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History of South Asia at the Library

Prof. Morton W. Easton, Professor of Comparative Philology (1883-1912), taught Sanskrit courses at the University of Pennsylvania. He had studied Sanskrit at Yale under W.D. Whitney (1827-1894). Upon completing his dissertation on the evolution of language, Easton was awarded the first American doctorate in Sanskrit in 1872. The University of Pennsylvania was one of the first American academic institutions to offer courses in Sanskrit; already during the 1880s, the university offered a major and a minor in Sanskrit. Easton retired in 1912 and was replaced the following year by Franklin Edgerton. After Edgerton left in 1926, W. Norman Brown was appointed in his place. Brown was responsible for the creation of the Department of South Asia Studies and expanded well beyond his own Indological interests. He was also responsible for helping to establish the well known PL 480 program which in its various permutations over the decades supplied us (and many other institutions) with literally hundreds of thousands of volumes from South Asia.

During the course of the PL480 program (also pioneered by W. Norman Brown) from 1954 to 1998, the library acquired material actively through the Library of Congress (New Delhi and Islamabad) field offices, and also through various vendors in South Asia, Europe and North America. The Library of Congress still continues as one of our major vendors to supplement the activities of collecting all material including monographs, serials, film, and digital formats. It is recognized as one of the most significant libraries in the United States for research on South Asia. Because of the history of the University of Pennsylvania in the field of archaeology, the Penn Libraries also have one of the largest collection of material for archaeology in South Asia.

The American Institute of Indian Studies was founded by W. Norman Brown, and it operated out of the Van Pelt Library till it moved to a more permanent location in Chicago.

The South Asia Art Archive at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries was set up in W. Norman Brown's office in 1979 as a national facility, open to all who are interested in the study of Indian art.The holdings of the South Asia Art Archive currently consist of around 115,000 black-and-white photographs (classified by period and region), site and museum indexes, and ca 4,000 color slides. (In addition, the University has a teaching collection of more than 15,000 South Asia slides, most of which are online at the Fine Arts Image Collection.) By agreement with the AIIS and the Smithsonian Foreign Currencies Program, which funds the Gurgaon Center, photographs added to the Gurgaon archive are added also the archive in Philadelphia, keeping it a current tool for research.

For more details on the engagement of the University of Pennsylvania with South Asia, visit the Penn Archives.

Works of notable alumni and faculty in the Library Collections

Ali, Daud, Associate Professor (2009-).

Appadurai, Arjun, Professor (1976-1992).

Behl, Aditya, Professor (2002-2009).

Bender, Ernest, Harrison Fellow (1944-19946), Professor (1950-1989), Professor Emeritus (1989-1996).

Brown, W. Norman, Harrison Research Fellow (1916-1919), Professor (1926-1966), Professor Emeritus (1966-1975).

Cardona, George, Professor (1960-2005), Professor Emeritus (2005-).

Deshpande, Madhav, Ph.D. (1972).

Edgerton, Franklin, Professor (1912-1926).

Feldhaus, Anne, Ph.D. (1976).

Frankel, Francine, Professor (), Professor Emerita (2006-).

Furber, Holden, Professor (1948-1973), Professor Emeritus (1973-1993).

Gaeffke, Peter, Professor (1974-2005).

Goldman, Robert P., Ph.D. (1971).

Halbfass, Wilhelm, Professor (1973-2000)

Heitzman, E. James, Ph.D. (1985).

Kramrisch, Stella, Professor (1950-1993).

Lambert, Richard D., Ph.D. (1951), Professor (1953-1979).

Levitt, Stephan H., Ph.D. (1973).

Liu, Xinru, Ph.D. (1985).

Ludden, David, Ph.D. (1978), Professor (1981-2007).

Malenbaum, Wilfred, Professor ().

Meister, Michael W., Professor (1976-).

Miller, Barbara Stoler, Ph.D. (1968).

Mills, Margaret Ann, (1983-1998).

Miner, Allyn, Ph.D. (1994), Senior Lecturer (1988-).

Minault, Gail, Ph.D. (1972).

Mitchell, Lisa, Associate Professor (2006-).

Novetzke, Christian, Assistant Professor (2002-2007).

Olivelle, J. Patrick, Ph.D. (1974).

Palmer, Norman D., Professor (1947-1979), Professor Emeritus (1979-1996).

Possehl, Gregory, Professor (1973-2007), Professor Emeritus (2007-2011).

