What’s New

  • Ameena Gafoor Institute for the Study of Indentureship and its Legacies –  the Institute’s website links to digital archives – films, oral history interviews and online articles, as well as bibliographies, including indentured labour in Assam, indentured labour in Mauritius, indentured labour in Malaysia, women in indentureship, and films and creative writing about indenture.
  • Archives Unbound (University of Cambridge access) includes ‘Afghanistan in 1919: The Third Anglo-Afghan War’ and ‘The Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920’ (collections sourced from the British Library)
  • Anthropology Online – written ethnographies, field notes, seminal texts, memoirs, and photographs. Access for current students and staff (University of Cambridge). Can browse by cultural group and refine search by format, such as photograph.
  • Online Burma/Myanmar Library  – classified and annotated links to 60,000 full text documents or websites on Burma/Myanmar (of which a quarter are in Burmese). You can search or browse by subject heading, and access is free.
  • World Newspaper Archive: South Asian Newspapers 1864-1922 Access to the Readex South Asian Newspapers, 1864-1922 archive is now available to members of the University of Cambridge. It includes Amrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta), Bankura Darpana (Bankura, India), Madras Mail (Madras), Kayasare Hinda (Bombay), Pioneer(Allahabad, India), Tribune (Lahore, Pakistan) and the Ceylon Observer (Sri Lanka). Through eyewitness reporting, editorials, legislative updates, letters, poetry, advertisements, matrimony and death notices, this collection chronicles the evolution of cultures and communities across South Asia. It covers the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion; construction of railroads; effects of British Colonial rule; Hindu-Muslim conflicts; life on coffee, tea and rubber plantations; Morely-Minto Reforms; formation of the Indian National Congress; start of Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement; economics, politics, the arts; and much more. Offering a variety of perspectives, the newspapers in this collection are ideal for comparing and contrasting views on both local and global issues.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports  – The original mission of the FBIS was to monitor, record, transcribe and translate intercepted radio broadcasts from foreign governments, official news services, and clandestine broadcasts from occupied territories. Accordingly, it provides a wealth of information from all countries outside of the U.S.—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. University of Cambridge students and staff have access to two collections: FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1974 and FBIS Daily Reports, 1974-1996;  and FBIS Daily Report Annexes, 1974-1996.
  • British Online Archives – trial access to 31 March 2021 to all 96 collections for current students and staff (University of Cambridge)
  • ArchiveSearch replaces Janus on 1st March 2021. Use it to discover primary sources and archives held in University and College libraries, museums and faculties in Cambridge – in addition, of course, to the the Centre’s own archives!
  • Online services across Cambridge University Libraries – a very useful webpage with links to the wide range of support available.
  • Zero-contact services at Cambridge University Library – including Scan & Deliver, Click & Collect, and Ask a Curator.
  • Doing Sociology: building the sociological imagination – a blog launched in May 2020 to connect students and scholars of sociology in India. Includes interviews with academics, and book reviews.
  • Granth Sanjeevani – the Asiatic Society of Mumbai digital library includes rare books, manuscripts, newspapers and journals, government publications and maps. Access via University of Cambridge subscription. You will need a VPN connection off campus. Select Login/Register and enter: University of Cambridge.  Over 53700 items online, including Bombay Chronicle, Bombay Gazette, Bombay Courier, and Hindoo Patriot. Government publications include administrative reports of the Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency and Census of India reports.
  • Lots of new databases! Scroll down the A-Z databases page, and they are listed on the right-hand side. Select a link and explore!  More details of individual resources will follow, when we have had time to explore ourselves!  They include:
    World news in Indian newspapers 1782-1908;
    India, uprising and reform, 1879-1910: in the records of the Governor-General;
    Indian communists and trade unionists on trial: the Meerut conspiracy 1929-1933.
  • Click and Collect service for Cambridge students. We are delighted to announce that our Click and Collect service will resume the week beginning 18 January 2021, with slots on  Tuesdays (11:00-12:00) and Fridays (14:00-15:00).  Please use the Click & Collect link to book your slot!
