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Research Guides

South Asian studies

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

Manuscript Collections at Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

A.H.M. Wedderburn. The Marquess Wellesley in India

A manuscript on Richard Colley, Marquess Wellesley, who was Governor-General of India from 1797-1805. Also includes newspaper clippings and a banquet invitation.

Delhi Durbar collection

A collection of invitations, tickets, and directories for the 1903 and 1911 Coronation Durbars.

Douglas Henderson papers

Henderson is a Buddhist priest and a writer of both poetry and scholarly pieces on Buddhism and Tibetan art - see the first and second finding aids (PDF) for more details.

Edward Gilpin-Browncollector. Photograph albums (1878-1880)

The collection documents Gilpin-Brown's tour of duty in India as a captain of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders - see the finding aid (PDF) for more details.

Grace Cripps. Scrapbook of Miss Grace Cripps (1861-1880)

A scrapbook written by the daughter of a British colonel stationed in Rawalpindi. Includes sketches and watercolours, visiting cards, a lesson book, and other items.

Himalayan ferns from British and Independent Sikhim

Five boxes of fern specimens.

Holy book of the Sinhalese - palm leaf manuscript

An 18th century Sinhalese ola book made from strips of Talipot palm leaves.

Sam Tata papers

A photographer, Tata lived in India during the 1940s and documented the Indian independence movement - see the finding aid (PDF) for more details.

Suniti Namjoshi papers 

A writer and former U of T professor born in Bombay, Namjoshi writes prose, poetry, and fables - see the first and second finding aids (PDF) for more details.

Venkatacharya T., collector. Collection of palm-leaf manuscripts

A collection of Sanskrit works, mainly in Telugu, Devanagari, and Bengali script - see the finding aid (PDF) for more details.

University of Toronto Centre for South Asian Studies

CSAS publications reflect an interface of approaches that has distinguished South Asia research in recent years, weaving deep specialist and empirical knowledge, transnational methods, gendered readings and cutting-edge theoretical investigation.

Most CSAS Publications are available at the University of Toronto Libraries, as well as for purchase from CSAS.

Experiencing India: European Descriptions and Impressions Catalogue of an Exhibition at Thomas Fisher

Experiencing India: European Descriptions and Impressions, 1498-1898
Catalogue of an Exhibition at Thomas Fisher RareBook Library held in 1998

The variety of European encounters with the Indian subcontinent, from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, was the theme of this exhibition. Two things developed in the fifteenth century that frame the start of the historical period. One was printing from movable type, introduced in Europe by Johann Gutenberg in the 1450s. The other was navigation, permitting the Portuguese Bartolomeu Diaz to sail into the Indian Ocean, around the southern tip of Africa, in 1488, and another Portuguese navigator, Vasco da Gama, to reach the shores of India in 1498, exactly five hundred years ago. The ensuing record of discovery and travel, as it unfolded, was published in early European printed books that have come to be highly prized by collectors and libraries. The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto is fortunate to possess a representative range of materials, principally in English, from these four centuries.The exhibition and catalogue were by Professor Willard G. Oxtoby, Comparative Study of Religion, Trinity College, University of Toronto. The catalogue won an Honourable Mention award from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Sections of the American Library Association.

South Asian Microform Collection

The Media Commons Library holds a collection of microforms of South Asian political and historical sources.

Some are quite small, i.e. 2 reels; others are quite substantial.

South Asian Art at the Royal Ontario Museum

The Royal Ontario Museum's Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery displays artifacts from South Asia, drawing from a collection of roughly 7,000 objects. The Far Eastern Library also has its own collection of books on South Asia.

Subject Guide

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Lana Soglasnova