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South Asian Studies: Beginning Your Research in South Asian Studies

An introductory guide to doing research in South Asian Studies at UCSD Library

Beginning Your Research on South Asia

Information about South Asian regions and issues can be found in a variety of formats and disciplines.  This guide is designed to direct you to major sources of information in a variety of areas.

For places to search for books, click on the "Finding Books" tab.  A good way to begin searching for books is to use MELVYL, which allows you to search in all of the UC Libraries.  If you need more materials, you can then expand out to Libraries Worldwide.  Links to Melvyl and other resources for books (such as the UCSD-Specific Library Catalog, ROGER) can be found on the "Finding Books" Tab.  Theses and Dissertations are also featured on the "Finding Books and Articles" Tab.  Although they are unpublished book-length works, they are often important sources of original information and their bibliographies can lead you to other sources.

To locate academic journal articles, use the various databases listed on the "Finding Articles" Tab. News sources are listed on another tab at the top.

Primary sources are of particular importance in doing historical research or identifying first-hand perspectives on topics.  Some of the information may be in archives that have been digitized.  In some cases, the documents themselves may not yet be digitized, but finding aids to those collections help you identify if they can be helpful in your research.  Beneath the main "Primary Sources" tab on this research guide are several specialized pages identifying ways to access different kinds of primary sources.  These include  Archives and Archival Information; Government Resources; Images and Maps; Statistics/Data Sets/Public Opinion; Newspapers; and Government Information; Primary-Source-Rich-Materials Accessible at UCSD [These include resources unique to UCSD and resources that UCSD pays to provide access to] and Primary-Source-Rich-Materials beyond UCSD [These include open-access digital libraries and materials that may be borrowed via inter-library-loan].  

Please note that:

  • Government information from South Asia often includes presidential messages, statements of public policy, and government produced statistics about country and its activities.  U.S. government information (particularly hearings and State Department documents) contain a wealth of information about U.S. relations with South Asia.
  • Quantitative data (statistics, data sets/ public opinion surveys, etc.) are important sources to use to support ideas you put forth.  These may require a basic knowledge of statistical program such as STATA.

Excellent Starting Points for South Asian Topics Include:

The Center for Research Library(CRL)'s South Asia Materials Project, which points to digital and microform collection of unique materials related to the study of South Asia.  See also CRL's South Asian Studies Research Guide

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an excellent resource for books, periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, and archival materials in print, microfilm, and digital formats. UCSD belongs to this international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries, which allows UCSD patrons to borrow CRL materials via interlibrary loan for extended periods.


Country Information

Click on the Country Information and Reports tab for a list of resources providing background, introductory, and even advanced country information and reports.  Many of these resources are taken from the Statistics/Data Tab of the UCSD Library International Government Information Research Guide which points to resources to find great background information and statistics on countries around the world. Using such resources is a helpful place to start research on any Latin American country.

Another great source for information on international topics and individual countries are the United Nations Research Guides.