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Libraries & Collections

South Asia Division of the U-M Library

The South Asian studies collection at the University of Michigan Library covers the following countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sikkim (now a part of India), Sri Lanka, Tibet (for Buddhist studies), and, to a lesser degree, Afghanistan. Since many of these countries, or portions of them, were for extensive periods of time colonies of Portugal, France, and Great Britain, there are large overseas South Asian communities within the former colonial states. Similarly, there are significant immigrant populations in several other countries, including the United States, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the Caribbean Islands. South Asian studies also encompass these communities in the former colonies.

Materials on and from South Asia defined in these very broad terms are acquired and catalogued by the South Asia Division. Although within this broad view there are variations in degree of coverage or emphasis on particular countries and disciplinary interests, the study of India and Indians remains the prime interest and importance.

Collection Size

285,000 monographic titles in various formats 1,700 current serial titles (vernacular and Western languages). A large collection of maps is housed in the Map Library.

Geogrphical Coverage

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet (Buddhist Studies).

Linguistic Coverage

English, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Tibetan, Bengali (not currently collected); Classical languages: Sanskrit, Prakrit, Pali, Persian, Arabic.


For School Teachers and Students

Below are resources for teachers from kindergarten to college level. We hope you find them useful: is a K-12 resource of the Asia Society. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, the Society's mission is to strengthen mutual understanding between the United States and Asia in support of positive engagement between their societies and peoples. Please view information for curriculum planning on the AskAsia website.

The American Forum for Global Education is a private, non-for-profit organization
founded in 1970. Includes a new web-based curriculum, free. Simply register your email name and you have access to 170 curriculum units, a handful of which are focused on South Asia, and many that are applicable because of a global focus.

Outreach World is a comprehensive one-stop resource for teaching international and area studies and foreign languages in the precollegiate classroom.

Edsitement, The best of the humanities on the web, lesson plans made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Non U-M Digital Collections

The South Asia Microform Project (SAMP) is a cooperative program that seeks to acquire and maintain a readily accessible collection of unique materials in microform related to the study of South Asia. Materials are collected both through the filming efforts of the project and through the purchase of positive copies of materials filmed by other groups, institutions and companies.

Digital South Asia Library On-line information about contemporary and historical South Asia including: full-text documents; statistical data; electronic images; cartographic representations; pedagogical resources for language instruction; delivery on demand of page images from South Asia, scanned from both paper and microform sources; and internet-based indexes to highly select journals in the regional languages of South Asia.

Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project The British Library / University of Washington Early Buddhist Manuscripts Project was founded in September 1996 in order to promote the study, editing, and publication of a unique collection of fifty-seven fragments of Buddhist manuscripts on birch bark scrolls, written in the Kharosthi script and the Gandhari (Prakrit) language that were acquired by the British Library in 1994. The manuscripts date from, most likely, the first century A.D., and as such are the oldest surviving Buddhist texts, which promise to provide unprecedented insights into the early history of Buddhism in north India and in central and east Asia.

UMMA Collections at the University of Michigan Museum of Art.