In the last year, the Penn Libraries has purchase of several hundred volumes related to South Asian painting, textiles, music, and dance.
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The Penn Libraries collections include 19th and 20th century Sanskrit series that made old, rare, and foundational Sanskrit texts available to a wide-ranging audience.
Rigid hierarchies of caste in South Asia have sanctioned the subjugation and exploitation of so-called “untouchable” communities for centuries. Now frequently referred to by the term Dalit (a word derived from the Sanskrit dalita, meaning “scattered” or “broken”), these oppressed peoples are fighting for greater recognition and equality.
Over the past five years, Penn Libraries has been broadening efforts to collect materials related to South Asian diasporas. The increasing representation of Indo-Caribbean peoples in our collections is revealing histories, communities, and cultural expressions that have remained underrepresented in most research libraries and understudied in scholarly discourse.