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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

South Asian Cooperative Collection Development

Niche Collections

Local Specialization in Support of the National Collection


S.A. Diaspora newspapers

UC Berkeley aims to deepen its collections on the South Asia diaspora in North America, particularly in California, and its interaction with the home communities in British India. In particular, we plan to continue and expand out collecting on the Ghadar Movement and the people involved in it. We also plan to continue concentrating on local South Asian American newspapers published in California.  Other areas of specialization include contemporary South Asian Art, Mughal court chronicles, and Pakistani regional languages. Funds permitting, we also plan to collect more comprehensively on South Asian Islam, especially Sufism.

Last Updated: 2012



The University of Chicago Library, in recognition of institutional priorities and strengths, aims to collect deeply and broadly in the field of South Asian music and ethnomusicology. The collection will include scholarly monographs, scores, serials, music publishers' catalogs, DVDs, sound recordings, music-related ephemera, digital assets, and archival material. Collecting will be assisted by our comprehensive LC-CAP monographic profiles, and our commitment to expand our periodical holdings. Publications in any language will be accepted. A special effort will be made to collect not only South Asian and US imprints, but also Canadian, Western European, Australian, Slavic, Latin American and Japanese imprints on the topic. While the emphasis of the collection is on South Asia proper, publications related to the South Asian diaspora will also be included. In addition to current imprints, we will be seeking out private collections, manuscripts and field recordings for accession and/or digitization. Gifts are welcome.

Subject headings: Music—South Asia; Folk music—South Asia; Music, Indic.

Sindhi Language and Sindh Regional Publications

The University of Chicago Library proposes a new niche collection aimed at building on and enhancing historical strengths in Sindhi language publications from Pakistan and the diaspora, and regional publications in all languages from the province of Sindh. Chicago is one of only a handful of institutions that collects in this language, and is the only BTAA/regional Midwestern library that does so. Collecting will be assisted by our comprehensive LC-CAP monographic profiles, and our commitment to expand our periodical holdings. However, our main strategy for collecting will be non-LC vendor purchases and book buying trips. The collection will include all subjects and formats. Gifts are welcome.

Subject headings: Sindhi language; Sindhi literature; Sindh (Pakistan).

Last updated: September 2023


Columbia University Libraries continues to collect South Asia related art catalogs for Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library (subject: Art, South Asian Catalogs). Columbia also collects materials related to several other niche collections including: human rights (especially materials related to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Dalit Studies, and Anti-Caste studies: subjects: Ambedkar, B. R. (Bhimrao Ramji), 1891-1956; Dalits India Maharashtra; Dalits India Tamil Nadu; Anti-caste); film and video studies; and comics and graphic novels (supplementing Columbia’s already extensive graphic novels collection); and Tibetan studies.

Last updated: November 2023


Nepal and the Himalayas

Cornell's South Asia collection seeks out publications from and on Nepal and the Himalayan regions bearing on any discipline of the humanities and social sciences. Publications in any language may be included, with special emphasis on Nepali, Newari, and other languages of Nepal. Tibetan-language materials are largely excluded but Tibetan culture and history--twined with those of neighboring regions--are included. Regional language publications are not strictly confined to humanities and social science disciplines; a certain amount of agricultural, scientific, legal, and miscellaneous material in the vernaculars will be included. Anthropology, literature, linguistics, and religions of the Himalayas will be especially well represented in Cornell's niche collection. Relevant material in all formats will be pursued, including monographs, serials, films, and ephemera. Collecting will be assisted by but by no means limited to LCCAP profiles. Gifts are especially welcome!

Sri Lanka

Cornell is also heavily vested in Sri Lanka, and collects titles from and about the region in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Cornell’s collection on Lankan Buddhist history is especially strong, with several hundred unique mid-20th century monastic monographs in Sinhala added in recent years. Microfilms of Sinhala and Pali manuscripts and early printed books on Sri Lankan Buddhism have also enriched the Cornell collection—many thanks to the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies. 

