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South Asian Studies

This South Asian Studies Research Guide is a library tool to assist scholars and students at NYU in finding useful resources (in print and online) on South Asia.

South Asia and Digital Humanities: introduction

In recent times, several South Asia-focused digital humanities projects have been taken up by scholars, librarians, archivists, academic institutions, and other organizations around the world. These endeavors include developing digital curricula and pedagogical resources; building and curating  open access repositories of primary and secondary sources (including textual, visual and media materials) with rich metadata; organizing GIS systems for mapping and analyzing georeferenced data; collecting, preserving, transcribing and providing access to oral histories and other culture history materials, and so on.

In this guide, select examples of South Asia DH projects are given for surveying the current field.

South Digital Humanities Courses

Bay of Bengal: Flows of Change course was taught in connected classrooms offered between Tufts University in Boston and BRAC University in Dhaka in Spring 2014 using vide conferencing and web conferencing. This course explored the connected history of the eastern Indian Ocean, and linkages between South and East Asia in global context.

Islam on the Indian Ocean Rim was another course taught in connected classrooms between Tufts University in Boston and LUMS University in Lahore in Spring 2012 using video conferencing and web conferencing to support synchronous class sessions between students in distant classrooms. It focused on the history of cosmopolitanism, inter-regional connection and competing universalisms in the Indian Ocean region.

South Asia Digital Humanities Projects

Allama Iqbal Cyber Library, Pakistan

Iqbal Academy Library, one of the oldest libraries specializing in Iqbal Studies, has developed an open access website on Iqbal to facilitate research by scholars, students and general readers. It  provides access  to significant primary materials including manuscripts, books, reference sources and publications in a multilingual format.

Bichitra Tagore Online Variorum, created by the School of Cultural Texts and Records, Jadavpur University, is an integrated archive of all of Rabindranath Tagore's literary works in Bengali and English. Resources in this collection include manuscripts, printed books and periodicals.

GRETIL (Göttingen Register of Electronic Texts in Indian Languages) is a cumulative register of -- and facilitated access to -- numerous freely-accessible electronic texts in Indian languages, with concordances, indexes, and multiple text-encoded and mark-up versions available for searching, downloading, and integrating into other text analysis programs.

PANDiT: Prosopographical Database for Indic Texts is  a digital humanities database project for South Asian language textual resources. "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. It is designed as an interactive web-based repository that scholars of every South Asian specialty and interest can contribute to..." Currently has more than 50,000  entries that include manuscripts, prints, extracts, works and sites.

SARIT (Search and Retrieval of Indian Texts) provides digital tools for philological research into Indic texts in Sanskrit and other Indian languages. These are documented, dated and have embedded notes. The editions in the SARIT library currently include these works. SARIT also provides retrieval and analysis of the works in their collections. One can search for words and phrases, and have their search results displayed as keywords-in-context. Resources can be downloaded in XML, EPUB and PDF. SARIT uses the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) system for tagging files that was designed for humanities scholars.

South Asia Digital Humanities Lab at Tufts University has projects in oral history collection, global networked learning, multimedia indexing, and annotation.They seek to create a shared searchable collection of South Asian multimedia resources online, and for using these instructional resources for education in connected classrooms.

South Asia digital archives and oral histories projects

South Asia Open Archives (SAOA) is a major collaborative initiative 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.creates and maintains a collection of open access materials for the study of South Asia.

South Asian American Digital Archive documents, preserves and shares stories and experiences of South Asian Americans. Notable digital projects in these archives include: Road Trips Project; First Days Project; Artists in the Archives; Basement Bhangra@20 and others.

Bengali cultural heritage: visualizing oral histories  documents the lives and  experience of senior intellectuals of West Bengal and Bangladesh, born between c. 1920 and c. 1950 expressed in their own words. These artists, journalists, photographers, policy makers and academics helped create postcolonial cultural institutions in rising nation-states and across nation-states.

1947 Partition Archive "records life stories shaped by Partition". This archive been preserving oral histories of Partition witnesses since 2010 through a combined program that includes crowdsourcing by Citizen Historians, as well as collection by trained scholars. In addition to oral histories, they also digitize and preserve historic and current photographs related to the Partition.