South Asian Repositories & Archives

Outside South Asia

  • American Institute of Indian Studies, Center for Art & Archaeology Photo Archive 
    The web presentation of the AIIS photographic archive is a joint venture of the AIIS and the Digital South Asia Library project. 
  • ArchiveGrid 
    An important destination for searching through historical documents, personal papers, and family histories held in archives around the world.
  • Archives Hub 
    Access to archives of UK universities and colleges, several of which include South Asia–related material.
  • The Cambridge South Asian Archive 
    The Archive onsists of private papers, photographs and drawings, books, film, and tape recordings.
  • The Centre for Digital Africa, Asia and the Middle East - CeDAAME (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
    An important and expanding collection of archives and manuscripts relating to Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. The Fürer- Haimendorf collection is the world's most comprehensive study of tribal cultures in South Asia and the Himalayas.
  • Gandhiserve Foundation 
    Archival audio, video, correspondence, etc. on Gandhi.
  • India Office Records and Private papers 
    The documentary archives of the administration in London of the pre-1947 government of India. They comprise the archives of the East India Company (1600-1858), of the Board of Control or Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India (1784-1858), of the India Office (1858-1947), of the Burma Office (1937-1948), and of a number of related British agencies overseas.
  • The Lachlan & Elizabeth Macquarie Archive (LEMA)
    An electronic gateway aimed at providing a new context for the historical investigation of the lives and times of Lachlan Macquarie (1761-1824), and his second wife, Elizabeth Campbell (of Airds) (1778-1835) that includes documentary transcripts, photographs, and research findings associated with Australia, India, Sri Lanka, and Scotland.
  • Marxists Internet Archive 
    Includes several documents in Bengali, Nepali, Sinhala, Tamil, and Urdu.
  • Military Education Research Library Network, Military Policy Awareness Link, India 
    Provides access to current U.S. Government policy statements on selected key topics, accompanied by additional resources that analyze the topic.
  • Military Education Research Library Network, Military Policy Awareness Link, Pakistan
    Provides access to current U.S. Government policy statements on selected key topics, accompanied by additional resources that analyze the topic.
  • Salidaa: South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive 
    Although not comprehensive, the digital archive provides a representative sample of the artistic and cultural contribution made by South Asian people to the developments of arts and literature in England.
  • South Asians in North America Collection 
    Documents of the pro-Indian independence political group, Hindustan Gadar Party, headquartered in California in the early 20th century, and other pro-Indian independence materials. Includes newspapers, pamphlets, correspondence, photographs, interviews on cassette tapes with transcripts, posters, handbills, magazine articles (original and photocopies), lectures, theses, bibliographies, and revolutionary poems. Photoprints and negatives transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 2002.183). The documents are primarily in the Bengali, English, Hindi, Panjabi, and Urdu languages.
  • TANAP: the archives of the VOC 
    Record Groups kept by repositories in the Netherlands, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Malysia and the United Kingdom that jointly make up the archives of the Dutch East India Company.

Inside South Asia



  • The National Library and Archives of Bhutan
    A major scriptural repository and research facility dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich literary, cultural and religious heritage. It holds one of the largest treasuries of Mahayana Buddhist literature in the world.


