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Microform Materials on South Asia

A very important, but often underutilized, source of information for South Asia is the microform collection which is located on the first floor in the Van Pelt Library. The formats are microfilm and microfiche. These sets are important because they represent important primary sources in the study of South Asia. Materials in microformats can be saved as PDFs or printed. Some of the highlights of the South Asia collections in these formats are listed below. This list is by no means exhaustive, but a quick sampling of the kinds of contents that are located in the microformat area. A detailed list of microform materials is to be found in the research guide Major Microform Sets in the Penn Library under the sub-heading of South Asian Studies.

Biographies. For biographical materials, there is the very large set, the Indian Biographical Archives (Microfiche 1062). This collection is a single alphabetic cumulation of approximately 170 sources published from the mid-19th to the late 20th century. These sources, gathered from around the world, provide biographies on approximately 100,000 individuals. Geographically, it covers the whole of undivided India as it was in the pre-colonial and colonial period, thereby including the countries now known as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It covers the period from early times to the late 20th century, and includes the lives of sages, early rulers, missionaries, civil servants from all the colonial nations, lives of nationalists and freedom fighters, and many others. Biographies of individuals from other nations, such as British, French, and Portuguese individuals, whose lives were bound up in some way with the subcontinent, are also included.

Administrative Documents. There are several important sets in microprint, the British Parliamentary Papers (1713-1913) (Microfiche 110) [For details, see research guide for British Parliamentary sources and Government Documents], and the Early American Imprints (Microfiche 821 and Microprint 21). This later publication contains many interesting accounts of the early American interactions with India and South Asia.

Census Data. For critical historical statistical data, the census materials are important. The Indian Census sets from 1872-1951 (Microfiche 15).

Missionary Records. The records of Christian missionaries in South Asia, and their engagement with education and healthcare, can be accessed through microform sets from the Church Missionary Society (Microfilm 4469) and other similar missions.

Manuscripts. The important Sanskrit manuscript collection, The University of Pennsylvania Indic Manuscripts, was microfilmed in the 1970s, and is available in a microformat (Microfiche 965). However, later acquisitions are not part of this catalog.

Newspapers. Many historic newspapers from South Asia are kept in the microtext area. A useful Microform Newspaper Search Tool allows searches for newspapers by specifying a geographical location. Here is a list of some of the commonly used newspapers:
Aaj (1963-1996 ) Varanasi (Microfilm news 80)
Anandabazaarapatrika (1963-1995) Calcutta (Microfilm news 4)
Andhrapatrika (1963-1991) Madras (Microfilm news 5)
Amrita bazar patrika (1962-1991, 1993-1996) Calcutta (Microfilm news 3)
Bharat jyoti (1962) Bombay (Microfilm news 8)
Blitz (1952-1971) Bombay (Microfilm news 219)
Bombay courier (1793 - 1846) Bombay (Microfilm news 431)
Business recorder (1966 - 1971) Karachi (Microfilm news 157)
The Civil and Military Gazette (1886-1889, 1949-1950, 1960-1962) Lahore (Microfilm news 14)
CrossRoads (1951 - 1953) Bombay (Microfilm news 313)
Cutecamittiran (1963 - 1971) Madras (Microfilm news 66)
Dawn (1949 - 1996) Karachi (Microfilm news 24)
Daily jang (1954, 1961-1993) Karachi (Microfilm news 428)
Deccan herald (1962-2005) Bangalore (Microfilm news 25)
The Deccan Times weekly (1944-1950) Madras (Microfilm news 553)
The Economic times (1962 - 1995) Bombay (Microfilm news 26)
Free press journal (1962- 1971) Bombay (Microfilm news 2)
The Hindu (1963 - 1997) Madras (Microfilm news 216)
The Hindu weekly review (1962 - 1968) Madras (Microfilm news 218)
The Hindustan Standard (1942-1982) Calcutta (Microfilm news 554)
The Hindustan times (1962 - 1997) New Delhi (Microfilm news 30)
Imroz (1963-June1971) Lahore (Microfilm news 149)
The India gazette, or, Calcutta public advertiser (1780 - 1782) Calcutta (Microfilm news 429)
The Indian express (1962-1997, 2002-2004) New Delhi (Microfilm news 306)
The Indian mirror (1886 - 1889) Calcutta (Microfilm news 144)
The Indian spectator (1886-1889) Bombay (Microfilm news 142)
The Lahore chronicle (1850-1868) Lahore (Microfilm news 432)
Malayalam manorama (1963-1964,1966-1996) Kottayam (Microfilm news 41)
National herald (1962-1994) Lucknow and Delhi (Microfilm news 45)
Navashakti (1963-1971 ) Bombay (Microfilm news 46)
New age (1952 - 1994) New Delhi (Microfilm news 238)
Pakistan observer (1963-1971) Dacca (Microfilm news 86)
Pakistan Times (1963-1996) Lahore (Microfilm news 231)
People's age (1945 - 1949) Bombay (Microfilm news 313)
People's war (1942 -1945) Bombay (Microfilm news 313)
Pioneer (1886-1889, 1933-1948 ) Allahabad (Microfilm news 91)
Pioneer mail and Indian weekly news (1911-1931 ) Allahabad (Microfilm news 92)
Star of India (1942 - 1949) Calcutta (Microfilm news 64)
The Statesman (1962-1970 1981-1995) Delhi (Microfilm news 65)
Statesman, or, Friend of India (1941-1943) Calcutta (Microfilm News 649)
The Statesman weekly (1964-1965) Calcutta (Microfilm news 237)
The Times of India (1949-1966, 1990-1991, 1992-1995) Bombay (Microfilm news 71)
The Times of India (1966-1989) New Delhi (Microfilm news 71)

These are but a few of the thousands of titles available in our microformat collections, and till these resources are reprinted or republished online, this format remains unique and valuable.