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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - India Studies

India Studies

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      The purpose of this descriptive statement is to provide basic information about collecting in support of the India Studies Program at Indiana University.  See http://www.indiana.edu/~isp , the program's website. The policy reflects current collecting priorities, partnerships, and strategies. The information about vendors is sensitive, and should not be shared outside the Intranet without consultation.

    2. Audience
      The audience for the policy is primarily Indiana University Libraries library faculty, teaching faculty, and library staff.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      Interdisciplinary study and critical analysis of the Indian subcontinent and its peoples from ancient times to the present is the focus of the India Studies Program. Both historic and modern India are included. Courses lead to an undergraduate major, an undergraduate minor, an undergraduate certificate, and a doctoral minor. In addition to gaining a broad understanding of the cultures of the Indian subcontinent from early times to the present, students are encouraged to take Hindi and/or Sanskrit language classes which are offered at the beginning and intermediate levels. Three areas of specialization are offered in addition to core courses:
      • Literary and Performance (including theater, drama, music, and fine arts) Studies
      • Philosophical and Religious Studies.
      • Social, Political, and Historical Studies
      Curricular support for students and faculty affiliated with India Studies is the primary focus of collecting. In addition, supporting the India-related research agendas of faculty in political science, religious studies, near Eastern languages and cultures, language, literature, film, theater, history, philosophy, art, folklore, criminal justice, comparative literature, and music is also emphasized. Other library clients include anyone with information needs relating to India.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        In the early 1990s members of the local and regional Indo-American community, Indiana University academics and administrators, and the Indian Consulate-General in Chicago worked together to raise money for endowing the Rabindranath Tagore Chair of Indian Culture and Civilization at Indiana University. In 1995 Professor Gerald J. Larson, a scholar of Indian religion, philosophy, and Sanskrit came to Indiana as the Tagore Chair, and Director of the new India Studies Program within the College of Arts and Sciences. Larson applied for a U.S. Dept. of Education grant to develop India Studies for undergraduates at several Indiana institutions including Indiana University, and was successful in obtaining funding for collections for three years, beginning in 1998. Suzanne Thorin, Dean of the Indiana University Libraries, provided small continuing monographic and serials budgets, and substantial staff support in areas including selection, acquisitions, and user services. Assistant Professor Rebecca Manring, India Studies, and later, Religious Studies, became the liaison from the India Studies Program to the Libraries, and Andrea Singer became the part time bibliographer for India Studies. In 2003 Larson retired and Professor Sumit Ganguly, a Professor of Political Science, joined the Indiana University faculty as Tagore Chair and Director of the India Studies Program.

        With the advent of the Larson grant, a concentrated approach to collection development in Hindi and Sanskrit, and a focus on acquiring Indian imprints became possible. The subject librarians, reference, undergraduate, and government publications librarians at the Indiana University Libraries had been collecting materials on South Asia in general and India in particular for many years, according to their collection development policies. However, with initiation of monograph and serials budgets devoted to India Studies, the coordination of the collection priorities specifically related to the India Studies Program commenced.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        Contemporary collections in Hindi and Sanskrit literature, language, and linguistics as well as Indian imprints and videos on a variety of topics in the humanities and social sciences are the strengths of the collections. Development of Hindi and Sanskrit is accomplished primarily through a profile with the South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program (SACAP) in New Delhi. Development in other areas is often accomplished through cooperation with collection managers across the disciplines. Central funding for university press and trade publishers' imprints including those of Oxford University Press New Delhi, provides social science and humanities titles.

        The lack of historical depth in some areas, and the very small number of serials supported locally are weaknesses. We try to compensate through membership in the South Asia Microform Project (SAMP), emphasizing our superior inter-library loan services and providing web access to cooperative electronic initiatives such as the Digital South Asia project.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Monographs related to coursework, and faculty interests, publication, and output are emphasized. Contemporary India rather than the much broader South Asia is emphasized as a political and cultural entity. The historic and contemporary intellectual and artistic output of West Bengal, the home of Nobel Prizewinner Rabindranath Tagore, is emphasized for both its connection with the Tagore Chair and because it is the focus of work by two Religious Studies faculty members associated with India Studies.

