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   The first American voyage to India: being excerpts from the log of the ship "United States" from Philadelphia to Pondicherry, 1784 (Od *999, v.1)

The South Asia Collections at HSP consist of archival and printed materials from the 16th century to the present day. They range from rare and old books to private papers of Philadelphia-based American merchants and traders who traded with the East (a geographical expression that also included South Asia.) They also include records of various South Asian community organizations in the Delaware Valley to oral history transcripts to various South Asian periodicals, magazines, and ephemera.

The 18th and 19th century papers of Philadelphia based merchants are expansive in their reach, with discussions ranging from economic and political matters relating to trade and governance, types of merchandise bought and sold, local Indian collaborators, and reflections about people and culture. Additionally, the 20th century collections focus more on the locality and community rather than on national or global issues. These collections will provide an indispensable resource to those interested in learning about community organizations established by South Asians since the 1960s and will also serve as genealogical aid to new generations of South Asian Americans trying to locate their predecessors. Creating communities and organizations was an adaptive and assimilationist project on the one hand. On the other hand, it was meant to foster a sense of pride and belonging among Indian diasporic communities. These records also help us learn about intergenerational conflicts on cultural and religious matters. In this regard, oral history transcripts are of special importance.

Researchers should also consult the published material on South Asia, which date as early as 1553 AD. The majority of these books pertain to European voyages to India and various contemporary accounts relating to the British colonization of India, starting in the mid-18th century. Later works from the 19th and early 20th centuries relate to the conquest and administration of India, the arrival of Christian missionaries, and financial and political matters. In the latter period, they relate to nationalism, constitutional issues, and other political issues pertaining to the future of India.

A large number of materials and collections relating to the South Asians since the 1960s comes from the erstwhile Philadelphia-based Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, whose mission was to study various ethnic groups in the US.

Other local repositories collections on South Asia will also be of interest, such as the collection at the University of Pennsylvania. Many members of the South Asian communities based in the Delaware Valley attended Penn, which was one of the first institutions in the United States to offer South Asian studies and teach Sanskrit. The South Asian collections at the University of Pennsylvania Library is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and has materials not only from the precolonial and colonial past of India, but also vernacular materials printed in almost all the major languages spoken in India.

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) documents the lives of South Asian Americans in the United States. This Philadelphia-based archive is today the largest publicly accessible archive of South Asian American stories in the world. A researcher or general reader will find it indispensable to visit the Penn Library or consult SAADA should they wish to dwell in depth on South Asian Studies or South Asian Americans.

This subject guide introduces the South Asia collections through intersecting and cross-cutting thematic heads such as,

  •  Archival Documents and Private Papers Relating to South Asia
  •  Diaspora, Memory, and Oral Histories
  •  Locality, Community, and Organizations
  •  South Asian Print Culture and Public Sphere
  •  Queer Lives
  •  South Asian American Literature
  •  Rare and Old Printed books on South Asia
  •  Academic Studies on South Asia and South Asian Americans

Sarath Pillai, Creator, 2022-2023
Grace Haupt, Contributor, 2022

This subject guide was developed with support from Dr. Krishna Lahiri in honor of Dr. Sukhamy Lahiri

