Skip to Main Content
University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

South Asian Studies

Freely Available Sources

Open Access Resources

The South Asia Open Archives Initiative (SAOA) seeks to create and maintain a collection of open access materials for the study of South Asia. This major collaborative initiative is aimed at addressing the current scarcity of digital resources pertinent to South Asian studies and at making collections more widely accessible both to North American scholars and to researchers elsewhere in the world.

The All India Trade Union Congress Archives Collection (hosted at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam)contains openly accessible correspondence, minutes, reports, resolutions and other documents (over 5000 items) from 1928-1970 documenting the AITUC.

Archnet is an open access, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world; online visual collections of interest include Faith and Places: Mughal Architecture in India, Mughal Agra, and Mughal Delhi.

Digital Colonial Documents from La Trobe University intends to promote study of the rare seminal documents which were influential in the formation of the notions of nation, state and culture during the colonial period.

Digital Library of India is a digital collection of freely accessible rare books in all languages collected from various libraries in India.

Digitized Special Collections at the ZMO include the Horst Kruger collection which provides access to a wide range of content, including the K.M. Ashraf papers. Access is free after completing a user application

Dissidents and Activists in Sri Lanka, 1960s to 1990s documents the activity of a generation of Sri Lankan radical activists who, in their different ways, attempted to escape the claims of rival entho-nationalisms and build alternative political and development projects, drawing on Marxism, Christian socialism, and feminism, among other inspirations.

In an effort to capture web-based information related to the COVID-19 pandemic, librarians from around the world have created an archive, the Global Social Responses to COVID-19 to document regional, social responses to the pandemic, which are critical in understanding the scope of the pandemic’s humanitarian, socioeconomic, and cultural impact.

GRETIL: Gottingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages especially in classical languages.

Ideas of India indexes 255 English language periodicals published in India.

The Internet Archive has an ever-growing collection of South Asian content, including

The Kerala Digital Archive's project ഗ്രന്ഥപ്പുര (Granthappura) is a digital collection of public domain documents and books related to Kerala and Malayalam, including periodical titles such as PrakashamNavajeevan, ChakravaalamKalanidhi, and more. 

The website of the Lokniti Programme for Comparative Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) maintains election data for the Lok Sabha (1951-2019) and State Assembly Elections (dates vary).

Long Emergency: Media and Democracy in India is conceived as a series of oral history interviews documenting journalistic praxis around the time the the Indian emergency (1975-1977).  

The LUMS Digital Archive is a research repository that aims at collecting, cataloging and preserving material of historical significance and making them available to researchers. In particular, the archive focuses on events, groups, movements and personalities relating to broader historical, political and cultural trends in South Asia, with an emphasis on preserving the accounts of marginalized and subaltern groups.  A growing collection, it includes Partition Testimonies: Ishtiaq Ahmed Collection & Women in Public Service in Pakistan (oral history projects), Partition Abductions 1947 (a data mapping project), Punjabi Literary Journals, and more.

The MAP Academy encourages knowledge building and engagement with the visual arts of India through online courses, a blog, and an encyclopedia which covers explanations of techniques and materials, thematic essays on historical trends and biographies of artists and institutions. 

The Department of Asian Studies at UT produces and shares Open Educational Resources for learning South Asian languages, including those affiliated with the Hindi-Urdu Flagship and the Resource Library for Dharmasastra Studies.

1947 Partition Archive: Survivors and their Memories at Stanford University is an open access preservation repository for oral history video interviews conducted through the 1947 Partition Archive Project.  

An extensive collection of recordings from the Prasar Bharati Archives is freely available online through a dedicated YouTube channel.  Playlists are particularly of interesting, including those related to the Constitution of India, Political Speeches and more.  

Sahapedia is a multilingual, multidisciplinary resource on the arts, cultures and histories of India. Sahapedia offers digital content in multimedia format—articles and books, photo essays and video, interviews and oral histories, maps and timelines, authored by scholars and curated by experts. 