Other geographic specialities : Mumbai/Bombay, the literary scene in particular.
Last updated: 6 October 2016


Bazaar literature/Ephemera (visual culture, advertising)

Duke University Libraries will specialize in street and bazaar literature such as broadsheets, chapbooks, curiosa, ephemera, facetiae, temple literature, and other subaltern products, predominately in English and Hindi, to a lesser extent in Urdu, together with representative samples from other North and South Indian languages.  So far, several hundred examples of such materials in traditional genres such as chalisa, puja, qissa-kahani, and vrat katha have been collected. To the limited extent possible, textbooks for primary and secondary education in English, Bengali, and Hindi will also be acquired. In addition, visual culture materials such as calendar art, educational charts, matchbox covers, and advertisement posters, banners, and wrappings for fireworks are being collected.  Colonial era photography of South Asia (mostly India), focusing particularly on the work of Samuel Bourne and Raja (aka "Lala") Deen Dayal."

Last updated: 10 October 2016


Emory University maintains a robust collecting focus on Tibetan-language materials in accordance with Emory’s longstanding relationship with Tibet via the Emory-Tibet partnership. We have a close working relationship with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives and have signed several MOU to assist digitization and open access hosting for rare materials through Emory’s Center for Digital Scholarship. We maintain an extensive SACAP profile for Tibetan materials.

In addition to Tibetan, Emory has a significant collecting focus related to Telugu language and literature. In 2017, Emory received a gift of over 2,000 Telugu items including a palm-leaf manuscript, temple literature, poetry, fiction, literary criticism, and Marxist serials. This gift has been subsequently augmented by several other large gifts emphasizing contemporary Telugu diaspora writing, leftist periodicals, and audio/visual material.

Finally, Emory has committed to developing a focus on South Asian American diaspora material with a focus on the southeastern United States. This has taken the form of actively collecting and preserving community magazines and newspapers produced in the region (print/digital), retrospective collecting, and supporting archival acquisitions through special collections. This collection focuses primarily on materials dating from 1960s, key highlights include Khabar Magazine, Trikone-Atlanta newsletter and magazine collection, and archival materials related to the establishment of several community organizations and the Atlanta Festival of India.

Last updated: September 2023


Urdu language and Perso-Arabic script languages

Historically, Harvard Library has collected Urdu-language imprints comprehensively. The Urdu collection numbering some 51,400 titles is impressive considering that the library held only 20 Urdu titles in 1969. The collection includes works on a wide variety of topics: classical and modern literature, Islam and Islamic studies, minority communities, medieval and modern history, economics, and politics and government. There are also significant holdings in other Perso-Arabic script languages from the region including Sindhi (3025), Pushto (3500), Baluchi (800), Brahui (95), Kashmiri (365), and Panjabi (2292). The collection includes a significant number of journal titles in all these languages. The Library presently relies on the Library of Congress Cooperative Programs in Islamabad and New Delhi for most of these acquisitions.

Tibetan and Buddhist Texts

The Harvard Library collaborates with the Buddhist Digital Resource Center, the leading Buddhist text preservation organization, and the largest online archive of Tibetan and Buddhist texts in the world, to preserve digitally its holdings. The digital images are loaded into the Library’s Digital Repository Service for long-term preservation. While BDRC provides open access to this incredible body of literature via an open-access online library, a mobile app, and hard drive distribution programs, access is also provided through the Library’s HOLLIS catalog where the links to some 26,000 titles are available.

Last updated: September 2023


The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign collects South Asian comics, including graphic novels, single-issue [“floppy”’] comics, comic strips, original comic art, digital comics, mini-comics, or other comics-related material.  The library also collects related research studies on South Asian graphic novels, as well as works inspired by them, such as video adaptations. 

