South Asia Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • The South Asian Collection acquires and preserves material from and about South Asia, in European languages and in the languages of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan. The South Asian Collection is particularly strong in the humanities and social sciences.


  • Scholars across campus, in the community, across the nation, and worldwide whose interests focus on our particular strengths


collection strength

  • The Collection aims to be comprehensive in both classical Indian disciplines, such as Indology, and in publications from and on the countries which distinguish Cornell among its institutional peers: Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Since 2009 the South Asian Collection has been an active partner in cooperative collection development efforts at both local and national levels. Research level collections of South Asian materials in the humanities and social sciences in particular are either held at Cornell or are made available to Cornell faculty and students through strategic partnerships with other institutions that lead in the field of South Asian Studies.

collection level

  • research 

geographical guidelines

  • Cornell collects from and on India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, with occasional investment in Afghanistan. At Cornell Tibet falls to the Wason Collection on East Asia.

areas of significant geographic coverage

country (self-governing)

  • Sri Lanka 

  • Bangladesh 
  • Bhutan 
  • India 
  • Nepal 
  • Pakistan 

language guidelines

  • Materials in Sanskrit, Nepali, Sinhala, and Bengali (from Bangladesh) are collected near-comprehensively. Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Oriya, and Bengali (from India) are collected at study level with a particular focus on publications in the social sciences. We also collect at near-comprehensive level in other languages of the countries we specialize in, such as Tamil from Sri Lanka and Newari from Nepal. We collect selectively in other Indic languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, and Rajasthani, as demand or occasion arises.


  • Pali 
  • Sanskrit 
  • Sinhala 
  • Tamil 
  • Urdu 

  • Bengali 
  • Hindi 
  • Nepali 
  • Newari 
  • Oriya 

chronological guidelines

  • The South Asia Collection consists primarily of 20th century imprints, but covers all periods of the Indic subcontinent’s history.


  • Materials in the Tibetan language.

material types

  • The South Asian collection has no format limitations. It consists primarily of print monographs and serials, together with audio-visual holdings and some electronic resources.


housed in

  • Carl A. Kroch Library 
  • Library Annex 
  • Olin Library 

special collections or noteworthy resources in the field

  • Materials from and on the Himalayan regions Materials from and on Sri Lanka

related library subject collection


academic department

  • Asian Studies (ASIAN) 
  • Comparative Literature (COM L) 
  • Government (GOVT) 
  • Linguistics (LING) 
  • Sociology (SOC) 

academic unit

  • South Asia Program 


  • Anthropology (ANTHR) 
  • History (HIST) 


library contact

  • Bledsoe, Bronwen -  Curator and Adjunct Assistant Professor