About South Asia Archive

The South Asia Archive is as a specialist digital platform delivering global electronic access to culturally and historically significant literary material produced from within - and about - the Indian subcontinent. 

The digitization of the original documents is non-destructive, and damaged pieces are restored as part of the digitization process before they are sent to storage. This digitization process enhances their usefulness in terms of portability, and also assures the conservation of this historically important material.

  • Subject specialist editors from India have selected and catalogued the documents specifically for this archive.


  • The archive comprises out-of-copyright material dating back to the start of the eighteenth century and up to the mid-twentieth century.


  • The content originates mainly from the Bengal area of India, consisting of unique and rare documents from primary and secondary sources.


  • A significant proportion of the collection is in English, but thirty percent of the documents are written in various vernacular languages of the period/region(s).


  • Serial collections are (where possible) complete, consisting of all available editions/volumes.


  • In order to support a global audience, all document metadata has been translated into English where necessary.


  • Images, maps, and posters are digitized in color to match the originals.


  • Content has been broken down into a number of top-level document types such as Maps, Reports, and Journals, to simplify locating a collection by document type.


  • An underlying taxonomy has been assigned to all documents consistently and logically to ensure a superior level of searchability for end-users.


  • Documents have been broken down into the smallest parts possible to support highly granular content discovery.
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