      4. Collection locations
        Collections purchased on the India Studies funds usually shelve in the Main Library Research or Media Collections. Materials may also shelve in Fine Arts or other campus libraries. ALF review is ongoing. E-books are available online, and other digital purchases will be made as resources develop.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      English , Hindi, and Sanskrit materials are selected. Titles in Bengali have been purchased and would be welcome as gifts. To support the curriculum basic Urdumaterials will be collected beginning in 2005. Other South Asian languages are excluded.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      The emphasis is on India (1947-present). However the subcontinent and South Asia broadly considered are not excluded if the context is relevant to teaching.From 2004 Kashmir is covered as a specific interest.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      The primary focus is on materials covering modern India from 1947 to present.Secondarily, monographs and serials treating any period of Indian culture and history may be included if relevant to teaching.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Usually the budget permits only collection of current materials. The collection manager seeks additional funding for a small amount of retrospective purchasing to fill content gaps. Older Puranas in Sanskrit which are not represented in the collection are purchased as budget permits when we locate them.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      No exclusions. Most is print. Electronic books, videos, dvds, and cassette tapes have been purchased. Formats such as musical scores and archival material have not been purchased, but if relevant to collection needs would be considered if shelving locations can be negotiated. Journals and other India specific serial publications are predominantly print, but electronic journals will be considered as content develops. Government publications and selected materials available on the web in digital form are selected for cataloging.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Librarian for Foreign, State, and Local Government Information and India Studies is the primary selector. Subject librarians, the Media and Reference selectors, and branch librarians in Music and Fine Arts collect material relevant to their areas. Specific purchases which include Indian imprints are made by the Subject Librarian for English, who selects literature in English by South Asians and South Asians in the diaspora, and by the Folklore librarian, who collects folklore in all languages from all parts of the world.

  4. Related Collections
    Within the IU Libraries Media Services, Reference, Education, Law, Business/SPEA, Fine Arts, Music, Folklore, and SLIS supplement Main Library Research Collections. Titles in English on India are selected for the Core Collection in the Information Commons, and e-book purchases are coordinated by the same librarian. Lilly Library collections include uncataloged archival materials as well as print collections.

    Other campus resources include the library of the Workshop on Political Theory, The Archives of Traditional Music, and small reading rooms in Sycamore Hall devoted to India Studies and Religious Studies. The Mathers Museum and the Fine Arts Museum include Indian collections.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    1. Hindi and Sanskrit language titles
      Most Hindi and Sanskrit language titles are supplied by the South Asia Cooperative Acquisitions Program (SACAP) of the Library of Congress's New Delhi Overseas Office. http://www.locdelhi.org IU pays US dollars for materials obtained through an IUB specific profile for Indian language subject material, which focuses on contemporary monographs in Hindi and Sanskrit literature and linguistics. The profile may be reviewed and updated annually. (The India portion of the SACAP profile is managed by the India Studies Librarian. It forms a portion of a larger IU New Delhi office profile which includes serials and monographs in Tibetan and Mongolian. That portion is managed by the Librarian for Central Eurasian Studies. Billing matters for the entire profile are overseen by Acquisitions Dept. staff, who tabulate portions of the bill to be charged to each fund. The Librarian for India Studies currently subscribes to the SACAP listserv, and takes responsibility for forwarding relevant messages to other IU staff including the Head of the Area Studies cataloging section, the Librarian for Central Eurasian Studies, and Acquisitions Dept. accounting staff. )

      Some Hindi and Sanskrit titles including out of print titles are ordered directly from vendors. Chief among them are Bagchee Associates http://www.bagchee.com, D.K. Agencies Ltd. http://www.dkagencies.com, Indian Books Centre http://www.indianbookscentre.com, and Motilal Banarsidass http://www.mlbd.com.