The majority of the collection comprises Indian comics in English and selected vernacular languages, especially Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. The collection also includes comics from Pakistan and Bangladesh in English, Urdu, and Bengali, and a limited number of comics from Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. Currently numbering more than 6,500 items, the collection continues to grow with the help of the Library of Congress and vendors and private collectors in South Asia. We continue to welcome gifts and donations of South Asian comics, including both new and out-of-print materials. While Indian comics will continue to be the core of the collection, we intend to expand the holdings of comics from other South Asian countries in the future—especially Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The South Asian comic collection is subject to a print retention agreement signed in 2018, which along with a commitment to retain the print materials contained in the collection, asserts that items in this collection are available for interlibrary lending to other institutions.

Subject tags: Graphic novels; Cartoons and comics; Comic books, strips, etc; Superhero comic books, strips, etc.; India; Pakistan; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka

Last updated: September 2023 


IU holds a growing collection of rare ephemeral and archival materials related to Indian cinema, a collection originally started by my predecessor Karen Farrell. In addition to a comprehensive collection of monographs and serials on Indian film, including some rarer volumes, these materials include unpublished scripts, posters, lobby cards, promotional booklets, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera. The collection includes over 700 booklets, which span the 1930s to the early 2000s (although the vast majority are from before 1970) and include items in Bengali, Hindi, English, Urdu, Gujrati, and Marathi. Therefore, they speak to less commonly studied film industries and touch on the richness of the Indian cinema landscape beyond the Hindi language industry. A recent acquisition of books, scripts, and newspaper clippings came from the collection of noted filmmaker and film writer Nasreen Munni Kabir and comprise the bulk of the material she used in writing her 20+ books on the Hindi film industry; her collection represents a sort of archive within and archive and we hope to keep much of this material together in light of her importance as a film industry personality herself and in light of her contribution to film journalism. We are currently working on acquiring the personal archives of a few other important film journalists as well as continuing our acquisition of film booklets, so hope that this collection will continue to grow in the future. However, much work remains to be done in terms of making these materials optimally discoverable and usable to researchers.

Last updated: September 2023


Law in English/LC profiles in Kannada including serials/Film Studies

The University of Iowa Law Library subscribes to all Law subject categories in English for LCCAP programs in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; it regularly subscribes to new offerings of English language legal journals as well. The UI Main Library commits itself to maintaining subscriptions to all Kannada language subject categories in the LC-New Delhi profile, and to picking up subscriptions to new offerings of Kannada language journals. Finally, the UI Libraries will collect as comprehensively as possible in film studies materials in English, Hindi, and Kannada, as well as purchasing the best of new films (and documentaries) as they become available. In this last area, UI will work with vendors in addition to LC, such as DK Agencies, Mary Martin Booksellers, CDSource, and others.

Last Updated: 2012


Library of Congress (Washington)

Ephemera, rare books and manuscripts, South Asian American creators

The Library’s many divisions contain large and diverse materials related to South Asia (see: South Asian collection research guide). In terms of niche collections, the Asian Division continues to build upon the South Asia Ephemera Collection with ongoing selective acquisition of ephemeral materials like pamphlets, art catalogs, and zines. The Asian Division also acquires several South Asian rare books and manuscripts in most years. Because these new acquisitions require time for cataloging and processing, patrons are encouraged to contact reference staff through Ask a Librarian with the details of their research interests. The Prints & Photographs Division is actively collecting selected works (e.g., prints, photos) of Asian American creators, including South Asian American creators.

Tags: ephemera, zines, manuscripts, rare-books, prints, photographs

Last updated: September 2023


The University of Michigan Library, South Asia Division collects Oriya language materials at a comprehensive level through LC Delhi. In addition to Oriya materials written in Oriya, there is a concerted effort to make sure that all materials dealing with Orissa, its society, history, and culture are collected in English and other relevant languages. The materials will be predominantly books, but will also include DVDs, serials, as well as ephemera.

An additional focus will be placed on the intensive collection of materials dealing with religion in Orissa (all formats).  One area of collection interest is that of regional religious movements that are specific to Orissa.  Examples of this would be the Jagannatha cult as well as the more recent Western Orissan movement known as “Mahima Dharma.”  Religious ephemera will also be targeted, such as puja manuals and various depictions of the gods (cards, calendar art, etc.). Michigan has a strong, growing collection on Lord Jagannatha.