Archival Documents and Private Papers Relating to South Asia


  • Thomas D. Lewis journal, 1808
    • Journal kept by Thomas D. Lewis on board the China Packet on a voyage from Philadelphia to Madras and Calcutta. This is a travel log from 1808 divided into days and hours spent on the ship. It details the weather in great detail and covers both the onward journey from Philadelphia to Madras and the return journey from Madras to Philadelphia, besides travel between Calcutta and Madras. A great resource for oceanographers, voyagers, historians, and laypeople interested in inter-oceanic voyages at the cusp of modernity.
  • Marmaduke Burrough Papers, 1814-1843 
    • Marmaduke Burrough was a Philadelphia physician and the United States consul in Vera Cruz, circa 1820-1840. Burrough's papers consist primarily of correspondence on his interests in the wild animal trade, especially from India. These include letters to James Amory and others on acquiring animals (such as rhinoceros, elephants, etc.) from India. Also includes printed invites to Nautch (dance) parties from Calcutta men like Gopemohun Deb and Rajkissen Sing. Some printed material includes a proposal for a coffee-growing settlement in Florida.
  • William Strahan, Letters 1751-1776
    • This collection has 39 letters that were written by William Strahan in London to David Hall, who was a Philadelphia-based merchant. Most of these letters, however, date from 1766 to 1772. These letters talk about the politics in Britain, especially parliamentary matters relating to North America and the East India Company. For example, Folder 9 mentions Robert Clive of Bengal, and Folders 12 and 13 mention the financial matters relating to the East India Company. They will be of interest to those studying the end of the first British Empire in America and the beginning of the second British Empire in India. A description of the letters is available in the finding aid here.
  • George C. Read papers 
    • Journals and correspondence of Captain George C. Read, who commanded the U.S. frigate Columbia in its expeditions in Arabia and Asia (1838–39) to fight the pirates and raiders who preyed on American ships in the Indian Ocean. Of particular interest is volume 3 (1838-39), which talks about some of Read's activities in Bombay, including his election to the Byculla Club in Bombay and his association with Jahangir Wadya, an Indian trader. The volume also talks about his sojourns and activities in Singapore, Siam, Sumatra, and Ceylon. Volumes 4 and 6 pertain to letters he wrote during the same period and might be of interest to American Expeditions in Asia in general.
  • James B. Nicholson's diary and scrapbook 
    • Nicholson's (b.1845) diary covers the period August 14, 1862 - October 1865, when he sailed from Philadelphia to Macao, China, Japan, and the East Indies. He traveled from Philadelphia to Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo to Cape Town to Macao to Yokohama to Manilla to Shanghai. The entries include weather conditions, descriptions of court-martial, a list of ports visited, and a list of officers, with a summary of important events. The scrapbook, 1863-1865, is newspaper clippings from the Philadelphia Inquirer relating to the U.S.S. Jamestown. His diaries stand out for his beautiful handwriting and his impressions of the various places he visited while he was still a teenager.
  • East India Company of North America records
    • This includes a copy of the Articles of Association of the East India Company of North America, Philadelphia, established in 1799 as a company trading to "certain countries and islands situated beyond the Cape of Good Hope” and printed by John Ward Fenno, Philadelphia, 1799. It also includes receipts for shares purchased, articles of dissolution, 1800, and details about a brief financial account.
  • John E. Sage papers 
    • John Edward Sage (1920-2002) was born in Connellsville, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to Joseph T. Sage and Nora L. Richter Sage. Prior to World War II, he served with the Pennsylvania National Guard. During the war, he enlisted in the U. S. Army Air Corps, where he served in Burma and India and visited Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. In 1945 he married Anna Kominetz. The collection contains numerous letters he wrote to his wife from war stations besides the various aircraft and pilot licenses he had. A licensed commercial pilot and aircraft mechanic, he even flew passengers from Harrisburg, Pa, to New York City on night tours of the Empire State building.
    • This collection documents his life, family, and career, from his graduation from Connellsville High School to his death in Norman. It contains photographs, notes, identification and business cards, passports, ephemera, correspondence, and a few artifacts. Most of the collection is in English, but a few items are printed in South Asian and Middle Eastern languages. Especially notable among the materials is a sizable set of letters between John and Anna from 1944 to 1945. There is also a set of incoming letters to the Sages' son, David, from the early 1970s. This collection is an example of those American soldiers who served on the war front in the East and their impressions about the society, politics, and culture of the places where they served or visited.
  • Eliza Farmer, Letterbook, 1774-1777 
    • Collected letters of Eliza Farmer, third wife of Dr. Richard Farmer of Kensington, to her nephew, Jack Halroyd, a clerk in the East India Company, London. The letters, written from Philadelphia, are mainly personal, but they contain comments on the embargo on tea, the non-importation act, a secret session of Congress, rumors of bombardment of Boston, military preparedness, and commercial activities. Included are medical receipts written at a later date. Click here to view this in our Digital Library.
  • Robert Waln Papers, 1792-1823 
    • Most of these papers relate to the commercial transactions of Robert Waln in the East India and China trade and include some of his personal correspondence for the period 1799-1819, miscellaneous papers, passports, accounts, and bills for the period 1792-1823, insurance policies 1810-1817, and protest of loss and claim to indemnity for the ship Emila, wrecked 1811. There are papers of some literary interest, among which are the manuscripts of Robert Waln: "Horace in Philadelphia," 1813; "The Hermit in Philadelphia," 1818-1820; "Return of Regulars to Rome," 1811; notes on religion, temples, superstitions; and a list of books in the Waln house in Frankford, 1818- 1819. Click to view the finding aid for the collection.
  • John R. Rulon Papers, 1807-1845  
    • John W. Rulon was a general merchant in Philadelphia engaged in the import-export trade with India and China. Loose correspondence, 1815-1845, and letter book, 1844, reflect business affairs, including the shipping of wild animals to America, 1833-1838, by Rulon and his associates. Financial records include various accounts, inventories, and shipping lists, of domestic and foreign trade. Also included is a letter book, 1833-1835, of Canton China commission merchant Nathan Dunn & Company.
  • Hilary Conroy Papers, 1873-1900 and ca. 1970-1990 
    • Francis Hilary Conroy, a Professor Emeritus of history at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote extensively on Asian American history, with a focus on Asian immigration to the United States. The collection contains materials from Conroy's teaching and research files and includes correspondence, essays, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous printed materials from various Asian American and historical associations. The folder on the Minutes of the Asian American Council of Greater Philadelphia (which included South Asians) could be of interest to those working on South Asian- American history. Conroy papers are mainly useful to those studying Asian-American history in general and Chinese, Japanese, and Korean immigration to the United States in particular. A related collection is at the University of Pennsylvania Archives.