    2. English language monographs
      In addition to vendors listed above, Indian imprints in English are frequently obtained from South Asia Books http://www.southasiabooks.com and Vedams http://www.vedamsbooks.com. Other vendors of Indian imprints are not excluded, but the catalogues and e-mail notifications of the dealers mentioned are used most frequently for books in print. An array of web engines is used to locate out of print books. Books from U.S. and U.K. trade and university presses and Oxford University Press, New Delhi are obtained through the Blackwell Approval Plan.

    3. Serials
      The small number of serials subscriptions is placed either direct with the publisher or at one of IU's major serials vendors, depending on which is more appropriate.The list consists of English titles published in India and in the U.S. When the budget permits, select titles in Hindi on social science topics and womens' issues will be added to the list.

    4. Selection Tools
      Many specific titles are recommended for purchase by library users including faculty. The India Studies librarian reviews all reading lists for courses cross-listed in India Studies, and fills in gaps when necessary. Major Indian Works Annual (MIWA), published by DK Agencies' Bibliographic Division, provides a partially annotated guide to more than 1200 Indian monographs of general and scholarly value. TLS and the New York Times Book Review provide reviews of some literary titles. RLG's RedLightGreen and OCLC's Worldcat provide windows into the extent of holdings in other collections. The Indian Review of Books , which published reviews of a wide range of Indian publishing, ceased in 2001. We have subscribed to another Indian review title, Biblio, a Review of Books but issues have not yet begun arriving. DK Agencies' lists are particularly helpful for government information. Many of the publishers listed above send frequent blurbs by e-mail.When collection development on a specific topic is pursued, the collections and websites of larger U.S. South Asian collections are consulted through the Committee on South Asia Library Development (CONSALD).

    5. Miscellaneous
      The types of materials listed above predominate in the collection and requiremost of the budget. However maps, dvds, microforms and other formats have been acquired as gifts, and purchases from specialized dealers and/or venues such as book fairs. Every opportunity to suggest purchases for NEH and other endowment funds is used. Collaborative purchase proposals with other fund managers are also frequent.
  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or massdeacidification
      Items supplied by the Library of Congress are bound, and of generally good quality. Government documents often need and receive Gaylord envelopes or other special attention. Paper quality is generally acidic. Most preservation is handled during regular workflows, but future de-acidification is a possibility.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    The items with Library of Congress call numbers ranging from PK1-PK5461(various subjects in Indo-Aryan philology, languages, and literature) shelve on the 9th floor of Research Collections. The monographs are being reviewed for transfer to ALF in the general Research Collections review process which began in July, 2004. Serials are being reviewed title by title by the collection manager for India Studies. Other items related to India shelve throughout the collection, and will be reviewed in the general review process.

  8. Digital Projects
    The Digital South Asia Project (DSAL) http://dsal.uchicago.edu sponsored by the Center for Research Libraries is the richest source of scholarly digitized materials relating to India. It is prominently featured on the India Studies library page India Studies library page . Other digital projects are also featured.

    A proposal for digitizing a bibliography and other scholarly apparatus related to the microfilm of the Sukumar Sen Manuscript Collection is at the exploratory stage.

  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    The India Studies library website features links such as SACAP to other collections of material related to India.

  10. Consortial Agreements
    Standard consortial agreements with the Center for Research Libraries and other interlibrary loan partners apply. In addition the Indiana University Libraries is a member of the South Asia Microform Project (SAMP)http://www.crl.edu/area-studies/samp

    Indiana University is a member of the American Institute of India Studies (AIIS)http://www.indiastudies.org Offices of AIIS in India may be able to provide assistance in matters such as mailing books purchased at bookfairs.




India Studies Home Page

Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/23/2012