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South Asia: Description of Collection

Duke South Asia Collection

South Asia Collection

Duke University Library has built up one of the best collections of South Asian material in English and selected vernacular languages — i.e., Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, and Urdu — in the Southeast. Coverage of English-language material is comprehensive in all subjects, especially anthropology, religious studies, history, political science, and literature. Material in the vernacular languages is mostly literature and linguistics. All material is integrated with the general library collection and is accessed through the online catalog. The majority of items are housed at Perkins Library; however, specialized titles are sent to the appropriate branch library.

The library has a substantial collection of central and state government documents of India from the colonial period to date. The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library has several thousand historical papers, personal diaries, and correspondence concerning South Asia in its collection as part of British manuscripts. These diverse papers concern political, economic, social, diplomatic, ecclesiastical, military, and naval affairs. Also available through The Special Collections Library is the South Asia Pamphlets Collection comprising about 7,000 items. Arranged by broad subject categories, the pamphlets cover a variety of subjects such as political parties, government propaganda, birth control, economic policy, biographies, agriculture, industry, tourism, religion and philosophy.

Recent purchases from India include an assortment of popular visual culture materials, printed street literature, and temple chapbooks in Hindi and Bengali, including vrat kathā, qissā-kahānī, chālisā, as well as English-language comic books such as the Amar Chitra Katha series.

The Duke Universities Libraries Catalog can be searched at:

The combined collections of the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN), including Duke, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, can be simultaneously searched at:








Librarian for South
Southeast Asia