Lastly, Michigan will be actively collecting more materials on tribal peoples of Orissa aside from the standard scholarly monographs. We are just starting this project. The goal will be to obtain ephemera and grey literature especially materials that are created by the groups/communities themselves.

Last updated: September 2023

Michigan State University

Agriculture and the Environment

The MSU Libraries plans to develop a niche collection focused broadly on agriculture, the environment, and human interactions with the environment. This encompasses materials related to the water, energy, and food intersection as well as materials on other topics such as climate change, farming and fishing practices, and forestry. While there are not specific linguistic parameters for this collection, it focuses most heavily on publications in English, Hindi, and Urdu. This collection largely emphasizes academic and technical writing on these subjects but also has space for some relevant fictional material. Collecting will be heavily assisted by LC profiles but will be supplemented.

Tags: environmental science, climate change, agriculture, forestry, fisheries

Last updated: September 2023


The Ames Library of South Asia at the University of Minnesota collects South Asia materials broadly across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.  One of our specializations with respect to the national collection is the transdisciplinary field of Development Studies.  We collect monographs, serials, and films that grapple with the theory, practice, contestation, and outcomes of change processes in South Asia, with a focus on the time period from the colonial period to the present.  This includes materials by/about state actors and non-state actors, such as NGOs and people's movements (including Dalit and Adivasi movements, anti-displacement movements, Naxalite movements, regional sub-nationalisms, and environmental movements).  Secondly, in support of the longstanding teaching and research interests here, we collect materials, principally in English, on South Asian Art History.

Last updated: September 2023


S.A. Diaspora in Northeast US/Gender &Sexuality studies/climate change & environment/social justice movements

Based on local research and teaching interests at NYU, and on the trajectory of academic courses and programs here, we commit to continue collecting in depth and expanding our collections in the following areas: 1. As there is a continued  interest in Diaspora Studies at NYU, I collect interdisciplinary materials on the South Asian diaspora especially in Northeast US, but also try covering the Indian Ocean region, and Europe; 2. Gender & Sexuality topics, with regard to the South Asian Diaspora, and also as social movements and issues within South Asia. (Ephemera, oral histories and other primary and secondary source materials, in English and selected other South Asian languages, in all formats). I am also adding online PDF NGO reports on sexual minorities in India to the South Asia NGO Reports Collections  at NYU for open access as well as through the collaborative South Asian Gender & Sexuality Ivy Plus Archive. 3. Food Studies (another area of interdisciplinary interest at NYU) with main focus on the food ways of the Indo-Carribeean diaspora in New York City (ideas for future: conducting and collecting oral history interviews of members of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora in New York City and adding them to the library collections). I have to slow down very much on South Asia documentary films collecting due to backlogs in processing and cataloging audio-visual resources at NYU Libraries (this was my number #1 priority in my 2016 SACOOP participation report).

Last updated: September 2023


The Indo-Caribbean

Penn Libraries has been building a nascent collection that features and preserves the distinct Indo-Caribbean culture that flourishes in Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands, a legacy of the indenture system that brought more than a half million South Asians to the region to labor on British, French, and Dutch plantations. Our diasporic materials from the Caribbean represent a variety of publication genres and expressive forms, including commercial publications for popular consumption, scholarly analyses for academic audiences, as well as visual imagery and ephemera. Thematic strengths include indenture, politics, and culture. Working with small booksellers and publishers throughout the Caribbean, we’ve begun acquiring niche items, such as micro-level family histories, annual souvenir magazines celebrating Diwali and Indian Arrival Day, and self-published works that provide unique insight into Indo-Caribbean identity.