The personal and working archive of an author, activist and family member, the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive is a rich collection of materials from letters to manuscripts to photographs, documenting the life and career of Sajjad Zaheer and highlighting contemporaneous writers, politics and the Zaheer family from Lucknow, India.

SARIT ("Search and Retrieval of Indic Texts") provides Indologists with machine readable texts and digital instruments for philological research.

The South Asian Ephemera Collection at Princeton is an openly accessible repository of items that spans a variety of subjects and languages to support research, teaching, and private study. Newly acquired materials are being digitized and added on an ongoing basis.

The South Asian Gender and Sexuality Web Archive documents and preserves the work of activists, grassroots organizations, and social justice movements committed to promoting the visibility and experiences of LGBTQAI+ people and women in South Asia and its diasporas. 

The South Asian Oral History project at the University of Washington records pan-South Asian immigrant experiences in the Pacific Northwest using the medium of oral history. This initiative has the goal of preserving the history of South Asian immigration to the region, but also of making these historical resources/material available to everyone.

Tibetan and Himalayan Digital Library publishes multilingual studies, multimedia learning resources, and creative works concerned with the area's environments, cultures, and histories.


Share your work!

The Libraries support the open sharing and preservation of your scholarly process and output through the Texas ScholarWorks and Texas Data Repository.  To learn more about those services, please feel free to ask or to explore existing resources there, such as the archive of the Hindi-Urdu Flagship and Hemispheres.

Freely Available Reference Sources

Digital Dictionaries of South Asia aims to have at least one multilingual dictionary for each of the twenty-six modern literary languages of South Asia. For the more frequently taught languages, a monolingual dictionary also has been chosen.

Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) is a global collaborative effort to make important and rare South Asian resources available to the international community. Included in DSAL are reference resources, images, maps, statistics, bibliographies, indexes and books and journals.  Also included here is the 19th Century Publications in the British Library's Oriental and India Office Collections catalog and the listing of the Official Publications of India.

South Asian Newspapers at the Library of Congress is organized country-wise, by title, city of publication, language, and format.

Bibliography of Bibliographies Related to Nepal by Ramita Maharajan and Upasana Pandit lists book length bibliographies in multiple languages and on a wide variety of topics, from environment and theater to science and business.

Bollywood and Beyond: Analyzing the Indian Film Industry through the Films Division Archival Metadata. Nitin Rao and Sudev Sheth from the University of Pennsylvania have pulled together both a PDF and a CSV listing of all 8000 films produced by the Films Division of India.

PANDiT, the Prosopographical Database of Indic Texts, seeks to store, curate and share reliable data on works, people, places, institutions and manuscripts from premodern South Asia, in addition to relevant secondary sources, and to do so across period, language, discipline and subject matter. Prosopographical Database of Indic Texts. Broadly stated, PANDiT seeks to store, curate, and share reliable data on works, people, places, institutions, and manuscripts from premodern South Asia, in addition to relevant secondary sources, and to do so across period, language, discipline and subject matter. Prosopographical Database of Indic Texts. Broadly stated, PANDiT seeks to store, curate, and share reliable data on works, people, places, institutions, and manuscripts from premodern South Asia, in addition to relevant secondary sources, and to do so across period, language, discipline and subject matter. 

South Asian Women's Serials at the Library of Congress points users to magazines, journals, newsletters, and newspapers by, for, and/or about South Asian Women.

Thematic Resources from MIDA (Modern Indien in Deutschen Archiven 1706-1989) provides detailed thematically organized and deeply researched descriptions of material held at the ZMO, many including in-depth metadata at the item, folder, and collection level.  These reports are freely available and downloadable.

TProsopographical Database of Indic Texts. Broadly stated, PANDiT seeks to store, curate, and share reliable data on works, people, places, institutions, and manuscripts from premodern South Asia, in addition to relevant secondary sources, and to do so across period, language, discipline and subject matter.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 Generic License.