Diaspora, Memory, and Oral Histories


  • Lars O. Skrefsrud : an apostle to the Santals 
    • This is a rare biography of Lars O. Skrefsrud, one of the most important Norwegian missionaries who spent much of his life working for the emancipation of the Santal tribes in Bengal. A linguist, he translated the Bible for the Santals and also gave a textual expression of the mores and laws of the Santals. His social, economic, and religious pursuits with the Santals had a tremendous impact on the community. He was awarded the Order of St. Olaf and Kaiser-i-Hind by the kings of Norway and Britain, respectively. This biography was commissioned on his birth centenary by the Minneapolis-based Santal Mission in America.
  • South Asian Immigrants in the Philadelphia Area Oral History Project 
    • This collection contains records produced by the Balch Institute's South Asian Immigrants through the Philadelphia Area Oral History Project. The project was conducted in the summer of 1996 when project staff (Sufia Uddin and Rani Sinha) interviewed sixteen individuals about their heritage, country of origin, and experiences in the United States. The records in this collection are audiocassette recordings of the interviews and eight text transcripts. Some of the interviewees in the collection include:
      • Najma Davis (born 1946)
        • A social worker (with a Ph.D. in social work from Penn) with the Defender’s Association of Philadelphia and the director of the Juvenile Services. Born in Jalpaiguri, India, into a socially and politically active family, moved to Pakistan after partition and then to East Pakistan until it became independent in 1971. Came to the US in 1968 on a scholarship to study political science at Temple University and married a Jamaican man. This interview is a good source to understand the history of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh through the eyes of a woman and her family who endured the most eventful lives in the history of these countries. This is a fine example of a person’s life connecting the histories of three postcolonial nation-states as well as the lives of professionally successful South Asian immigrants in the US. Also, a nice source for diasporic cultural mores!
      • Girish Desai (born 1944)
        • A businessman, hotelier, and motel owner, born in Bulsan, Gujarat, India. He came to study at St. Joseph’s University. Good for understanding South Asian business communities and their grassroots history.
      • Sugnya Desai (born 1950)
        • Worked at a pharmaceutical company (Wyeth Labs). Born in Ahmedabad, India. Came to study Chemistry at the University of Scranton. Also studied at St. Joseph’s University.
      • Masood Ghaznavi (born 1931)
        • Born in the princely state of Bahawalpur, Pakistan, and grew up in Amritsar, India worked as a professor of European and Islamic History at Rosemont College. Came from a politically active family of Muslim Congressites who supported a united India. He was a supporter of Pakistan. Snippets about the religious reform movements and Pakistan movements in India in the first half of the 20th century, besides his views on the American state, Muslim politics in the world, and much more. A student of Norman Brown (South Asian Studies program) at Penn.
      • Dilwar Hussein (born 1952)
        • A jeweler born in Chittagong (Bangladesh) to a family of farmers, he worked in West Pakistan until tensions began between West and East Pakistan. Managed to reach London as a stowaway on a ship; he was threatened with being deported back to Pakistan, then taken to Holland, and eventually landed in Philadelphia for asylum. Story of a man who escaped the conflict in Pakistan and found his way to the US through untrodden paths.
      • Revati Iyer (born 1945)
        • Born in Heidelberg, librarian at the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering. Lived in Madras in the early years; ran an Indian restaurant called Maharaja in West Philly.
      • Sukhomoy Lahiri (born 1933)
        • Born in Calcutta, India. Professor at the Dept. of Physiology, Penn; studied at Presidency College, Calcutta, and Oxford University; worked at the University of Chicago.
      • Bharati Shah (1930s)
        • Born in Bombay and a cosmetologist, she came to the US with little English. Came to the US to get married to another Indian who was studying here. Stayed here since then, mostly about the cultural mores and the adjustments she had to make to the new country and its people, and bringing up her children amidst these challenges.

