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.

East India Company
Collection of royal charters, correspondence, trading diaries, minutes of council meetings, expedition reports, and other documents from the EIC’s India Office covering the years 1599 to 1947.

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.

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
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.

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.


East African Newspapers
Archive of 3 English-language newspapers covering post-colonial and contemporary events in the region from 1943-2003.

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.

Middle Eastern & North African Newspapers
Archive of 15 (and growing) titles, mainly in Arabic but some English and/or French as well, covering the region for the period ~1902-1972.

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.

South China Morning Post
Electronic backfile of the South China Morning Post, an English-language newspaper published in Hong Kong, from the first issue in 1903 through 2001.

Southeast Asian Newspapers
Digital collection of over 60 newspapers primarily from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, in a wide variety of languages, covering 1839-1958.

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


Restrictions on Indian Immigration into East Africa
1944 report compiled by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration on restrictions East African countries placed on immigration from India.

South Africans of Indian Origin
Documents covering the experience of Indians in South Africa beginning with slavery and indentured servitude through life under Apartheid and up to free migration from across South Asia at the end of the 20th Century.

SMU Guide to South African Primary Sources
Gateway to several primary source collections. Of particular interest is the Gandhi-Luthuli Documentation Centre, with lists of indentured Indian laborers.


Caribbean History and Culture 1535-1920
Digital collection of over 1,200 books, pamphlets, almanacs, broadsides and ephemera covering the history of the Caribbean Islands. Can be searched or browsed by subject, genre, place of publication, language, etc.

Caribbean Histories from the National Archives, UK
Documents and background information about the history of the British Caribbean, including sections on “Movement of People”, “Caribbean Identities,” and “20th Century Transitions”.

Digital Archive of Latin American and Caribbean Ephemera
Digitized pamphlets, flyers, leaflets, and more from Princeton’s Latin American Ephemera Collection. Most items are in Spanish.

Digital Library of the Caribbean
Collection of digitized documents, books, newspapers, and other materials relating to Caribbean culture and history.

Indian Indenture Project
Timeline and maps demonstrating the “scope and duration” of the migration of Indian workers to Trinidad over the period 1837-1917.

Latin American & Caribbean Digital Primary Resources

Punishment for Sodomy Meted out to Nabi Baksh and Mohangoo on the Mersey
Digitized report from the Governor of British Guiana on the punishment given to two sailors, Nabi Baksh and Mohangoo, for committing sodomy, on board the Mersey in 1898.

Middle East/Gulf

Qatar Digital Library
Collection of a wide variety of primary sources relating to the history of Qatar. Includes the ability to filter by place, time period, organization (e.g. “Government of India”), etc.

North America

Hindu Conspiracy Cases (USA)
During WWI groups of Indian nationalists worked, with the backing of the German government, to overthrow British rule in India. This collection of records from the Immigration and Naturalization Service relates specifically to U.S. efforts to revoke the citizenship of some Indian nationalists, as well as general efforts by the INS to prevent Indians being admitted to the USA or Canada.

“Hindu” Students at the University of Washington, 1908-1915
Site chronicling the experiences of South Asian students (erroneously all referred to as “Hindus” at the time) at the University of Washington. Includes sections for primary and secondary sources.

Komagata Maru: Continuing the Journey (Canada)
Collection of documents, video, and audio relating to the Canadian government denying 376 passengers from India entry into the country in 1914.

Pioneering Punjabis
“Over 700 video interviews, speeches, diaries, photographs, articles, and letters in which Punjabi Americans share their life stories, values, and contributions to California’s history over the last hundred and twenty years.”

South Asian American Digital Archive (USA)
Project to document and share the stories and voices of South Asian Americans. Strong for oral histories, newspapers, correspondence, and photos.


Web archive documenting the history of indentured Indian laborers transported to plantations on Fiji during the years 1875 – 1916. Includes lists of passengers and individual stories/experiences.

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
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.

Southeast Asia

National Archives of Singapore
Large collection of sources relating to the history of Singapore. Of particular interest is an oral history collection with a section devoted to “New Citizens”.

Singapore National Library Board Newspaper Collections
Digitized newspapers dating back in some cases as far as the mid-1800s.

United Kingdom

Asian Youth Movements in the UK
Brief history of the formation and impact of Asian Youth Movements, with links out to interviews with members of the movements, newspaper coverage of important events, and archives of other materials related the AYMs.

Making Britain – How South Asians Shaped the Nation
Archive of histories and images of the people, organizations, and events central to “how South Asians shaped
the nation, 1870-1950.”

Moving People Changing Places
Research findings of a massive project studying the impact of migration and diasporas on the UK. Includes sections on migration histories, locations, and cultural impacts.

South Asians in Britain
Small but rich collection of items (mainly images) highlighting the history of South Asians in Britain.

South Asian Migration Histories
Contains a wide variety of information documenting South Asian migration to the UK, with sections focused on origins, journeys, settling in the UK, working life, culture, and politics.

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.

Digital archive of ephemera, oral histories, images, and more produced by and highlighting Asian Youth Movements in the UK in the 1970s and 80s.


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.