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South Asian Studies: Databases & Digital Archives

Guides for utlizing resources from Penn's South Asian Studies collections.


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Bibliography of Asian Studies

This online version of the Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS) contains 787,165 records on all subjects (especially in the humanities and the social sciences) pertaining to East, Southeast, and South Asia published worldwide from 1971 to the present. The BAS includes citations to Western-language periodical articles, monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and Festschriften, etc. 

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CRL South Asia Materials Project

The South Asia Materials Project (SAMP) acquires and maintains a readily accessible digital and microform collection of unique materials related to the study of South Asia. Since its inception in 1967, SAMP has acquired or microfilmed/digitized more than 23,000 scholarly publications, newspapers, and government documents.

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Digital South Asia Library

The Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) provides digital materials for reference and research on South Asia. Available materials include reference resources, images, maps, statistics, bibliographies, indexes, books, journals, and access to other relevant online platforms. 

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South Asian American Digital Archive

SAADA creates a more inclusive society by giving voice to South Asian Americans through documenting, preserving, and sharing stories that represent their unique and diverse experiences.

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South Asia Open Archives

South Asia Open Archives is a free open-access resource for research and teaching - a rich and growing curated collection of key historical and contemporary sources in arts, humanities and social sciences, from and about South Asia, in English and other languages of the region. SAOA's collection currently contains hundreds of thousands of pages of books, journals, newspapers, census data, magazines, and documents, with particular focus on social & economic history, literature, women & gender, and caste & social structure.


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CMIE Consumer Pyramids dx

Consumer Pyramids dx delivers record-level data of a large household survey conducted in India. A panel of households from all regions of the country (approximately 160,000 households beginning in 2015/2016) is surveyed on a regular basis to build longitudinal data series capturing data on: household demographics, employment, income and expenses, consumer sentiments, household amenities, assets, and borrowing.

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CMIE ProwessDx

Prowess is a database of the financial performance of Indian companies. Annual Reports of companies and data available from India's two large stock exchanges are the principal sources of the data. Delivering data on approximately 34,000 companies, Prowessdx facilitates easy downloading of the data in simple text format.

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CMIE States of India

A Comprehensive compilation of state-level statistics supported by official statistical documents from state governments.

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Provides India-specific socio-economic statistical facts and figures culled from various secondary level authentic sources.


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Medieval Travel Writing

This project provides an extensive collection of manuscript materials for the study of medieval travel writing in fact and in fantasy. The core of the material is a magnificent collection of medieval manuscripts from libraries around the world and dating from the 13th to the 16th centuries. With original documents covering a range of languages including French, Latin, German, Spanish, Dutch, and English, the main focus is accounts of journeys to the Holy Land, India, and China.

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Sanskrit eBooks

Find a wide variety of Sanskrit materials, including original works, dictionaries, and resources for language learning. 


Header/Logo for ABIA Index of South and Southeast Asian Art and ArchaeologyABIA Index of South and Southeast Asian Art and Archaeology

A bibliographic database on South and Southeast Asian art and archaeology compiled by an international team of specialists. ABIA index supplies annotated and indexed entries on scholarly publications in Asian and European languages relating to prehistory, (proto)historical archaeology, art history (including modern art), material culture, epigraphy, palaeography, numismatics and sigillography.

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Alexander Street Press Asian Film Online

Asian Film Online offers a view of Asian culture as seen through the lens of the independent Asian filmmaker. Through a selection of narrative feature films, documentaries, and shorts curated by film scholars and critics, the collection offers highly relevant perspectives and insights onto themes relevant across Asia, including modernity, globalization, female agency, social and political unrest, and cultural and sexual identity.

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Searchable database of more than 500,000 digital images and associated catalog data. ARTstor covers many time periods and cultures, and documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture. Users can search, view, and download images.

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Critical Collective

Critical Collective works towards building knowledge in the arts in India. Since its inception in 2011, it has collaborated closely with institutions in India and abroad to create exhibitions and seminars on art. This website is intended to fill in the lacuna caused by an absence of publishing in the arts, a lack of reprints, and a shortage of institutional infrastructure to support knowledge in the domain of the arts

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Garland Encyclopedia of World Music

The Garland encyclopedia of world music online is a comprehensive online resource devoted to music research of all the world's peoples. Each volume contains an overview of a geographic region, a survey of its musical heritage, and a description of specific musical genres, practices, and performances. Articles include detailed photographs that show musicians, musical instruments, and the cultural context of dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Other images include drawings, maps, and musical examples for further study. Contains the full text of the 10 volume print encyclopedia (originally published in 1997), which is searchable all together for the first time.