Locality, Community, and Organizations


  • Indo-American Association of Delaware records 
    • The Indo-American Association of Delaware (IAAD) is a non-profit, secular community association dedicated to enriching the lives of the people in the Indo-American community. The main objectives of IAAD are to promote unity and friendship in the greater community and to encourage the younger generations to preserve connections to their Indian heritage. This two-pronged objective is achieved through a variety of social, educational, and cultural programs, which are documented by the array of correspondence, newsletters, flyers, and event programs in this collection. This collection is rich for those interested in the local history of Wilmington and Newark.
  • India Youth Association records 
    • Started in 1983, IYA provided an avenue for the Indian-descent youth in Philadelphia and South Jersey to develop community and friendship among their peers. The targeted groups were high school and college students.
  • Indo-American Club Records
    • This association was created in 1989 in the Delaware Valley to promote community among Indian- descent Americans and their children. The folder contains the bylaws of the Club and its 1990 program brochure.
  • SRUTI, The India Music and Dance Society records 
    • SRUTI was founded in August 1986 with the goal of promoting South Indian dance and music among the South Asian communities in the Philadelphia area. Their main focus was on Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam, two main components of the South Indian culture. The collection includes the organization's constitution, bylaws, correspondence, programs, posters for concerts, a mailing list, and miscellany. This will be of help to anyone curious about South Indian art forms and their popularity among the Indian diaspora in the USA.
  • Bengali Cultural Society records
    • The Bengali Cultural Society, founded in 1977 and based in Voorhees, New Jersey, sponsored religious, social, and cultural programs and started the Bengali Learning Center, which provided classes in Bengali language and culture and preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test. The collection includes issues of its magazine, Sanskriti, founded in 1987, newsletters, essays and class tests written by children, lesson books for young children containing Bengali alphabets, short stories, pictorial descriptions, and correspondence related to the Bengali Cultural Society. This is a good source for understanding the pedagogical concerns of the Bengali-American community and their desire to educate the new generation of Bengali culture and language. The collection also includes photographs of society events.
  • Kol Bina 
    • This is the bulletin of Congregation BINA, an organization of Indian Jews settled in the US, founded in March 1981. This is a good source for understanding the Bene Israel community, who mostly lived in Bombay, Poona, and the Konkan Coast. We have three volumes, two of which are special volumes. Vol 7, no. 2 from 1989 is a special issue on Elijah Jhirad, the founding president of the organization. Vol 8, no. 1 from 1991 is a special issue containing an annotated bibliography about Indian Jewry compiled by Nathan Katz of the University of South Florida. This detailed bibliography gives copious references to books and articles on Bombay, Cochin (Kerala), and Baghdadi Jews, among others
  • South Asian affairs
    • South Asian Affairs is a newsletter published by the South Asians for Collective Action (SACA) based in Fremont, California. HSP holds the December, 1995 issue. It includes three articles: one on the fiftieth anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, one on Amnesty International’s involvement in Iraq, and one on the outbreak of bubonic plague in India. On the back cover are two poems, both originally written in Marathi but translated into English. South Asian Affairs does not exclusively discuss South Asia but happenings across Asia.
  • Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies Newsletter, Ann Arbor Michigan
    • In the Fall of 1999, the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), established at the University of Michigan in 1961, was split into two centers: one for South Asian studies and one for Southeast Asian Studies. This collection features newsletters of the newly established Center for South Asian Studies (1999-2001) and older newsletters of the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies (1995-1999, 2002). The former includes letters from its first two directors, Pradeep Chibber and Ashutosh Varshney, well-known political scientists, and general information about the academic activities relating to South Asia at the University of Michigan. When the separation happened, Michigan was the only university left in the country where south and southeast Asian studies were under one umbrella. The extreme socio-cultural-linguistic-ethnic diversity, large populations, and diverse histories were cited as reasons for separating South Asia from South East Asia.
  • South Asia News
    • This is the Outreach newsletter of the South Asia Regional Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania. It covers 1981-84, when well-known India Scholar Rosane Rocher headed the center. It is a great resource to understand the history of South Asian studies at Penn. They mention the list of visiting professors each semester, the list of publications by Penn faculty, information about talks and conferences, and also the achievements of students and faculty.

