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South Asia foreign relations: U.S. documents collections on South Asia foreign relations

Overview

This guide provides starting points for doing research on U.S. - South Asia foreign relations. It also lists large collections of U.S. government documents, declassified or public, useful for research on South Asia, including India and Pakistan. These sources cover both foreign relations and internal affairs of the South Asian countries.

Starting points and basic reference works

  • SHAFR Guide Online : An annotated bibliography of U.S. foreign relations since 1600. Brill, 2017- .
    Online via Penn Library Web
    An excellent annotated bibliographical guide to the study of the history of U.S. foreign relations, produced by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. SHAFR identifies classic works, noteworthy articles and monographs on specific topics or issues, and useful compilations of documentary sources.
  • The United States in Asia: A Historical Dictionary / David Shavit, ed. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
    Van Pelt Reference stacks: DS33.4.U6 S46 1990
    A biographical dictionary of diplomats, missionaries, and other Americans, mid-1800s to 1989.
  • Indo-U.S. relations, 1947-1989 : a guide to information sources / Santosh C. Saha. (American university studies. History ; Series IX, vol. 95 ) New York: Peter Lang, 1990.
    Van Pelt Library stacks: E183.8.I4 S3 1990
  • The China-Burma-India campaign, 1931-1945 : historiography and annotated bibliography / Eugene L. Rasor. (Bibliographies of battles and leaders ; no. 22) Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1998.
    Van Pelt Library stacks: D767 .R37 1998
    Provides ten historiographical essays on the US CBI area of operations, with diplomatic coverage included, followed by extensive bibliography of relevant works in alphabetical order with subject index.

General U.S. documents collections

  • Foreign relations of the United States. U.S. Department of State, 1932- .
    Van Pelt Library: JX 233 A3
    Truman through present (currently, Nixon), online via State Department web site
    Lincoln through Eisenhower, online via University of Wisconsin Libraries web site
    The U.S. State Department's official record of diplomacy, includes declassified documents. For supporting and preliminary official records (i.e., more contemporaneous, usually without classified documents), see the Penn Libraries research guide, Foreign Relations of the United States - Research Guide
  • Declassified documents reference system.
    Online via Penn Library Web
    Van Pelt Microtext Center and LIBRA: Microfiche 956
    Documents - almost half a million of them - routinely declassified at Presidential libraries, covering all U.S. presidential terms following World War II.
  • US government open source news collections
    These services collect and translate broadcast news sources and some print news sources from around the world. Their chief purpose is to provide current information on world and local affairs to US policy makers.
    • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports.
      Online via Readex (1941-1996).
      Produced by the U.S. government.
    • World News Connection.
      Online via Penn Library Web (1996-present).
      The public successor to FBIS. The restricted-access successor OpenSource.gov is not available at Penn.
    • Joint Publications Research Services.
      Online via Readex (1957-1994).
      Produced by the U.S. government, complementing FBIS with similar news reports and lengthier transcriptions or translations. Digitization of this collection is still underway.

Specialized U.S. documents collections

Other collections of source material on U.S.-South Asia foreign relations

  • US-South Asian relations, 1947-1982 / edited by Rajendra K. Jain. 3 volumes. New Delhi : Radiant Publishers, 1983.
    LIBRA: DS341.3.U6 U75 1983
    Each volume covers one or more South Asian countries or topics. Use the Franklin record to identify the volume or volumes to request from LIBRA.
  • The United States and India : a history through archives : the formative years / edited by Praveen K. Chaudhry, Marta Vanduzer-Snow. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2008.
    Van Pelt stacks: E183.8.I4 U65 2008
  • Letters to chief ministers, 1947-1964 / Jawaharlal Nehru; G. Parthasarathi, general ed. 5 volumes. Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1985-1989.
    LIBRA: DS480.84 .N39 1985
    Nehru's fortnightly letters to all ambassadors, provincial governors, and senior officials. Use the Franklin record to identify the specific years you need for your LIBRA retrieval request.
  • Conflict and diplomacy : US and the birth of Bangladesh, Pakistan divides / Jaswant Singh, S.P. Bhatia. New Delhi: Rupa & Co., 2008.
    LIBRA: DS388.A2 S56 2008
  • The White House & Pakistan : secret declassified documents, 1969-1974 / selected and edited by F.S. Aijazuddin. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002.
    Van Pelt stacks: E183.8.P18 W48 2002
  • Bangladesh liberation war and the Nixon White House, 1971 / by Enayetur Rahim and Joyce L. Rahim. Dhaka: Pustaka, 2000.
    Van Pelt stacks: DS395.5 .R32245 2000
  • The American papers : secret and confidential India-Pakistan-Bangladesh documents, 1965-1973 / compiled and selected by Roedad Khan. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1999.
    Van Pelt stacks: DS386 .A2 1999
  • American response to Bangladesh liberation war / A.M.A. Muhith. Dhaka: Bangladesh University Press, 1996.
    LIBRA: DS395.5 .M798 1996
  • America-Pakistan relations : documents / edited by K. Arif. 2 volumes. Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1984.
    Van Pelt stacks: E183.8.P18 A46 1984
  • The Secret documents recovered from the U.S. Embassy, Tehran / [compiled by Ali Abid]. Karachi: Fore-Runners Publications, 1986.
    Van Pelt stacks: DS383.5.U6 S42 1986
  • Stilwell's personal file: China, Burma, India, 1942-1944 / edited by Riley Sunderland and Charles F. Romanus. 5 volumes. Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1976.
    Not at Penn: Request through BorrowDirect OR EZBorrow.
    Facsimile reproduction of Stilwell's personal file of official correspondence "kept ... during his stay in China, Burma and India" and finally declassified in 1972, held at National Archives
  • The Stilwell papers / Theodore H. White, ed. New York: W. Sloan Assocs, 1948 (and later editions).
    Van Pelt stacks and other Penn libraries: various locations

