General/global primary source resources

Digital South Asia Library
Good for browsing images, maps, and some statistics. Note: search does not work.

Endangered Archives Programme
Extensive collection of archival materials that are “at risk of loss or decay”. All material remains in the country of origin but is digitized and hosted by the British Library.

Empire Online
Collection of many types of documents detailing the rise of the imperial age, colonial life across the globe, through to decolonization. Browsable in several ways, including by region and document type.

Gandhi’s Writings
Selected writings of Mahatma Gandhi.

Internet Indian History Sourcebook
Fordham University’s guide to sources on Indian history. Of particular interest to this course is the section on Indian Nationalism.

Gandhi’s Writings
Selected writings of Mahatma Gandhi.

NYU Guide to the South Asian Diaspora
Extensive guide to many different primary source resources, with subsections for histories, oral histories, bibliographies, films, and much more.

Oral Histories of Migration, Ethnicity and Post-colonialism
(Note: unavailable as of Spring 2024 due to cyber attack on the British Library) Gateway to collections of oral histories from the British Library. Of particular interest is The Listening Project

South Asian Ephemera
Digitized booklets, pamphlets, leaflets, and flyers from 1941-present, but particularly strong starting in the 1980s. In English and a variety of South Asian languages.

South Asia Open Archives
Historical and contemporary documents, books, and periodicals for the study of South Asia. In English and a variety of South Asian languages.

US State Department Archives
Archive of materials from the US State Department, including meeting minutes and important correspondence.

Video sources
Many of the sources throughout this guide contain some video content, but the following are specifically devoted to videos:

  • AP Archive Video footage from the Associated Press archives
  • British Pathé: Newsreel footage that ran in British cinemas between 1896 to 1978
  • Films Division India: Documentaries, short films, and newsreels that have run in Indian cinema from 1948-present
  • Huntley Film Archives: Documentaries and behind the scenes footage from Bollywood and Hollywood from 1895 through the 20th Century
  • Periscope Film: “Historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections” from the USA

WUSTL Guide to South Asian Diaspora Studies
Guide to many digital exhibitions relating to the Diaspora, with particular strength in linking out to oral histories.


Global NewsStream
Access to over 2,800 titles from across the world, plus archival access to many of the same titles going back to ~1980.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers
Archives of seven different U.S. newspapers, including New York Times (1851-2018), Chicago Tribune (1849-1998), Los Angeles Times (1881-1997), Wall Street Journal (1889-2004), and Washington Post (1877-2005).

South Asian Newspapers
Open Access collection of 10 newspapers covering the British Raj, independence movements, early statehood and into the present day, across Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Most titles are in English, with one title each in Bengali, Dari, and Nepali.

Times of London
Digital archive of The Times of London from 1785-1985.

South Asia

Abhilekh-Patal (India)
Digitized collection of government and public records, personal papers, maps, and other multimedia from the National Archives in India.

British Library South Asia Collections
(Note: unavailable as of Spring 2024 due to cyber attack on the British Library) Gateway site to British Library “resources for the study of South Asia, past and present”. Not all materials are available online but the subpages are usually clear about what is electronically available and where.

Cambridge Centre of South Asian Studies Audio Archive
Collection of oral histories and other interviews. The descriptions and notes (but not the full transcripts) of each clip are searchable.

Cambridge Centre of South Asian Studies Video/Film Archive
Archive of footage from 1911 to 1956 capturing life towards the end of the Raj and in the early years of Independence.

Foreign Office Files for India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, 1947-1980
Collection of files from the British Foreign Office and Dominions Office focusing on the political and social history of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan from a British perspective.

India, Raj and Empire
Primary documents detailing South Asian history as it relates to the British empire, from the establishment of the East India Company to the granting of independence to India and Pakistan, 1615-1947.

Indian Kanoon
Searchable and browsable database of Indian case law, statutes, and legislation/court decisions dating back to the 1870s.

Lahore University of Management Sciences Digital Library
Digital archive of books, newsletters, oral histories, and other rare material focused on South Asia, “with an emphasis on preserving the accounts of marginalized and subaltern groups.”

National Digital Library of India
Large collection of research materials, including images, video and audio clips, and text sources from many different institutional repositories in India. Some items are not freely available, but content can be filtered by “access restriction”.

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History
In depth articles on major topics and trends relating to the study of Asian history. Each article includes an extensive bibliography. Note: if the page freezes, try using a private/incognito browsing window.


1947 Partition Archive
Community-sourced archive of over 10,000 oral histories from witnesses to/participants in the Partition. Can be searched or browsed by location.

Bangladesh Liberation Museum
Website of the museum based in Dhaka devoted to the “struggle of the Bengali nation for their democratic and national rights.” Archives section of the website features documents, oral histories, audio/visual materials, photos and more.

Indian Independence
Collection of documents from the UK National Archives related to the Indian independence movements.

Northern Arizona Guide to India’s Partition
List of resources (similar to this page) compiled by librarians for a class on Partition at Northern Arizona University.

Panjab 1947: A Heart Divided
Collection of migration histories (in several formats) house in the UK National Archives related to migrations that took place as a result of Partition.

Partition, India-Pakistan (1947)
Guide to researching the partition compiled by Simmons College librarians.

Partition Museum
Brief history of the Partition from The Partition Museum of Amritsar and Delhi. Other pages on the site provide oral histories, art/images, and artifacts.

Partition Voices
Collection of interviews (some video, some audio) conducted by historian Andrew Whitehead with people who lived through/experienced the Partition.

The Road to Partition
National Archive collection (mainly letters and governmental documents) related to Indian independence and the partition of India following the end of British rule.


World Databank
Country-level, time series data from the World Bank from 1960s to present. Topics covered include demographics, the economy, the environment, health, and education.


Asian Studies Guide
Skillman’s guide to finding primary sources. Includes links for finding speeches, images, films, and many other types of primary sources.

Primary Sources Guide
Skillman’s guide to finding primary sources. Includes links for finding speeches, images, films, and many other types of primary sources.

Research Assistance

For assistance in finding research material for this course, contact:
Ben Jahre
124 Skillman Library

Or consult another reference librarian at Skillman.