South Asian Print Culture and Public Sphere


  • Tri-State India Journal 
    • This community newspaper for Indian Americans was founded in April, 1993 as the first such paper in the Philadelphia area. It stood out for its local focus and acted as a forum to showcase the talents and activities of Indian Americans as well as to advertise and promote their business ventures. Topics include commentaries on major events in India and the US pertaining to Indian Americans, opinion pieces, and also expert columns on matters ranging from immigration and finance to education. This newspaper shows the vitality of the Indian American community, their successes, their impacts on the local community, and also various organizations and events supported by them. A major target of the paper was a younger audience, and most issues dealt with education, career goals, and even biographical essays by younger readers. HSP holds a nearly full run of this monthly journal between April 1993 and December 1997, with a few missing issues.
  • India Abroad
    • This national newspaper for Indian Americans began in 1970 in New York under the editorship of Gopal Raju. It is considered to be the oldest Indian newspaper in North America. Its main goal was to provide impartial information on India and Indian Americans. Raju remained at the helm of the paper for about three decades, selling the paper to in 2001. The newspaper began as a weekly paper published on Fridays and covered extensive reports on major news and developments in India in addition to news about Indian Americans and data and reports on Indian immigration to the US. This paper is an essential resource for understanding the history of Indian Americans. The current avatar of the newspaper can be found here:
  • News India-Times
    • A weekly newspaper founded and published every Friday in New York since 1975. The paper was founded by Gopal Raju and ran under the editorship of John Perry in the 1990s. This newspaper is very similar to India Abroad in style and content, with the focus being equally given to India and Indian Americans. The paper also contained many advertisements and matrimonial columns, showing its readership among the community. This newspaper is a good example of the expanding print culture among the enterprising Indian community in the 1970s and 1980s, following the success of the first major Indian newspaper in the US—India Abroad (also in HSP collections).
    • HSP has one box containing volumes from 1991 (single issue dated June 28, 1991), 1993 (January), 1994(August- September), and 1995 (issues from October-November).
  • IndiaWest 
    • A weekly tabloid-style newspaper (published on Fridays) for the Indo-American community headquartered in Emeryville, California. Edited by Ramesh and Bina Murarka. In 1997, there was a proposal to merge this newspaper with India Abroad (also in the HSP collection), but the proposal fell through. This newspaper covered topics such as  National-India, National-US, Subcontinent, entertainment, and business, Today's Woman, films, and focus on youth, religion, and sports. The oldest volume is from April 10, 1992.
      • Box 1 - April 10, 1992, October 6, 1995- January 26, 1996
      • Box 2 - February 2, 1996 -May 31, 1996
      • Box 3 - June 7, 1996- September 27, 1996
      • Box 4 - October 4, 1996- February 28, 1997
      • Box 5 - March 7, 1997 - May 16, 1997
  • Little India
    • Little India is the largest Indian publication in the United States. The editorial focus of the print magazine, established in 1991, is on cosmopolitan Indians worldwide. Every month, the magazine brings readers features and trenchant commentaries on overseas Indian life and the works and visions of Indian artists, performers, and professionals. This magazine, printed in Reading, PA, is available for free in New York and New Jersey areas. It began publishing under the editor and publisher Achal Mehra and continues to this day.
    • HSP holds issues from August 1991 (vol.1, no.4) to January 1992 (vol. 2. No. 1) & June 1992 (Vol. 2. No. 6) to January 1993 (Vol. 3. No. 1).
  • Bulletin
    • The Bulletin is a semi-annual publication of the Committee on South Asian Women, a non-profit network of women of South Asian origin or interests. The Bulletin was supported by the Women’s Studies Program at Texas A & M University. Volume 8 (1-2) has essays by Geeta Rameshan, Veena Kasbekar, and Rashmi Luthra, book reviews, fiction, and interviews, among others.