Collections from specific U.S. government agencies or offices

  • General Records of the Department of State, 1763-2002: Central Files. Record Group 59. U.S. National Archives.
    This series consists of correspondence, telegrams, and reports between the Department of State and its diplomatic and consular officers, other government agencies, foreign governments, the Congress, the President of the United States, and the public. The records include correspondence generated by Department of State components both in Washington, DC, and in diplomatic and consular service posts worldwide. These records deal with all activities of the Department, including the negotiation of treaties and international political and trade relations.
    Also known as: Central foreign policy files (1973-1977), Subject-numeric files (1963-1977), Central decimal files (1910-1963), and Numerical files (1906-1910), and generally as Central foreign policy files. The Central Files are arranged in chronological segments: 1906-1910, 1910-1929, 1930-1939, 1940-1944, 1945-1949, 1950-1954, 1955-1959, and 1960-1963, 1963, 1964-1966, 1967-1969, and 1970-1973; and microform and digital reproductions of the Central Files tend to follow this chronological arrangement.
    Department of State, Central Files 1906-1976: country-specific research provides an overview and strategies for using these files. For detailed information the Numerical, Decimal, and Subject-numeric classifications, see the filing manuals at Central Files 1910-1963 (National Archives web site).
  • U.S. State Department. Central foreign policy files, 1973-1976. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
    Online via Access to Archival Databases (AAD) (NARA)
    State Department cables or telegrams relating to all aspects of American bilateral and multilateral foreign relations as well as routine activities of State Department and Foreign Service posts. This database provides fulltext for "D-Reel" digital telegrams and indexing for "P-Reel" paper telegrams (preserved on microfilm).
  • Records of the U.S. State Department: India and Pakistan: political and governmental affairs, February 1963-1966: Subject-numeric file POL.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 4612
    Online finding aid at Gale/Cengage web site
  • Confidential U.S. State Department central files. India: foreign affairs, 1950-1954.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3932
    Online finding aid at ProQuest web site. This set reproduces Decimal Numbers 691.00-691.961, Political relations between India and other countries: General relations; Bilateral relations, and 611.91-611.9194, Political relations between the U.S. and India (following the 1950-1959 Decimal system).
  • Confidential U.S. State Department central files. India: internal affairs, 1950-1954.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3940
    Online finding aid at ProQuest web site. This set reproduces Decimal Numbers 791.00-791.69, Internal political and national defense affairs, 891.00-891.574, Internal economic, industrial, and social affairs, and 991.00-991.79, Other internal affairs, communications, transportation, science (following the 1950-1959 Decimal system).
  • India from crown rule to republic, 1945-1949 : records of the U.S. State Department.
    Online via Archives Unbound (Gale/Cengage)
    Reproduces both internal affairs and foreign affairs documents, that is, Decimal Numbers 645, Commerce, customs administration, and trade agreements, 711.45, Political relations between U.S. and India, 745, Political relations of states, and 845, Internal affairs of states (following the 1930-1949 Decimal system).
    This is an online collection that includes material from these microform sets:
  • Confidential U.S. State Department central files. India: foreign affairs, 1945-1949.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3931
    Online finding at ProQuest web site. This set reproduces Decimal Numbers 745.00-745.9611, Political relations between India and other countries: General relations; Bilateral relations, and 711.45-711.455, Political relations between the U.S. and India (following the 1930-1949 Decimal system).
  • Confidential U.S. State Department central files. India: internal affairs, 1945-1949. 2 parts.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3939
    Part 1 covers political, governmental, and national defense affairs. Part 2 covers social, economic, and industrial affairs.
    Online finding aids: Part 1, ProQuest web site and Part 2, ProQuest web site. Part 1 reproduces Decimal Numbers 845.00-845.33362S, Political affairs, public order, safety, health, and works, charities. Part 2 reproduces Decimal Numbers 845.4-845.9, Social matters, economic matters, industrial matters, communication and transportation, navigation, and other internal affairs (public press; science) (following the 1930-1949 Decimal system).
  • Records of the Department of State relating to political relations between the United States and India and Burma, 1910-1929.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film M-343
  • Records of the Department of State relating to political relations between India and Burma and other states, 1910-1929.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film M-344
  • Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of India and Burma, 1910-1929.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film M-335
  • Despatches from United States consuls in Bombay, 1838-1906.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film M-168
  • Despatches from United States consuls in Calcutta, 1843-1906.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film T-189
    Online finding aid at HathiTrust
  • Despatches from United States consuls in Ceylon, 1830-1906.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film T-448