Poullada, Leon B., Ph.D. (1955).

Rocher, Ludo, Professor (), Professor Emeritus ().

Rocher, Rosane, Professor (1971-2006), Professor Emerita (2006-).

Salomon, Richard, Ph.D. (1975).

Scharf, Peter, Ph.D. (1990).

Schiffman, Harold, Professor (1995-2007), Professor Emeritus (2007-).

Southworth, Franklin, Professor (1958-1998), Professor Emeritus (1988-).

Spooner, Brian, Professor (1968-).

Sreenivasan, Ramya, Associate Professor (2010-).

Tisinger, Catherine Anne, Ph.D. (1970).

Wolpert, Stanley, Ph.D. (1959).

Zelliot, Eleanor, Ph.D. (1969).

Zide, Norman H., Ph.D. (1959).

Publications of the Department of South Asia Studies and the South Asia Center in the Libraries

Series : South Asia Regional Studies Seminars

1966-67 Contributions to the study of Indian law and society, South Asia Seminar 1966-67, (ed.) Richard D. Lambert.

1977-78 Symbols, subsistence and social structure : the ecology of man and animal in South Asia : summaries of papers from the South Asia Seminar 1977-78, Franklin C. Southworth (ed.) .

1978-79 Political and social transformation in South Asia : summaries of papers from the South Asia Seminar 1978-79 presented to Norman D. Palmer, Francine C. Frankel and Franklin C. Southworth (eds.) .

1979-80 Systems of communication and interaction in South Asia : summaries of papers from the South Asia Seminar 1979-80, Peter Gaeffke and Susan Olesiw (eds.) .

Proceedings of the South Asia Seminar 1 : Identity and division in cults and sects in South Asia, Peter Gaeffke and David A. Utz (eds.).

Proceedings of the South Asia Seminar 2 : Science and technology in South Asia, Peter Gaeffke and David A. Utz (eds.).

Proceedings of the South Asia Seminar 3 : The Countries of South Asia : boundaries, extensions, and interrelations, Peter Gaeffke and David A. Utz (eds.).

Proceedings of the South Asia Seminar 4 : Making things in South Asia : the role of artist and craftsman, Michael W. Meister (ed.).

1988-89 Orientalism and the postcolonial predicament : perspectives on South Asia, Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (eds.).


Series : Studies on South Asia

1. Ludo Rocher, Ezourvedam : a French Veda of the eighteenth century, Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1984.

2. Walter Harding Maurer, Pinnacles of India's past : selections from the Ṛgveda, Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1989.

3. Richard D. Lambert, Ralph B. Ginsberg, Sarah J. Moore, The transformation of an Indian labor market : the case of Pune, Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1986.

4-5. Richard W. Lariviere, The Nāradasmr̥ti: critically edited with an introduction, annotated translation, and appendices (2 vols.), Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1989.

6. David Shulman, Songs of the harsh devotee : the Tēvāram of Cuntaramūrttināyan̲ār, Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1990.

7. David Rubin, The return of Sarasvati: translations of the poetry of Prasad, Nirala, Pant, and Mahadevi, Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1993.


Series : Occasional Papers

Madhusudan A. Dhaky Complexities surrounding the Vimalavasahī Temple at Mt. Abu, Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1980.

Kanta Bhatia, Doctoral dissertations on South Asia at the University of Pennsylvania, 1898-1981 ,Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1981.

Kanta Bhatia, Masters theses on South Asia at the University of Pennsylvania, 1926-1987 ,Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1992.


Series : South Asia Seminar Student Papers

James Heitzman, The origin and spread of Buddhist monastic institutions in South Asia 500 B.C.-300 A.D., Philadelphia : Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1980.


Series : Reprint

1. Wilfred Malenbaum, The role of government in India's third plan, Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1960.

2. Wilfred Malenbaum, Political ideology and economic progress, Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1960.

3. W. Norman Brown, Traditional culture and modern developments in India, Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1960.

5. Richard David Lambert, Aspiration levels among workers in five factories in India, Philadelphia : South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, 1961.


Series : Teaching Materials

Hindi grammar and reader.

Modern Persian reader.

A Gujarati reference grammar.

An English dictionary of the Tamil verb.

A core vocabulary for Tamil.

A Nepali conversation manual.

Spoken Marathi. Book 1: First-year intensive course.

A basic Marathi-English dictionary.

An intermediate Marathi reader.

An advanced Marathi reader.