  • Archives of Indian Labour 
    A project of V.V. Giri National Labour Institute & Association of Indian Labour Historians, providing a gateway to rich primary source material relating to the labor history of India.
  • CASSIR Cross Archive Search Services for Indian Repositories 
    A part of the ongoing project "Development of OAI-Based Institutional Research Repository Services in India" being carried out at National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) to harvest metadata and provide web-based search/browse services.
  • ePrints@IISc 
    Open-access repository of research publications of the Indian Institute of Science.
  • French Institute of Pondicherry, Photo Archives
    The archives contain more than 136,000 photographs and are a unique resource for visual information about South India in the second half of the twentieth century, particularly its temple art.
  • French Institute of Pondicherry, Map Archives 
    3,000 maps on India and South and Southeast Asia, around 1,200 topographic maps of the Anglo-Saxon scale (1 inch/1 mile) dating from the first half of the 20th century and an equal number of topographic maps at the metric scale (most of them 1/50,000 and nearly 200 sheets at 1/250,000) obtained from the Survey of India and covering most of the Indian subcontinent. Around 500 thematic maps of other South and Southeast Asian countries (vegetation, soil, geology, meteorology, etc.) at highly varying scales, mainly from the 50’s, are also preserved here.
  • Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
    The Kalanidhi library holds personal collection of eminent scholars and artists. Some of the collections are that of Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, Thakur Jaidev Singh, Krishna Kripalani, Hazari Prasad Dvivedi, Heeramaneck, Lance Dane, Chaturvedi Dwarka Prasad.
  • National Archives of India 
    Repository of the non-current records of the Government of India, holding them in trust for the use of administrators and scholars.
  • National Film Archives of India 
    Acquires National and State Award winning films, Indian Panorama films, Box-office hits and films shown in international film festivals. Film adaptations of famous literary works, films representing different genres of Indian Cinema, newsreels, documentaries representing the categories mentioned above also find their way to the Archive. Selected foreign films representing national cultures, different genres and landmark  works of major filmmakers from different countries are also acquired and used for archival and research purposes.
  • National Library, India 
    Receives books and periodicals in almost all the Indian languages. These are received under the Delivery of Books & Newspapers (Public Libraries) Act 1954. (D.B. Act).
  • Nehru Memorial Museum & Library 
    It has four major constituents: Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Museum, Library on Modern India (an advanced research and reference institution on social sciences, with an emphasis on modern Indian history, covering the period from Raja Rammohun Roy, to the present times, with documents, personal papers, pictures, pamphlets and newspapers), Centre for Contemporary Studies, and a planetarium.
  • Parliamentary Museum and Archives, India  
    Has complete and up-to-date pictorial record of the history of the institution of Parliament, its activities and of eminent personalities. It preserves the records connected with the framing of India’s Constitution, the growth and working of parliamentary institutions and the private papers of parliamentarians irrespective of their political affiliations.
  • Scientific Information Resource Centre (SIRC)
    TIFR maintains a special collection of “Manuscripts of Prof. Harish Chandra and Prof. C.P. Ramanujan” and original drawings of Dr. Homi Bhabha.
  • SPARROW: Sound and Picture Archives for Resarch on Women 
    Includes orla history and pictorial material.
  • Tata Central Archives 
    The first ISO 9001:2000 Certified Business Archives in India that collects and retains letters, documents, images, printed books, group publications and ephemera of potential historical and critical significance to the Tata Group, one of the largest and most respected business houses in India.
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences Library  
    It has small collection of rare books pertaining to biographies of Social Reformers and Social Reform movements of the 18th and 19th Centuries.
  • Vidyanidhi Digital Library 
    India's premier digital library initiative to facilitate the creation, archiving and accessing of doctoral theses.

The Maldives

  • The National Library of Maldives
    Has reports, papers and manuscripts in Arabic, Urdu and Dhivehi. Acquires and preserves publications from Maldives and by Maldivians.



  • National Library of Pakistan 
    Acquires material through purchases, copyright deposits, gifts, exchanges, and donations. Special collections include rare handwritten manuscripts in the Persian language relating to the history of Kashmir, and the first copy of Kulyat-e-Meer, published in 1811.
  • Pakistan Research Repository 
    Maintains a digital archive of all PhD and MPhil theses produced indigenously to promote the intellectual output of Pakistani institutions. It provides a free, single-entry access point to view the manuscript of research executed, and to distribute this information as widely as possible.

Sri Lanka

  • Department of National Archives, Sri Lanka 
    The Archives have valuable records of the Portuguese period; records of the Dutch period 1640-1796: Land Tombo, Family Tombo and School Tombo Council Minutes and practically all records of the Dutch administration on the Island; Records of the British Period 1796-1947; copies of Sannas, Grain Tax Registers, Nila Pangu & Praveni Pangu Registers. Records after independence 1948; Government, Semi Government and of other institutions.

At Columbia University Libraries

See the Rare Book & Manuscript Library Collections webpage for help with searching and locating material.

Art & Architecture

Health & Family Planning

  • Estelle Brodman (b. 1914-) Papers ca.1950-1987
    The "India Files" contain correspondence with Indian officials, UN officials, and long letters with the Washington University Medical Library staff. Also there are reports and related printed material on family planning in India, including material from the All-India Conference on Documentation in Family Planning, 30-31 July 1970.


  • De Quincey Family Papers 1804-1893
    Includes correspondence from family members Thomas Peston, Paul Frederick and Florence Bandsmith who had association with India.
  • Benjamin Disraeli papers, 1805-1896
    Correspondence, photographs, and printed material by and relating to Benjamin Disraeli, Britain's first Prime Minister. During his leadership England gained control of both India and the Suez Canal.


  • Erik Barnouw Papers 1920-1990
    Included are papers regarding projects for the Indian film industry and correspondence with Satyajit Ray, Krishnaswamy Subranmanyam, Romesh Thapar and Raj Thapar.

Prepared by Gary Hausman, South Asian Studies Librarian.