperative collecting, and asked about how best to grapple with what we are trying to support overall. Suggestions included determining whether members feel comfortable uncloaking the SACAP codes, which Mary is willing to compile on an annual basis so that we can continue to see gaps in coverage.
**Carol Mitchell asked for suggestions for profiling tools for SACAP including a shopping cart approach.  Seeing in one place what has been picked up from LC and what has not might be very helpful to SACAP members.
**Jim Nye agreed that starting at home in the US is good, but we should also consider international sharing, including interlibrary loan from Canada, Japan, and Russia. More data-gathering about interlibrary loan would be helpful since we want to document the activity outside SACAP as well.
**Don Johnson said it would be wonderful for the group to get the summary report out to ALA and other area studies groups. 

Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) Frank Conlon (, BAS Managing Director, described the evolution of the journal from its origins as a print supplement to the Far Eastern Quarterly. Efforts to speed UNICODE compliance are underway, and the editorial team is working to clarify what content is fast track and what isn’t. An AAS administrator is the figure of continuity, and AAS subsidizes the journal. Watch for developments for SFX and Endnote.

Back to the top Vernacular Scripts At Alan Grosenheider’s request, Tim invited the group to continue the discussion of vernacular scripts. 
**Some people have looked at the service coming soon from DK Agencies, and have found nicely done, clean records. DK is ready to convert batches of records as well. David Nelson added that Penn’s Voyager system works well with all except Oriya and possibly Tibetan. Questions about pricing remain.
**Jim Nye reported that work with Wisconsin’s Mark Foster, who is contributing pro bono, have been most encouraging.   Foster is developing software that will convert records in batches of individual languages.  Jim watched the program work with 4,044 Tamil records. Wisconsin will make the software available for use.  Smart logic is still beyond reach, and records with transliteration flaws won’t be converted flawlessly.
**Jim also reported that in the subcontinent tens of thousands of records have been uploaded and flipped to Romanization, and reverse flips are possible. Permissions to load and share revenue are in process.
**Jim, David, and Alan will keep in contact and report new developments.

Review of New Electronic Resources The group shared impressions of Manupatra, which is widely used in India, Indlaw, and Alexander Street Press’s South and Southeast Asian Literature.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Minutes submitted by AS 10/30/07

Back to the top Back to the top

OR return to Minutes or committee on south asian libraries and documentation

Webbing - Philip McEldowney, University of Virginia

Last update -