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Research Guides

South Asian studies

A guide to South Asian books, articles, newspapers, culture, languages, diaspora, and government resources.

Transliteration for Non-Roman alphabets

For languages with non-roman scripts (such as Devanagari, Arabic, and others), most library materials use transliteration. Library transliteration follows "Library of Congress Romanization Tables" for each language. To search the library materials for words in these languages, use LC tables to transliterate the original non-roman script for each language, such as Bengali ; Gujarati ; Hindi ; Marathi ; Panjabi (Punjabi) ; Sinhalese ; Sanskrit and Prakrit ; Tamil ; Tibetan ; Urdu.

Library of Congress subject headings

Library of Congress subject headings are the vocabulary by which librarians describe and organize items in the collection.  Subject headings may be different from the natural language used to describe topics:

Natural language   Library of Congress subject headings
rights of women in India > Women's rights India or Women Legal status, laws, etc. India
social relations in Pakistan > Ethnology Pakistan or Pakistan Social life and customs
Sri Lankan civil war > Sri Lanka History Civil War, 1983-2009


To find relevant subject headings,

  • browse the search refinements section on the left hand side of the library catalogue 

  • go into the "details" view of an item on the same topic 

  • perform an advanced search and change the drop down menu to from "Anywhere" to "Subject"