South & West Asian Studies Collection

I. Collection Description

Purpose:

To support teaching and research in South and West Asian Studies. For students in South and West Asian Studies, the B.A. and M.A. degrees in Asian Studies are administered by the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies for the Program for South and West Asian Studies, established in 1984. The Ph.D. is offered only in the academic disciplines, but a South or West Asian minor or research focus on Asian countries is possible.

The Library's collection development effort is concentrated on the selection of South and West Asian (Middle Eastern) vernacular materials and appropriate reference works in Western languages, which are housed in the Asian Library's reading room. Almost all of the material added to the South and West Asian collection has been acquired through the Library of Congress Foreign Acquisition Program. Western language works, published in the countries covered by the LC program, are supplied by the program and are cataloged for the Bookstacks. Western language materials in South or West Asian studies published in other parts of the world are primarily selected by departmental librarians for their libraries or the Bookstacks. Western language works on South and West Asian languages and literatures are selectively purchased on South and West Asian funds in conjunction with comparative literature, linguistics, and undergraduate library funds.

History of Collection:

The South and West Asian Library was established within the Special Languages Department in 1965. In 1979, it was consolidated with the Far Eastern Library into the Asian Library. The South and West Asian collection, which has grown from 5,000 volumes in 1965 to over 87,000 volumes today, has been developed almost exclusively by participation in various programs connected with the Library of Congress Foreign Acquisitions Program described in Public Law 480. This program has evolved into the Special Foreign Currency (SFC) Program, funded by the federal government, and the Library of Congress Cooperative Program, which is funded by participating libraries. The Library has been a full participant in the SFC programs for India and Pakistan since 1963 and receives materials in English and all other major languages of the region. The Library was a full participant for Nepalese materials from 1966 to 1982, when the Library opted for English language materials only. There was a full language coverage on the LC programs for publications of Sri Lanka from 1967 to 1973, and for publications of Bangladesh from January 1972 to September 1973. From 1985, English language publications from these two countries are received on the LC program. For Southeast Asia, Indonesian material was acquired from 1965 to 1969 through these programs, and during 1969 Thai materials were acquired through a grant from the Midwestern Universities Consortium for International Activities. These are the only times when Southeast Asian materials were actively acquired. The PL 480 program for the Middle East, with its office in Cairo, has supplied materials from that region since 1966. Since 1980, when the Library had to begin paying for the material, the countries covered on the LC Cooperative Program are Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. English language materials from Israel were supplied by the PL 480 program from 1965 to 1973. Hebrew language works from Israel and Persian works from Iran have been and continue to be selected and ordered by the Library.

Estimate of Holdings:

87,000 volumes consisting of 67,000 volumes in Indic languages, 15,000 in Arabic, 4,000 in Indonesian, 1,500 in Hebrew, and 400 in Persian.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The South and West Asian collection is one of several Midwestern libraries participating in the SFC program.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

The Asian Library is responsible for vernacular materials and selectively Western language reference works, journals and studies on Asian languages and literatures and translations from Asian literature.

Location of Materials:

All but a few South and West Asian vernacular materials, including most newspapers and a limited number of Western language reference works and current periodicals, are located in the Asian Library.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

None known.

II. General Collection Guidelines

Languages:

Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and the 12 Indic languages on the LC Program for India and Pakistan. Western language (primarily English and French) materials are acquired on the LC programs for West Asia and South Asia but are cataloged for the Bookstacks.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

South Asia, with primary emphasis on India and Pakistan but also including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Iran, and West Asia including Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Israel. Vernacular materials from Southeast Asia are not currently being acquired.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. The primary focus is on aspects of the languages, cultures, history, peoples, and societies of South and West Asia.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions. Primarily South and West Asian countries.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

South & West Asian Studies Collection
SUBJECT SUBDIVISIONS EXISTING STRENGTH PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS SECONDARY ASSIGNMENTS
SOUTH ASIA
Reference works:
Vernacular materials 3 South Asian
Western language materials 3 South Asian / Reference
Hindi language and literature:
Vernacular materials 3 South Asian
Western language materials 3 South Asian / Comparative Literature / Linguistics / Undergraduate
Other Indic languages and literatures 2 South Asian
South Asian history 2 South Asian
South Asian politics and government 2 South Asian
Hinduism and religious studies 2 South Asian
Anthropology (social and cultural) 2 South Asian
Sociology (including social work) 2 South Asian
Art 2 South Asian
Economics (public finance, statistics, banking, taxation) 2 South Asian
WEST ASIA
Reference works:
Vernacular materials 3 West Asian
Western language materials 3 West Asian/Reference
Arabic language and literature:
Vernacular materials 3 West Asian
Western language materials 3 West Asian Comparative Literature / Linguistics / Undergraduate

 

*There are three funds for South and West Asian studies administered by the Asian Library. For the LC Cooperative Acquisitions Programs, there are two funds: South Asian LC and West Asian LC. These cover vernacular and Western language publications supplied on the program only. There is also a South and West Asian fund for purchases of material in South and West Asian studies not supplied on the LC program, such as retrospective material. To simplify matters, these funds are represented in the Assignments column as South Asian and West Asian only. The funds used by various departmental libraries for other South and West Asian studies publications are not given, except for the categories of reference, language and literature.

 

South & West Asian Studies Collection
SUBJECT SUBDIVISIONS EXISTING STRENGTH PRIMARY ASSIGNMENTS SECONDARY ASSIGNMENTS
Modern social sciences 2 West Asian
West Asian history 3 West Asian
West Asian politics and government 2 West Asian
Hebrew language and literature:
Vernacular materials 2 Hebrew
Western language materials 2 West Asian / Comparative Literature / Jewish Studies / Linguistics / Undergraduate
Persian language and literature:
Vernacular materials 2 South Asian
Western language materials 2 South Asian / Comparative Literature / Linguistics / Undergraduate

 

Version Date: November 2005