  • Masala
    • A bimonthly Indian magazine published in New York City, with a specific focus on business and the success of Indians in the business sector. HSP holds one volume (March/April 1996), and it includes articles on the achievements of Indians in corporate America, an interview with Peter Brimelow (author of Alien Nation), and sections on health, cuisine, and travel, among others.
  • Thali
    • A cookbook produced by ASHA, a non-profit South Asian Women’s organization in Washington D.C. This contains recipes contributed by women from the South Asian community in the Washington D.C. area. These recipes reflect each family’s history and culinary tradition, and intergenerational cultural heritage. The community nature and multiple contributors make this cookbook stand out. The recipes include appetizers, chutneys, bread, rice, vegetarian and non- vegetarian food, and desserts.
  • Calcutta tricentennial, a tribute 
    • This magazine was produced on the occasion of the Calcutta Tricentennial, an event commemorating 300 years of Calcutta’s founding and its connection with Philadelphia. The magazine has essays on Calcutta, its history, and its connections with Philadelphia. It also contains the list of speakers and abstracts of papers presented at the conference marking the occasion and held in Bryn Mawr College on March 23, 1991. The event was celebrated throughout the month of March at Bryn Mawr College, Haverford College, Drexel University, Temple University, and the University of Pennsylvania under the joint sponsorship of Pragati and Bengali Cultural Associations of Philadelphia and New Jersey.
  • Pragati
    • An organization for Bengali Americans in the Delaware Valley founded in 1972. HSP holds an assorted collection of materials relating to this preeminent Bengali organization in the US. They range from annual magazines from various years, containing various information and articles about Durga Pooja, the most auspicious Bengali festival, special issues celebrating the 40th and 49th anniversaries of Pragati, materials relating to the Bengali Learning Center (Bangla School), Durga Pooja magazines, and pictures.
  • Samskar
    • HSP holds the July 1994 issue of Samskar, Journal of the India House of Worship, a member of the United Hindu-Jain Temples of Metropolitan Washington, which in turn is a member of the interfaith Conference of Washington DC. This issue primarily consists of essays in Gujarati on Hinduism.
  • India Globe
    • A community newspaper printed from Washington D.C. with 26 issues per year, covering the Indian community in depth and news and views from India. HSP holds the issue for July 10, 1992.
  • “Rabindranath Tagore. A Kaleidoscopic Mind” project files and exhibition materials
    • The materials in this donation relate to a local exhibition and celebration of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), a Bengali writer, author, and artist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. He visited Philadelphia three times during his life: in 1916-1917, in 1920-1921, and in 1930. In 2014, an exhibition on Tagore's life, influence, and time in Philadelphia was held at the University of Pennsylvania, and these papers document the formation of the event. In addition to project files that contain correspondence, grant papers, printed matters, meeting notes, and extensive information on Tagore, there are original display boards from the exhibition.

Queer Lives

Queer Lives

  • Trikone
    • This quarterly gay magazine published by Trikone (Sanskrit for triangle), a community group for LGBTQ people of South Asian heritage, is the preeminent gay magazine of South Asian Americans. The magazine started in 1986, and the collection we have includes the 10th-anniversary special volume (January 1996) and volumes from the years 1996-1998. These magazines are a vital resource for understanding the history of sexuality, and the entanglement of sex with religion, morals, fiction, films, family, and education among queer South Asians in the US. The magazines include visually explicit materials and solicitations for romantic partners.