  • Using our libraries – latest updates within Cambridge University Libraries
  • Do you still have library books to return?  If so, we’d love to have them back!  These are your options for returning books. If you are in the UK, do make the most of our FREEPOST labels! And you may be able to claim a refund of postage costs if abroad.
  • BrowZine – a very useful tool for keeping abreast of journal articles in your subject. It enables you to select journals and receive updates when new articles are published in these journals. Please note that this  link will only provide access to BrowZine for University of Cambridge students and staff.
  • EPWRF India Time Series.  Current students and staff (University of Cambridge) have access to the EPW Research Foundation’s online database on the Indian economy. EPWRF help pages. Click Login (top right), then Login blue box. You will need a VPN connection off campus. Please log off as soon as you have finished your session as only 5 users may access the database concurrently. For details of the statistical sets available, please view the full index.
  • A very warm welcome to all MPhil students @CSASCambridge. Do explore the CamGuide for Master’s students! It will help you find and manage resources and software, manage your digital presence safely, and much more …
  • And do watch this excellent short video on e-books, aimed at University of Cambridge students and staff.  Learn how to access and use them – vital skills during the pandemic… For more information on e-books, see the relevant LibGuide for e-books.
  • Burma Star Memorial Fund Archive – a wonderful new resource for genealogy and research related to the 1941-1945 Burma Campaign, containing all Burma Star Association membership records, back issues of its magazine, Dekho! first issued in 1951, maps, propaganda and personal stories.
  • Bloomsbury Pakistan book reviews – a very useful series of book reviews which focus on recently published academic books about Pakistan (social sciences and history). Scroll down (below the book reviews) for links to online articles and reports.
  • British Empire & Commonwealth Collection –  do explore the new catalogue, launched October 2020. The collection, which is based at Bristol Archives, consists of objects, photographs, films, papers and sound archives reflecting the occupations and interests of mainly white British people living and working in many parts of the former empire during the late 19th and 20th centuries. The catalogue of 15,000 items includes access to 7,000 digitised images and 200 films.
  • An excellent new guide to freely available online archives for students of South and Southeast Asia prepared by Aditya Balasubramanian (August 2020)
  • Digital Bodleian includes archives, prints and portraits, photographs, ephemera, maps, and periodicals. Enter India as your search term to see the range of material digitised, and narrow your search by collection or language.
  • Southeast Asia Visions is a collection of European travel accounts of pre-modern Southeast Asia from Cornell University Library’s John M. Echols Collection. The site provides online access to more than 350 books written in English and French.
  • Daily journals of Batavia (today’s Jakarta) Castle, 1624-1806, provide rich sources of information on trade within Southeast Asia and with Europe. These have been digitized from the National Archives at the Hague, Netherlands and pertain especially to the operations of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). They are a record of letters, ship movements, and major events.
  • India-UK Development Partnership Forum (IUKDPF) knowledge sharing platform brings together key resources on Indian development cooperation and India’s development contributions – interviews, publications, reports and more! Use the search box and filters to explore.
  • Researching colonial history of the Malay world like a millennial – a fabulous new resource guide from the Cultural Centre of the University of Malaya. Search for online resources, search by country and so much more, including an excellent beginners’ guide.
  • Afghanistan, the Edinburgh University Press journal normally accessible via elegal deposit, has been made accessible online until 31 Dec 2020 to University of Cambridge students and staff.
  • Southeast Asia Library Group (SEALG) blog – News and information from libraries & archives about Southeast Asian collections in Europe
  • Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism online
  • Adam Matthew Digital Archives : accessible to University of Cambridge members until 30 June 2020.  These include Area studies: India (Indian newspaper reports, eyewitness accounts, Indian writing on Britain and Empire, colonial fiction, Lord Curzon’s papers, and journals of Michael Pakenham Edgeworth);  East India Company (India Office Records from the British Library); Migration to New Worlds which includes the supply and movement of Indian and Chinese indentured labourers in Africa and the Caribbean, 1800-1924; India, Raj and Empire (National Library of Scotland archives); Empire studies which includes archives from the Royal Commonwealth society collection; Global commodities: trade, exploration and cultural exchange;  and Church Missionary Society periodicals and archives.     Please note PDF downloads are not enabled during this trial. Please send your feedback using the online form.