  • Despatches from United States consuls in Colombo, Ceylon, 1850-1906.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3607
  • Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: records of the U.S. State Department Central classified files.
    Online via Archives Unbound (Gale/Cengage)
    Comprises three National Archives series: Records of the Department of State relating to political relations, U.S. and Afghanistan, 1930-1959 (partial). Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs, Afghanistan, 1945-1949. Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs, Afghanistan, 1960-1963.
  • Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of Afghanistan, 1930-1944.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: NationalArchives Film M-1219
    Brief reel contents description online at CRL catalog
  • Records of the Department of State relating to internal affairs of Asia, 1910-1929. (National Archives microfilm publications. M ; microcopy no. 722).
    Not at Penn: Request from CRL through BorrowDirect OR EZBorrow.
    Guide online at CRL catalog
    Includes US diplomatic records on Afghanistan internal affairs. Consult the guide to request relevant microfilm reels.
  • ProQuest History Vault. Vietnam War and American foreign policy, 1960-1975.
    Online via ProQuest
    Includes searchable fulltext of many US President, Secretary of State, and national security advisory group document series, mostly drawn from the Presidential Libraries and Archives, including:
    • Gerald R. Ford national security files, 1974-1977: The Middle East and South Asia, presidential country files.
      Richard M. Nixon national security files, 1969-1974: Middle East.
      Lyndon B. Johnson national security files, 1963-1969: The Middle East. [Also, available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3988]
      John F. Kennedy national security files, 1961-1963: The Middle East. Basic set and 1st supplement. [Also, part available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3986]
      The "Middle East" components of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon declassified presidential documents collections cover India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, following Presidential library practice.
    • Richard M. Nixon national security files, 1969-1974: Meetings with foreign leaders.
      Lyndon B. Johnson national security files, 1963-1969: Committee file.
      Lyndon B. Johnson national security files, 1963-1969: Name and speech files.
    • Richard M. Nixon national security files, 1969-1974: India-Pakistan War of 1971. [Also, available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 4599]
    • Documents of the National Security Council, 1947-1977. Basic set and 1st-9th supplements. [Also, part available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3883]
      Minutes of meetings of the National Security Council with special advisory reports [, 1947-1979]. Basic set and 1st-4th supplements. [Also, part available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 4337]
    • Memos of the Special Assistant for National Security Affairs: McGeorge Bundy to President Johnson, 1963-1966. [Also, available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3995]
    • Richard M. Nixon national security files, 1969-1974: Office files of Henry A. Kissinger.
      Henry A. Kissinger telephone conversations on world affairs, 1969-1974. [Also available at Van Pelt Microtext Center: target="_blank">Microfilm 4517]
      U.S. State Department Office of the Executive Secretariat: Official exchanges of the President and Secretary of State with foreign leaders, 1961-1966.
    • Records of the U.S. Information Agency: Cold War era research reports. Series A: 1960-1963 and Series B: 1964-1982.
      Records of the U.S Information Agency: Cold War era special reports, 1964-1982.
      USIA reports describe the press and mass media, and public opinion in general and on specific topics within individual countries or regions.
  • Presidential directives on national security, Part I: From Truman to Clinton and Presidential Directives on National Security, Part II: From Truman to George W. Bush.
    Online as part of Digital National Security Archive via Penn Library Web
  • Memoranda of conversation of the Secretary of State 1947-1952: microform publication.
    Van Pelt Library Gov't Dox: microfiche S1.1:947-52/SUPP.
  • Secretary of State's memoranda of conversation, November 1952-December 1954: microfiche supplement.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfiche 871
  • Memoranda of the Secretary of State, 1949-1951: and meetings and visits of foreign dignitaries, 1949-1952: microfiche publication.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfiche 735
  • The Kissinger transcripts: a verbatim record of U.S. diplomacy, 1969-1977 and The Kissinger telephone conversations: a verbatim record of U.S. diplomacy, 1969-1977.
    Online as part of Digital National Security Archive via Penn Library Web
  • Minutes and documents of the Cabinet meetings of President Eisenhower (1953-1961).
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3997
  • Minutes and documents of the Cabinet meetings of President Johnson.
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3996
  • O.S.S./State Department Intelligence and Research Reports: III, China and India [1941-1949].
    Van Pelt Microtext Center: Microfilm 3165
    Guide online at ProQuestweb site
    Gathers together more than 140 reports on China OR India, not necessarily on China-India relations!
  • O.S.S/State Department Intelligence and Research Reports Part IX. China and India: 1950-1961. University Publications of America, 1979. 5 microfilm rolls.
    Not available at Penn Libraries. Request from Center for Research Libraries through Interlibrary Loan