Cover art for Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism

Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism presents the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its essays are original work written by the world's foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that is both an ancient historical tradition and a flourishing tradition today. The encyclopedia embraces the greatest possible diversity, plurality, and heterogeneity, thus emphasizing that Hinduism encompasses a variety of regional traditions as well as a global world religion. Presenting all essays and research from the heralded printed edition, Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism is now available in a fully searchable, dynamic digital format. The service will include all content from the six printed volumes.

Cover Art from Brill's Encyclopedia of Sikhism

Brill's Encyclopedia of Sikhism

This resource aims to make available in-depth critical scholarship on all the main aspects of the Sikh traditions in a number of original essays written by the world's foremost scholars on Sikhs and Sikh traditions. Sections include (1) Religious Practices, (2) Arts and Performance Traditions, (3) Leadership, Representation, and Communication, and (4) Contemporary Issues.

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Index Islamicus

Index to literature on Islam, the Middle East and Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, and Muslim minorities elsewhere. Includes citations to over 2,000 journals, conference proceedings, monographs, and book reviews from 1906 to present.


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British Documents on the End of Empire

The British Documents on the End of Empire Project (BDEEP) was established in 1987 under the auspices of the British Academy and has been based since its inception at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS), School of Advanced Study, University of London. The aim of the project was to publish a series of volumes containing an annotated selection of official documents from the UK National Archives, charting British withdrawal from its colonial territories. Each volume has been edited by a leading scholar in the field of decolonisation and each contains a substantial introduction contextualising the collection.

Webpage/Header of East India Company collection for the British Library

East India Company

East India Company offers access to a unique collection of India Office Records from the British Library, London. Containing royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings and reports of expeditions, among other document types, this resource charts the history of British trade and rule in the Indian subcontinent and beyond from 1599 to 1947.


Empire Online

This database offers approximately 60,000 images of original documents linked to essays by leading scholars in the field of Empire Studies. The sections cover Cultural Contacts, 1492-1969; Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; The Visible Empire; Religion and Empire; and Race, Class and Colonialism, c1783-1969. The images are sourced from about ten different libraries and archives around the world, including a strong core of document images from the British Library, including the Oriental and India Office Collections at the British Library; the University of Birmingham Library; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; and the Public Record Office and the State Records, New South Wales, Australia.

Header/Webpage for the India, Raj & Empire collection at the National Library of Scotland

India, Raj & Empire

Drawing upon the manuscript collections of the National Library of Scotland, this searchable online resource provides access to digital facsimiles of diaries and journals, official and private papers, letters, sketches, paintings and original Indian documents containing histories and literary works. The collection documents the relationship between Britain and India in an empire where the Scots played a central role as traders, generals, missionaries, viceroys, governor-generals and East India Company officials. The dates of the documents range from 1710 to 1937.

Image of East India Trade from the The Making of the Modern World Database

The Making of the Modern World

Providing full-text and full-image access to books from 1450-1914 and pre-1906 serials, this database focuses on economics interpreted in the widest sense, including political science, history, sociology, and special collections on banking, finance, transportation and manufacturing. Drawing extensively from Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature at the University of London Library, issues of East India Company commerce are well represented. 


Webpage header for FBIS Daily Reports

FBIS Daily Reports

The United States' principal record of political and historical open source intelligence.

Map of South Asian taken from Foreign Office Files for South Asia

Foreign Office Files for South Asia

This collection focuses on the political and social history of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also includes content on Bangladesh, Ceylon/Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Kashmir, and the Maldives. Materials available are diplomatic dispatches, inward and outward telegrams, newspaper cuttings and transcripts, maps, photographs, political and economic reports, accounts of visits and tours, minutes of meetings, conference proceedings, letters, leaflets, and ephemera.

Webpage image for the World Newspaper Archive, South Asian Newspapers

World Newspaper Archive

This searchable collection of historical newspapers from around the world includes numerous 19th and 20th century papers from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, largely in English but also including Bangla and Gujarati. 

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