  • Online research training skills programme aimed at University of Cambridge PhDs and postdocs in all disciplines. Modules will be released each week of Easter Term (commencing 21 April 2020) and cover Publishing in journals, Publishing academic monographs, Copyright and licenses, Research Data Management, Searching the literature, and Building your online profile. A weekly virtual drop-in offers researchers the opportunity to ask questions in person.
  • Remote users of e-resources will find online help in navigating e-resources off campus, logging in via Shibboleth/Raven, and online tools like Lean Library for improving discovery in How to use e-resources@cambridge
  • Do consult the LibGuide for Ebooks to see which titles are now accessible to University of Cambridge students. This includes thousands of additional titles generously provided by publishers whilst libraries are closed due to COVID-19
  • A LibGuides Databases A-Z page for the e-resources, e-books, and e-journals opened up for the COVID-19 outbreak period is now available here:
    Databases A-Z: Resources opened up for COVID-19
  • South Asian Newspapers 1864-1922 from Readex. This database has been opened up to University of Cambridge students and staff until 30 June 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will need to use your Raven log-in. This is the list of newspapers included.
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports 1941-1996 (Readex). The publisher has also opened up these reports to University of Cambridge students and staff until 30 June 2020.
  • Churchill Archive includes considerable material of interest to those studying South and Southeast Asia, and is accessible to University of Cambridge students and researchers. Browse by named individual, place, time period or topic.  If browsing by place – Asia – India, click on ‘+’ sign – India is broken down into 6 regions. There are also ‘Advanced search’ options. Topics indexed include Islam, constitutional reform, POW camps, occupation and human rights, plus many more. There are Introductions to topics, such as Empire and Imperialism by Richard Toye; also In depth research guides such as ‘Winston Churchill and the Islamic World‘ by Warren Dockter.
  • Base Ulysse, the online digital archive of the National Overseas Archives in Aix-en-Provence. It contains over 45,000 individual photographs, albums, postcards, posters, drawings and maps documenting aspects of the French colonial empire – a rich historical resource for the study of cultures, traditions and everyday life in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Scroll the drop-down list of ‘Territoire’ to see the geographical breadth of this collection.
  • Royal Visit to India 1905-1906 by the Prince & Princess of Wales (King George V & Queen Mary) – a comprehensive collection of items & research related to the 1905-1906 Royal Visit to India compiled by David Underwood. The site includes information on key figures (including Indian leaders and members of the Royal household, ships and the Royal train); correspondence, photographs, visitors’ books, tickets, programs, newspapers, local and Government of India publications. It also includes items from other Royal visits to India in 1875/6, 1889-90, 1901, 1902/3, 1911/12 and 1921/22. The website currently represents about 30% of David’s collection, and researchers are encouraged to contact him via his website form with any specific questions they have.
  • Archives Direct (the National Archives online) is now accessible to University of Cambridge members until 31 July 2020 . Collections include Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980, with all documents in the series DO 133, DO 134 and FCO 37, plus all documents covering the Indian subcontinent in the FO 371 series. Events covered include independence and partition, the Indian annexation of Hyderabad and Goa, war between India and Pakistan, tensions and war between India and China, the consolidation of power of the Congress Party in India, military rule in Pakistan, the turbulent independence of Bangladesh and the development of nuclear weapons in the region. The files address these events from the standpoint of British officialdom. In addition to high politics, they deal with such issues as economic and industrial development, trade, migration, visits to South Asia by British politicians and by South Asian politicians to Britain and elsewhere, education, administrative reorganisation, conflict over language, aid, political parties, agriculture and irrigation, and television and the press.