Subjects: East Indians; Indenture; Indo-Caribbean Literature, Culture, & Politics 

Languages: English

Manuscript Studies, Epigraphy, & Numismatics

With institutional emphasis on the history of material texts and longstanding historical strengths in classical Indology, Penn Libraries aims to build comprehensive collections for the study of South Asian manuscripts, inscriptions, and coinage. We continue to add to our renowned manuscript collection when legal acquisition opportunities arise, and we’re increasingly supporting post-custodial arrangements with partners in South Asia to render rare manuscript content openly available online. Related materials such as manuscript catalogs, Sanskrit series, and commentarial texts support manuscript-related research. Additionally, we broadly acquire a range of publications that document inscriptional evidence, explore paleographic histories, or consider numismatic expressions of meaning.

Subjects: Manuscripts; Inscriptions; Seals; Coins

Languages: Largely Sanskrit and English, but all South Asian languages included

Last updated: September 2023


Princeton has a niche collection of ephemera from and about South Asia as part of the open-access South Asian Ephemera Collection (SAE). SAE is primarily composed of contemporary ephemera, though users will occasionally find items originating from earlier dates. Common genres include booklets, pamphlets, leaflets, flyers, and posters (including born-digital ones), which have been produced by a variety of individuals and organizations including political parties, non-governmental organizations, think tanks, activists, and others. Every effort is being made to represent each country in the region and to increase the linguistic diversity of the collection. Gifts are welcome.

Princeton has also initiated a niche collection on Pakistani film ephemera that currently includes film posters and related booklets in multiple languages.

Regarding cooperative collection development for the ReCAP partnership, Princeton concentrates on LC profiles in the physical sciences including serials. These profiles are primarily in English and include Engineering, Science General, Soil & Water Management, Oceanography, Biology (Genetics), Fisheries, Mathematics, Computer Science, Ecology, Energy, Forestry, and Earth Sciences.

Last updated: September 2023


Indian Cinema Booklets collection

Stanford has been collecting film booklets and posters from 1937 to the contemporary period with most of them being from the 1940s to 1960s. A number of posters are of Indian films for markets in Japan, Germany, Italy, and Russia with text in those languages.

India Cinema Collection, 1937-2019

In collaboration with UC Berkeley and Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender, Stanford Libraries is building The Archive on Legacies of Conflict in South Asia: The Right To Heal. This Archive is a digital and physical repository of materials relating to political conflict and victimization, social and gendered violence and human rights crimes. It holds materials on subaltern resistance and agency in seeking psychosocial restitution and well-being, and defining justice and accountability.

Archive on the Legacy of Conflict in South Asia: The Right to Heal

Last updated: September 2023


Popular and Pulp Fiction

Since 2013, the University of Texas at Austin has been actively developing a collection of popular and pulp fiction from South Asia.  Acquisitions trips to South Asia are the primary collection development strategy although gifts are accepted and occasional direct orders from vendors/publishers are also used.   The collection is language agnostic with current holding strengths in English, Tamil, and Urdu and smaller holdings in Telugu and Malayalam.  Genres represented in the collection include detective stories, mysteries, crime novels, romances, science fiction, and horror stories.  In addition to the literary content of these novels, novellas and serialized stories, the graphic covers are of great interest and are being digitally preserved and made available online through UT’s Digital Collections.  The digital covers have been used in thematic digital exhibits to highlight and promote the collection. While UT holds titles that are in scope of the Popular and Pulp Fiction collection, including those supplied by the PL-480 and subsequent LCCAP programs, only titles acquired since 2013 have been given a local virtual collection note (MARC 590) for discovery.

