Tag Archives: South Asian Studies

Joel Larus Book Fund Established at Columbia University

This year, South Asia collection development at Columbia University was enriched by a new charitable book fund, for acquiring materials related to India’s foreign policy following independence, including issues of national security and maritime affairs. The Joel Larus Book Fund is being distributed from the Community Fund of Sarasota County on an annual basis. Joel Larus is a political science specialist with South Asia expertise, and a Columbia University alumnus (Ph.D., 1960).  We are grateful to Joel Larus for his contributions to the Columbia University library collections.

SAMP Open Archives Initiative

Columbia University is one of 23 institutions that has joined the South Asia Materials Project Open Archives Initiative. The SAMP Open Archives Initiative will create and maintain a collection of open archives materials in all academic disciplines for the study of South Asia. For more details, see the SAMP OAi business plan.

The SAMP OAi has a position opening for a Program Coordinator. Applicants should preferably have either an MLIS degree or an advanced degree in Asian Studies.

Afghan Titles Available in Microfilm Format

A collection of materials originally published in Afghanistan has been preserved in microfilm format, and is available for lending from CRL (the Center for Research Libraries). MEMP (Middle East Materials Project) and SAMP (South Asia Materials Project) contributed funds to preserve these materials from the Library of Congress–Islamabad office. (Columbia is a member of both organizations) These materials include holdings from 1924 through 2010 and cover the last years of the monarchy’s rule in Afghanistan, civil war, foreign invasion, and the rule of the Taliban.  The collection of materials includes general newspapers, cultural periodicals, and the publications of organizations as diverse as the Lawyers Association, trade unions, the Ministry of Defense, and the Ministry of Information and Culture.  The titles were published in a variety of cities in Afghanistan and are written in Pushto, Persian, and Dari.

CEIC India Enhanced Datasets

Web CEIC Data Manager is a subscription database of economic, financial and  industrial time-series indicators that covers over 117 countries and regions. It is available to Columbia University affiliates by online access.

CEIC chart on declining public sector undertaking in pharmaceutical sector

From CEIC dataset on India’s pharmaceutical sector

The India Premium module of CEIC has been expanded with enhanced datasets on India’s pharmaceutical sector including: detailed sector-wise operational indicator statistics; detailed breakdowns looking at the performance of six state-owned public sector pharmaceutical companies relative to the overall industry; data for assessing growth prospects of the pharmaceutical sector in relation to the availability of tertiary education courses; enhanced data series on the maximum sale price of prescription drugs set by regulatory policy; and related statistics on the monitoring and enforcement of this price ceiling, with cases of overcharging. These statistical datasets make it possible for users to evaluate the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in the Indian economy.

Other new data series in the CEIC Indian Premium Database include enhanced chemical and petrochemical statistics, expanded tourism statistics, expanded cement statistics, enhanced foreign trade statistics, enhanced metal and steel statistics, and enhanced transportation, post and telecom statistics.

Himalayan Times Archive (1947-1963)

A digital archive of the Himalayan Times, an English language newspaper published in Kalimpong, India is available from Heidelberger historische Bestände — Digital for the years 1949-1963. The newspaper provides historical material on social and political developments in the Eastern Himalayas after World War II.

Two Business/Economics Databases from CMIE, Mumbai

Columbia University Libraries now has access to two online databases from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. The two new electronic resources are Prowess and CapEx.

Prowess includes data on the financial performance of more than 27,000 companies, including those traded on the National Stock Exchange and the Bombay Stock Exchange, as well as many unlisted public and private limited companies. The database is compiled from Annual Reports, quarterly financial statements, and Stock Exchange feeds, and includes more than 3,500 data fields per company for customized search queries. Time-series data goes back to 1989-1990.

The name CapEx is a concatenation of the short-forms of Capacity Expansion and Capital Expenditure. Thus this database includes investment projects with a capital expenditure of Rs. 10 million or more that involve the setting up of new capacities. The CapEx database captures the life-cycle of projects from the years 1995-96 to the present.

Bull at Bombay Stock Exchange

Bull at Bombay Stock Exchange Photo by Elroy Serrao

Six Archives Unbound Digital Collections

Columbia University Libraries has purchased six new Archives Unbound digital collections of primary sources:

  • Afghanistan and the U.S., 1945-1963: Records of the U.S. State Department Central Classified Files (9,674 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    Afghanistan’s history, internal political development, foreign relations, and very existence as an independent state have largely been determined by its geographic location at the crossroads of Central, West, and South Asia. This collection provides an opportunity to peer into the mountains, valleys, villages, and cities that is called Afghanistan.
  • Afghanistan in 1919: the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1898 images from the British Library)
    The Third Anglo-Afghan War began on 6 May 1919 and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. While it was essentially a minor tactical victory for the British in so much as they were able to repel the regular Afghan forces, in many ways it was a strategic victory for the Afghans. This collection of confidential correspondence, memoranda, orders, reports and other materials provide a broad spectrum of information on military policy and administration, including the organization, operations and equipment of the army during the war.
  • The Hindu Conspiracy Cases: Activities of the Indian Independence Movement in the U.S., 1908-1933 (2,706 images from the Justice Department Library and U.S. National Archives)
    During World War I, Indian nationalists took advantage of Great Britain’s preoccupation with the European war by attempting to foment revolution in India to overthrow British rule. Their activities were aided politically and financially by the German Government. In the spring of 1918, the “Hindu Conspiracy Case” trial (as it was called in the press and Department of Justice correspondence) was held in San Francisco, at which 29 people were convicted in indictments arising from the arms shipment. Indictments arising from the fraud case were dismissed.
  • Indochina, France, and the Viet Minh War, 1945-1954: Records of the U.S. State Department, Part 1, 1945-1949 (10,715 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    This collection contains records relating to the internal affairs of Indochina, during the period 1945-49. The records include instructions sent to and correspondence received by the State Department; the State Department’s internal documentation, as well as correspondence between the Department and other federal departments and agencies, Congress, and private individuals and organizations; telegrams, airgrams, instructions, inquiries, studies, memoranda, situation reports, translations, special reports, plans, and official and unofficial correspondence.
  • India from Crown Rule to Republic, 1945-1949: Records of the U.S. State Department (53,824 images from the U.S. National Archives)
    This collection identifies the key issues, individuals, and events in the history of the Indian Subcontinent between 1945 and 1949, and places them in the context of the complex and dynamic regional strategic, political, and economic processes that have fashioned India in the postwar period.
  • The Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920 (5,280 images from the British Library)
    For generations of British and Indian Officers and men, the North-West Frontier was the scene of repeated skirmishes and major campaigns against the trans-border Pathan tribes who inhabited the mountainous no-man’s land between India and Afghanistan. This collection contains Army Lists; Orders; Instructions; Regulations; Acts; Manuals; Strength Returns; Orders of Battle; Administration Summaries; organization, commissions, committees, reports, maneuvers; departments of the Indian Army; and regimental narratives.

3 New British Online Archives Resources

Columbia University Libraries has purchased three new British Online Archives historical collections:

The Indian papers of the 4th Earl of Minto
(From the National Library of Scotland) The papers of Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, the 4th Earl of Minto, (1845-1914), Viceroy of India between 1905 and 1910, cover a period of dramatic and momentous change in the history of colonial India. The beginning of Minto’s tenure in India was marked by unprecedented anti-colonial protests against the partition of Bengal, initiated by his predecessor, Lord Curzon of Kedleston. It ended with the crucial ‘Morley-Minto reforms’ contained in the Government of India Act and the Indian Councils Act, both of 1909. These two new laws established, among other things, the constitutional principle of separate electorates for India’s Muslim communities.

The Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774
(From the National Library of Wales) The papers of two leading actors in the East India Company in mid-18th century Bengal. By reproducing in full Clive’s English and Persian correspondence, it is possible to compare firsthand Indian and European accounts of Clive’s resounding victory in 1757 at Plassey over the superior French-backed force of the Nawab of Bengal in the aftermath of the notorious ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’ incident; of the conclusive routing of the Dutch in 1759; or of the ill-fated career of Clive’s chief administrator of revenues, Maharaja Nandakumara, including supplementary material on his trial and execution in 1775 for forgery drawn from the 1st Earl of Minto’s papers at National Library of Scotland. Complementing our understanding of this turning point in the history of British power in South Asia, are some 2,000 items of John Carnac’s correspondence. This correspondece’s emphasis on the years between 1763 and 1766 helps to fill the gap in events during Clive’s absence from India between March 1760 and April 1765, when he returned to Britain. At the same time, the collection amplifies our understanding of Clive’s third and final tour of duty, providing an opportunity to contrast how two senior British figures set about implementing the EIC’s new approach, combining commercial with growing political power.

The Meerut Conspiracy Trial, 1929-1933
(From the National Library of Scotland) Part 1 of the BOA series, People & Protest in Britain and Abroad, 1800-2000. Collectively drawn from the British Library, Labour History Archive & Study Centre and Working Class Movement Library, these documents bring together an array of differing, and balanced, perspectives on both the trial itself as well as its consequences for British imperialism as the sun was beginning to set on the Empire.

Asian Film Online Trial

Columbia University Libraries now has an ongoing trial of Asian Film Online through December 31, 2013. We are considering purchase from Alexander Street Press. This is the result of a partnership between Asia Pacific Films and Alexander Street Press.

South Asian languages represented in this film streaming collection include:

Bengali – 23 films from Bangladesh and India, including directors such as Tanvir Mokammel, Aparna Sen, Bappaditya Bandopadhyay, Moinak Biswas, and others

Farsi – 57 films from Iran

Hindi – 45 films, including such directors as Basu Chatterjee, Shyam Benegal, Govind Nihalani, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, Sudhir Mishra, and others

Malayalam – 5 films, including one of my favorites, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Four Women  

Marathi – 2 films, including Amol Palekar’s The Raw Mango

Nepali – 5 films

Oriya – 2 films

Sinhala – 14 films from Sri Lanka, including portrayals of the social repercussions of the recent civil war on everyday life. Directors represented include Prasanna Vithanage, Dharmasena Pathiraja, Asoka Handagama, and others

Tamil – 1 film from India, and 1 from Sri Lanka

Telugu – 2 films

Asian Film Online offers a view of Asian culture as seen through the lens of the independent Asian filmmaker. Through a selection curated by film scholars and critics, viewers can explore the impact of globalization and urbanization on people’s everyday lives throughout the greater Asian region. Faculty and students engaged in area studies, anthropology, film studies, philosophy, geography, education, religion, gender studies, world literature, urban development, cross-cultural communication, journalism, social sciences, and humanities will benefit from exploring this rare collection of films that make silent voices heard.

Marathi Manuscripts Digitized

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library has added two new catalogs of digitized Marathi Manuscripts. The archival partner for this project, “Preserving Marathi Manuscripts and Making Them Accessible,” was the Marathi Manuscript Centre, Pune.

Project EAP023 includes digital images and a project description.

Project EAP248 includes digital images and a project description.