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South Asian studies

Welcome - آداب - नमस्ते - خوش آمدید ! This guide focuses on sources for the study of South Asian Islam with a focus on Pakistan and India. It is tailored to the courses offered by the McGill Institute of Islamic Studies.


The Islamic Studies Library owns a significant (approximately 9,000 volumes) and valuable Urdu collection made of:

  • rare books (mainly lithographs), some of which are unique copies in North America, available for consultation only in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library
  • regular books available for consultation or borrowing in the Islamic Studies Library.

Please note a number of Urdu books from the rare collection have been digitized over the years, and are available through the Islamic Studies Library Internet Archives collection.

Primary Sources

Adam Matthews Explorer makes available a number of collections of documents from the British National Archives:

The Digital South Asia Library (DSAL) provides free access to digital materials for reference and research on South Asia.

Gale Primary Sources includes a number collections within the Archives Unbound collection.

South Asian Newspapers is a digital collection made available to the McGill Library by the Center for Research Libraries. It includes thousands of issues from titles published in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from 1864-1922.

PAIS Archive (1915-1976) consists of indexing and abstracting of articles, books, conference proceedings, government documents, book chapters, and statistical directories about public affairs.

Perso-Indica is an analytical Survey on Persian Works on Indian learned Traditions.

The South Asia Commons includes two modules: History and Culture, an online resource to help discover, disseminate, and preserve South Asian historical and cultural materials. and South Asia Archive. a collection of 4.5 million pages of books, journals and documents from India, Pakistan, Burma, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh from 1700 to 1953.


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