  • Access to ArtFilms is now available to University of Cambridge students until 30 September 2020. Artfilms includes a number of films about artists and their work in South and Southeast Asia.  Art is interpreted very broadly and includes architecture, music, photography, theatre, dance, and anthropology, as well as film.  You can also browse geographically – 17 films are listed under ‘World: Southeast Asia’ and 28 under ‘World: India’.   They include Dancing from Ceylon (1962); Sun and Moon, the God of Rain  (2014) about the first male Warli painter; Living Art in Papua New Guinea – an exciting interactive book by Susan Cochrane (2013); and Vietnam: a contagious revolution (2010).
  • Additional e-resources opened up to University of Cambridge students until 30 June 2020 include British Online Archives  which contain many records relating to South or Southeast Asia, including: World News in Indian Newspapers, 1782-1908; Indian and Sri Lankan records from colonial missionaries, 1770-1931; India, business and control 1806 to 1814 (in the records of the Governor-General); India, uprising and reform 1879 to 1910 (in the records of the Governor-General); Taking India, how the military established Company rule, 1752-1774; Indian Communists and Trade Unionists on Trial (The Meerut Conspiracy, 1929-1933); Colonial women missionaries of the Committee for Women’s Work, 1861-1967; Asia at war, World War 2 as described by USPG missionaries, 1914-1946; Military Intelligence Files: Land, Sea & Air, 1938-1974; and Secrecy, Sabotage, and Aiding the Resistance: How Anglo-American Cooperation Shaped World War II.
  • Another excellent resource is the South Asia Archive opened up for 2 months until 3rd June 2020 to University of Cambridge students. An interdisciplinary mix of primary and secondary sources, including novels, film posters, religious tracts, trade directories, census reports, government acts, and serials. Material from the 18thC to early 1950s, includingtranslations & later editions of earlier works. Subjects include agriculture & environment, the arts, art history & cinema, commerce & industry, education, gender, history, law, religion, philosophy, science & technology, medicine, sport & leisure, tourism, & urban studies. Mostly in English, but items also in Bengali, with fewer in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi & other South Asian languages. Some coverage of Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma & Tibet. The archive is based on the collections of the South Asia Research Foundation.
  • National Archives of India online portal for archives and learning, Abhilekh Patal, provides free digital access to many of the Archive’s public & private records – an excellent resource on Indian history. You will need to register to access these resources. There are now 15 curated digitized-collections – topics include maps, education, health, and defence.
  • Endangered Archives Programme – enabling digitisation of archives in danger of destruction, neglect or physical deterioration, includes many South Asian archives – periodicals, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera.  Explore these digitised archives by place, country, language, script, physical format etc.,
  • Two Centuries of Indian Print – a pilot project to digitise rare and unique printed books from the British Library’s South Asian collection and digitise the Quarterly lists to aid discovery.
  • Freedom and Fragmentation: Images of Independence, Decolonisation and Partition from the Centre of South Asian Studies Archive (Exhibition held in Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road,  Cambridge, 1 August- 27 October 2017).
  • The South Asia Open Archives (SAOA), a subset of the South Asia Materials Project (SAMP), creates and maintains 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 worldwide.
  • Jātaka Stories is a free online searchable database of jātakas in Indian texts and art, enabling one to study textual and visual narratives side by side.
  • Indiancine.ma is an annotated online archive of Indian film, intended to serve as a shared resource for film scholars and enthusiasts in India and beyond. Most films have English sub-titles and you can categorize them by language (everything from Hindi to Malayalam), director, year of production, the studio that made it, and even famous cast members. Happy viewing!
  • Official Publications LibGuide – a guide to official publications in Cambridge University libraries
  • Dastavezi : The Audio-Visual South Asia – a new open-access journal and platform for linking audio-visual and scholarly practice from and on South Asia.
  • Kabul Museum, Afghanistan – Photographs taken by Bridget Allchin in 1951 of objects in the Kabul Museum from sites including Begram, Fondukistan, Hadda, Kunduz, and Nuristan.
  • Overseas and foreign language newspapers – a new listing of newspapers to which students and staff of the University of Cambridge have access.