South Asian American Literature

South Asian American Literature

  • Cultural Collage: NarrativesofSouthAsianWomeninAmerica, 1997.
    • This is a PhD dissertation in Comparative Literature submitted to Rutgers University. It examines South Asian-American women writers to understand multiculturalism, feminine identity, and cultural and social practices among South Asian women. It examines the works of the following writers in particular: Talat Abbasi, Chitra Divakaruni, Lalit Gandbhir, Kamal Kapur, Tahira Naqvi, Kirin Narayan, Bapsi Sidhwa, Indu Krishnan, Mira Nair, Meena Alexander, Sarah Suleri, and Kartar Dhillon.

  • The Literature of Canadians of South Asian Origins: An Overview and Preliminary Bibliography, 1987.

    • This book provides a list of poetry, novels, and dramas written in English, Punjabi, and Gujrati up to 1981 pertaining to South Asia or by people of South Asian origins.

  • Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography, 1988.

    • This book has a section on South Asian American Literature where it lists works under heads prose, poetry, and drama.

  • South Asian Civilizations: A Bibliographic Synthesis, 1981.

    • South Asian Civilizations is a bibliographic reference book containing books and articles published prior to 1981. The sources are organized into five parts and eighteen chapters. The book begins with an outline of headings, which gives an overview of the topics covered in the chapters. Following the chapters are an author index and a subject index. A special emphasis is given to the history of the Indian subcontinent.

Rare and Old Printed Books on South Asia

Rare and Old Printed Books on South Asia

HSP holds a large amount of published material on South Asia. The majority of these books pertain to European voyages to India and various contemporary accounts relating to the British colonization of India, starting in the mid-18th century. Later works from the 19th and early 20th centuries relate to the conquest and administration of India, the arrival of Christian missionaries, and financial and political matters. In the latter period, they relate to nationalism, constitutional issues, and other political issues pertaining to the future of India.

The list below is organized in chronological order by published date.


  1. A Treatyse of the Newe India: With Other New Founde Landes and Islandes, Aswell Eastwarde As Westwarde, As They Are Knowen and Found in These Oure Dayes, After the Description of Sebastian Munster in His Boke of Universall Cosmographie

  2. Two Letters Concerning the East-India Company, 1676

  3. Letter to the Proprietors of East-India Stock: On the Subject of Lord Clive's Jaghire. London, 1764

  4. Original Papers Relative to Tanjore ...: Together With the Material Part of Lord Pigot's Last Dispatch to the East India Company. London, 1777

  5. The Oriental Miscellany, Or, Authentic Repository of All Public Events That Have Happened Since the Sailing of the East-India Fleet in June 1781, to January 1782

  6. Mr. Pitt's East-India Bill 

  7. Mr. Pitt's East-India

  8. The Adventures of an East-India Rupee: Wherein Are Interspersed, Various Anecdotes Asiatic and European, 1783

  9. Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan; or The Mogul Empire, 1788

  10. A Journey Over Land to India: Partly By a Route Never Gone Before By Any European, 1797

  11. A Reply to the Little Tract, Entitled "Necessity of Christianity to India" Distributed in This Vicinity By William Ward, and Indian Missionary, 1821

  12. East and West India Sugar, Or, A Refutation of the Claims of the West India Colonists to a Protecting Duty On East India Sugar

  13. Memoir of Rev. Samuel Pearce, A.M.: Who Was United With Carey and Others in Establishing Missions in India, 1793 

  14. A Memoir of India and Afghanistan: With Observations On the Present Exciting and Critical State and Future Prospects of Those Countries. Comprising Remarks On the Massacre of the British Army in Cabul. Philadelphia, 1842

  15. A Visit to India, China, and Japan, in the Year 1853 (1855)

  16. Report of the Select Committee On the Deputation to India, 1856

  17. Through Route and Overland Guide to India, Egypt and China, Or, The Traveller's Manual of How to Reach and How to Live in the Three Presidencies of India, 1859

  18. Six Months in India, 1868

  19. India and Its Native Princes: Travels in Central India and in the Presidencies of Bombay and Bengal, 1876

  20. The Price of Silver and Its Relations to the Wheat Competition of India, 1885

  21. Record of Services of East India Company's Civil Servants in the Madras Presidency, 1741- 1858 (1885)

  22. Afganistan and the Anglo-Russian Dispute: An Account of Russia's Advance Toward India, Based Upon the Reports and Experiences of Russian, German, and British Officers and Travellers, 1885

