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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:

History of Afghanistan Online is the most important History of Afghanistan ever written. Originally composed in Persian Sirāj al-tawārīkh helps to better understand Afghanistan’s society today: tribe and state relations, the rule of law, gender issues, and the economy.

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.


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