  • Archives of Economic Life in South Asiaan inventory of sources on the history of economic life in South Asia. It categorizes and identifies a potentially vast range of material—from government archives at the national, state, and local levels, to private papers, legal sources, and the archives of architecture and photography. It includes interviews with Dr Kevin Greenbank  about CSAS archives, and  Rachel Rowe about archives within the Royal Commonwealth Society collections in Cambridge University Library. The resource is a work-in-progress, so it is advisable to check its research blog, collection links and interviews regularly for information on new archives.
  • Recent Library acquisitions: January-July 2019Mid-August 2018-8 January 2019, 7 May – 13 August 2018,  mid-March to early May 2018,  January to mid-March 2018
  • Archives of the week: The Centre’s Archivist highlights an item from our archives each week. Treasures featured include an 1893-94  ‘commonplace book’ compiled in India; a 1942 blueprint Burma evacuation map; and a 1942 ‘Quit India’ poster.
  • CamGuides is a course created by the Cambridge Information Literacy Network to help you master essential academic, research and digital practices needed for graduate study.
  • Bengal Partition 1905, Eastern Partition 1947: explore resources at the British Library uncovered by Partha Bhaumik, BL Chevening Fellow, around the theme of ‘Nationalism, Independence, Partition in South Asia, 1900-1950’
  • Vietnam under French Rule, 1919-1946 – members of the University now have online access to the first four volumes of Vietnam under French rule 1919-1946 : the nationalist challenge and the Japanese threat, published by Cambridge Archive Editions and available through East View Information Services. Access is available on and off-campus here and there is a record for the set in iDiscover.
  • Philosophy in the Islamic World Online: 8th-10th Centuries‘. This Brill reference work covers the formative period of Arabic philosophy and ranges from Plato to Abū Yūsuf al-Kindī and Abū Naṣr al-Fārābī. (Cambridge access via iDiscover).
  • Pani, Pahar – view changing landscapes and escalating water crises in the Indian Himalayas in the Pani, Pahar photographic exhibition. See CSAS and RCS archive photographs alongside contemporary work by photojournalist Toby Smith.
  • Unlocking our archives: Suzan Griffiths writes about the fascinating books she has discovered in our archives:  see SAALG Blog posts for 15 July 2018 (Architect H.A.N. Medd who assisted Sir Edwin Lutyens in in the construction of Delhi), 11 May (Christopher Lorimer, Burma, Steel Brothers), 30 April 2018 (examination syllabus for ICS in 1885; James Scorgie Meston),  1 March 2018 (mountain surveys and exploring; Ian Stephens), 7 February 2018 (Nagas, Census, John Henry Hutton), 8 May 2017 (domestic life and natural history), 21 April 2017 (Lloyd and Chatterjee), and 19 April 2017 (foundation of the Centre)
  • Granth Sanjeevani – the Asiatic Society of Mumbai has digitised rare books, manuscripts, newspapers and journals, government publications and maps. Over 53700 items are now online, including  Bombay Chronicle, Bombay Gazette, Bombay Courier, and Hindoo Patriot. Government publications digitised include administrative reports of the Bombay Presidency, Madras Presidency and Census of India reports. Material is being digitised and added regularly to Granth Sanjeevani’ – so watch this space!
  • Gandhi Heritage portal – a searchable site containing Mahatma Gandi’s collected works – a Government of India portal. In addition to Gandhi’s writings, the site includes photographs, films and audio, and tributes to him.
  • Nehru portal. The portal is hosted by the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library. It is non-searchable but documents may be downloaded. The portal includes his writings (Selected works of Jawaharlal Nehru), his publications, archival papers, (including some papers of Nehru’s contemporaries), oral history, cartoons, photographs, films and tributes.
  • Postcolonial literature timeline – a really useful tool providing contextual knowledge of literary works and a visualisation of the historical, social, political, and literary events that shape and surround the key texts mentioned.
  • Digital images of photographs, art-work and manuscripts from South and Southeast Asia on Cambridge Digital Library –   Enter your search term or browse the collections by entering Asia into the search box. The Royal Commonwealth Society collections include the most Asian images – approximately 2000 currently. New collections are added monthly.
