Monday, 29 November 2010

Access to rare 20th century South Asian pamphlets

An inventory of the South Asian Pamphlets Collection at Duke University has been published online.  The majority of the pamphlets were published between 1950 and 2000, but a few date from the 1920s-1940s.   They were acquired through the Library of Congress South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions programme (SACAP). 

Arranged by country of publication, they number over 7,500, with the highest number (177 boxes) originating from India, 58 boxes from Pakistan, 15 boxes from Bangladesh and 8 boxes from Nepal.  Smaller collections are held for Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

The majority of pamphlets were published by organizations or agencies and cover agriculture, the arts, economic development, education, industry and commerce, international relations, politics and government, religion and philosophy, rural development, tourism and women. 

The pamphlets may be scanned on request to service remote research requests. For further information, see:

Monday, 15 November 2010

Borderlands: the SAALG Winter Conference

Kandyan chief
(Royal Asiatic Society)
Kandyan chief & wife
(Royal Asiatic Society)
(Royal Asiatic Society)
A date for your diary!  This winter's South Asia Archive and Library Group conference will be hosted by the Royal Asiatic Society on Friday 28th January 2011.  On the theme of Borderlands we have presentations on early photography at the Raj's margins (Burma and Sri Lanka) from Andrew Jarvis (University of Cambridge), 19th century travellers' tales from the Himalayas from Dr Richard Axelby (SOAS), and a personal account of working in local Burmese archives from Dr Mandy Sadan (SOAS).  There will also be an opportunity to view treasures from the Royal Asiatic Society's own collections, and hear a presentation from Burzine Waghmar (SOAS) on his linguistic research.

For further information and to book your place, please email Helen Porter at the Royal Asiatic Society.

Monday, 1 November 2010

WWII elephant rescue : archive footage released

TV, radio and newspapers are today reporting the story of 'Elephant man' and tea planter, Gyles Mackrell, following the release on the University of Cambridge's YouTube channel of a short documentary film chronicling an epic rescue mission.

Amid the chaos of the British retreat from Burma early in 1942, Mackrell mounted an operation to save refugees trapped by flooded rivers at the border with India, using the only means available to get them across - elephants.  His story is recreated from his diary, papers and cinefilms held at the University's Centre of South Asian Studies in Cambridge.

For more information, please see the University's press release or contact the Centre's archivist, Dr Kevin Greenbank.