  23.  The High-caste Hindu Woman, 1888

  24. Pundita Ramabai Sarasvati, 1888

  25. Report of Annual Meeting of the Ramabai Association, 1888

  26. Report On the Old Records of the India Office: With Supplementary Note and Appendices, 1891

  27. Welcome to Pundita Ramabai, of India, Philadelphia March  

  28. Report of Annual Meeting of the Ramabai Association Held March 11, 1893

  29. The Voyage From Lisbon to India, 1505-6: Being an Account and Journal By Albericus Vespuccius, 1894

  30. The British Empire, 1899

  31. Lord Clive's Right Hand Man: A Memoir of Colonel Francis Forde, 1910

  32. Warren Hastings and the Founding of the British Administration, 1913

  33. India and the War, 1915 

  34. The Verdict of India, 1916

  35. The Future of India: Presidential Address to the Indian National Congress, 1916

  36. Can Germany Reach India? 1916

  37. Some American Opinions On the Indian Empire, 1916

  38. Some Facts About India, 1917

  39. Reports On British Prison-camps in India and Burma: Visited By the International Red Cross Committee in February, March and April, 1917.

  40. The Development of Self-government in India, 1858-1914

  41. Paintings and Drawings of Persia and India: , Illuminated Manuscripts in Persian, Arabic, Ethiopic, Sanscrit, Armenian, Hindi, Burmese, Etc., From the XVth to the XIXth Century, 1923

  42. The Greatness of India, 1928

  43. The First American Voyage to India: Being Excerpts From the Log of the Ship "United States" From Philadelphia to Pondicherry, 1784 (1938)

  44. The Ghadar Heroes: Forgotten Story of the Punjab Revolutionaries of 1914-15 (1945)

Academic Studies on South Asia and South Asian Americans

Academic Studies on South Asia and South Asian Americans

This section contains published works written by Indian writers and academics from the mid 20th century to present. They are listed below, in chronological order by published date.


  1. Saund, Dalip Singh. Congressman From India, 1960
  2. Sonnets From India, 1960
  3. The East India Company: 1784-1834, 1960 
  4. The Cooking of India,1969 
  5.  Thieves in My House: Four Studies in Indian Folklore of Protest and Change, 1969  
  6. Religious Healing in the Veda: With Translations and Annotations of Medical Hymns in the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda and Renderings From the Corresponding Ritual Texts
  7. Americans in India, 1784-1860 (1970) 
  8. Ghadar Revolution in America, 1980 
  9. From India to Canada: A Brief History of Immigration, Problems of Discrimination, Admission and Assimilation, 1986 
  10. The South Asian Diaspora in Canada: Six Essays, 1987 
  11. Sarat Chandra Bose, 1889-1989: A Centenary Offering : Remembering My Father, 1988 
  12. On the Trail of an Uncertain Dream: Indian Immigrant Experience in America, 1989  
  13. Jyoti Cuisine India, 1990
  14. From Thames to Hooghly: Calcutta Heritage 1690-1990 (1991) 
  15. Bombay Talkie, 1994 
  16. The South Asian Americans, 1997 
  17. Between the Lines: South Asians and Postcoloniality, 1996  
  18. Family and Gender Among American Muslims: Issues Facing Middle Eastern Immigrants and Their Descendants, 1996  
  19. India: A Celebration of Independence, 1947 to 1997
  20. A Part, yet Apart: South Asians in Asian America, 1998 
  21. Gatherings in Diaspora: Religious Communities and the New Immigration, 1998
  22. A Patchwork Shawl: Chronicles of South Asian Women in America, 1998
  23. Days I Left Behind: An Autobiography of a Teacher, a Scientist and A Physician, 1999 
  24. A Nation of Peoples: A Sourcebook On America's Multicultural Heritage, 1999
  25. The South Asian Religious Diaspora in Britain, Canada, and the United States, 2000 
  26. India: American Commercial and Cultural Encounters With India in the Age of Sail, 1784-1860 (2001) 
  27. Rhythms of India, the Art of Nandalal Bose, 2008
  28. Empire, Nationalism and the Postcolonial World: Rabindranath Tagore's Writings On History, Politics, and Society, 2012 
  29. Saris: Splendour in Threads, 2012