  • Hiteshranjan Sanyal Memorial Archive: periodicals and newspapers from Bengal – a huge collection of textual and visual materials mainly focused on colonial Bengal, including rare Bengali books, Assamese journals and books, as well as visual art and popular culture (such as specimens of historical Bengali advertising).
  • Voices of civilian internment: World War II Singapore. Cambridge University Library has digitised archives relating to World War II and civilian internment in Singapore from its Royal Commonwealth Society collections, and made them freely available on Cambridge Digital Library. More information here.
  • Kolkata Soundscapes is an archival project at Jadavpur University, Kolkata which maps the character of the city through its sounds. Includes videos, photographs and list of Bangla words with phonetical representations and meanings.
  • Indian papers of Colonel Clive and Brigadier-General Carnac, 1752-1774 This online collection includes Clive’s personal papers, papers relating to the civil and military administration of Bengal, financial papers relating to India, papers of the Calcutta Council and its committees, papers of the Calcutta Mayor’s Court, and East India Company records held in the National Library of Wales.
  • Srujanika – an excellent online resource archiving books on Odisha (formerly Orissa), maintained by the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India. Subjects covered include anthropology, history, politics, and religion, among others. Includes many rare books written in the Odiya language.
  • Migration to New Worlds – an online collection of materials on the ‘Century of Immigration’, 1800-1924, accessible to University of Cambridge students and staff . Materials include diaries, personal letters, oral histories, shipping logs, maps, printed literature and organisational records relating to British, European and Asian migration. The archive records the journeys and challenges immigrants faced when settling in foreign countries.
  • OneSearch enables you to search across the collections of Singapore libraries, archives, museums and galleries in a single search. It will link to catalogue records for books and archival materials, and to digitised newspapers, and audio-visuals where available.
  • Qatar Digital Library – a growing online resource for historians of South Asia and the Gulf region. See our featured collection for more information.
  • The Commonwealth iLibrary (OECD) – access to online books and working papers published by The Commonwealth. Available off campus with Raven password.
  • Chicago Manual of Style Online. Access for University of Cambridge via subscription. The Quick Guide is particularly helpful for first-time users.
  • Historic South Asian newspapers on microfilm. We have recently acquired copies of the English-language newspaper, Dawn on microfilm for 1960, 1962, 1964 and 1965, filling gaps in our previous holding. Our holding is now 1941-1947 and 1959-1986. The newspaper, founded by Jinnah as a mouth-piece for the Muslim League, has become Pakistan’s most widely read English-language newspaper, and provides a great resource for historians.
  • Bichitra: Online Tagore Variorum an amazing new digital resource containing nearly all of Tagore’s writings in Bengali and English. The website can be navigated in English, Bengali and Hindi, and the search engine allows you to locate any word or phrase used in his works.
  • ARTstor Digital Library is a database providing access to architectural images from South and Southeast Asia, particularly religious architecture – shrines, temples, monasteries. Access for members of Cambridge University is available on and off campus (using Raven) via the University Library’s eresources@cambridge A-Z list: Click here Select Databases and enter ARTstor. You can browse by country or select advanced search and narrow your search by geographical region and format, e.g. films, drawings and watercolours, photographs or manuscripts.
  • Times of India (1838-2005). Members of the University of Cambridge have access to this Indian newspaper database on and off campus (using Raven). It incorporates the Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce (1839-1859) and Bombay Times and Standard (1860-1861), as well as the Times of India (1861-current). Click here.
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies , re-launched in September 2011 to simplify searching and facet-based browsing. You can now combine searches by Author, Subject, Country/Region, Journal, Publication date, Type of publication and Language. Diacritics are also now visible and can be copied, pasted and printed. On EBSCOHost platform from 2016.
  • Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire a website holding detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 of the films are available for viewing online.
  • The Centre’s own collection of cinefilms was previously our Featured collection.
  • Follow the SAALG Blog for news and events relating to South and Southeast Asian archives.
  • View pictures of our library and archives on Flickr