Learn more about the collection:

Last updated: September 2023


Shastri supplied materials/Canadian authors

The University of Toronto Libraries collect comprehensively in all areas of South Asian studies: humanities, social studies, the arts, and the sciences. Materials published in India in English, Bengali, Hindi, Gujarati, Nepali, Pashto, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Tamil, and Urdu are received through our arrangement with the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Book Programme.  Additional materials published elsewhere are also acquired, either through well-established approval plans with commercial vendors, or from the Library of Congress. The work of contemporary Canadian authors, including Indo-Canadian literature in English and in translation, remains a dedicated area of collecting at Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

Last Updated: 2013


The UCLA Library will strive to build its collections of Sindhi language materials from Pakistan and India, as well as Pashto language materials from Afghanistan and Pakistan, through the LC-CAP programs. South Asian Judaica, Armenian and Bahai publications in different languages are also well-represented in its collections. The Library also has notable holdings of Tibetan language books, including materials published in India. UCLA will cooperate with UC Berkeley in the acquisition of other South Asian Diaspora newspapers with a special emphasis on California. UCLA also has programmatic strengths in Indo-Iranian studies and will strive to build its collections of Persian and Arabic language materials published in India.

Last updated: September 2023


Bihar history

The University of Virginia libraries aim to build on its modern history of Bihar materials by making a special effort to search out and purchase materials which will enhance this field of study and research of this region and state. Most of these materials will consist of monographs, but also journals, manuscripts, and other materials, including art, music, film, and literature.  This is a broad understanding of 'history' to include materials, mainly in English, on social movements, anthropology studies, political, religious, and cultural movements, and will also look to include literature in Hindi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, and other Bihari languages. Gifts are welcome, as well as suggestions and recommendations by members of CONSALD and others.

Some additions in the past years:

  1. Two very large Mithili paintings, donated by Walter Hauser.
  2. Talk and discussion by leading Mithili painting expert, David L. Szanton
  3. Manuscripts and papers by Bihar legislator Mishra. Between 1972 and 1977 Misra was Speaker of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha (the Bihar State legislative assembly). Papers of Harinath Misra [manuscript] ca.1940-1998. 
  4. Manuscripts and papers by Bihar researcher Christopher V. Hill. Papers of Christopher V. Hill [manuscript]
  5. Books on Bihar donated by and added to the collection from Walter Hauser. About 85 books on Bihar
  6. A short run of a Bihar serial in Urdu language – also sent to, digitized, and added by CRL (through SAMP); and returned paper copy to the University of Virginia. Bihar ki khabren 
  7. Pamphlets on Bihar and connected topics – about 60 items (added in the last 5 years).  There are now (24 October 2016) 3,063 catalog in the “South Asia Pamphlet Collection” at the University of Virginia.

 Last updated: 21 October 2016


University of Washington Libraries, as a part of its commitment to SACAP - 2012 Cooperative Collection, aims to build an in-depth collection in Gender Studies as well as Human Rights and Refugees Issues. This in-depth collection development will be mainly based on SACAP Monographic profiles in English language from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. An effort will also be made to collect Western Publications for this subject area through YBP. Collections will mainly include monographs. While an attempt will be made to include serials (print or electronic) in English Language for this subject area, the serial coverage may or may not be in depth. Serial subscription will depend on the budget and other factors such as ease of access, price etc.

Last updated: September 2023


The University of Wisconsin-Madison has one main niche collection at present: theater. This collection falls in with Languages and Literatures, which is one of our focus areas in the University’s areas of focus within South Asian Studies. Our collections involve in-depth collecting of plays as scripts, recordings, serial publications, and secondary resources in English and South Asian vernacular languages. Of special note, and outside our collection of physical materials, we have a database that has been created and housed in our digital collections department. We have one faculty member in the Department of English, who works on South Asian Theater.  Through the combination of most recent work on collecting and collating lists of theater productions in India since the mid-1960s and combining the results with the work of C.C. Metha, has resulted in the Database of Printed Modern Drama in India. This collection includes over 17,000 entries, which include title, attribution, contributors, publication, a description of the material, the language(s), notes, and an identifier. One can search by titles and names, and limit by language and date. The entry of all materials from the second group of dramas (1960s-present) were created using the Library of Congress Romanization Tables; the earlier items have been Romanized using the tables during the project. This database is free and open through UW Digital Collections. (

Last updated: September 2023


Pending: Ephemera and/or underrepresented publications from Northeast India.  Posters.

Last updated: September 2023

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