The University Library was one of the first subscribers to the Library of Congress foreign acquisitions program for South Asia and has been actively collecting South Asian materials since 1963. Today the South Asian Collection is comprised of over 210,000 volumes.In addition to its many books and journals, the library has a growing collection of Indian popular media, especially films. The library also has the most comprehensive collection of Indian comics and graphic novels in North America.
The primary focus of the South Asian Collection is on the humanities and social sciences. And, as a result the South Asian collection is strong in the areas of:
The South Asian Collection contains materials in both English and vernacular languages of South Asia, including the 23 languages of India. By providing reference materials in vernacular languages the South Asian division of the International and Area Studies Library directly serves departments such as Linguistics, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature and other areas under the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES).
Below is a sampling of some of the languages the collection holds:
The South Asian collection also holds materials in the English language. The English language materials support teaching and research in departments such as History, Music, Art and Architecture, Political Science, and Business Studies.
For more information on languages included within the South Asian Collection please visit our Language Learning Resources page.
Most of the collection's books and journals are acquired through the South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program (SACAP) from the Library of Congress offices in new Delhi, India and Islamabad, Pakistan. The library has also grown steadily with gifts from the government of India, individuals, and substantial library acquisitions.
Cooperative and exchange agreements exist with numerous libraries and organizations:
Center for Research Libraries (CRL): CRL has large numbers of South Asian newspapers and journals, and acquires local and state government publications, both monographs and serials, from all South Asian countries.
South Asia Microfilm Project (SAMP): SAMP is a cooperative project to which the UIUC library subscribes. It places an emphasis on the preservation of retrospective files and in making available in the United States special South Asian collections from other countries. (*Microforms acquired or filmed are owned by CRL, but are available for loan to SAMP subscribers.)
Digital South Asia Library (DSAL): The DSAL is a global collaborative effort to make important and rare resources available to the international community.