Digital Text Collections of Heidelberg University Library and CATS Library

The FID4SA presents collections of texts relevant to South Asian studies from the holdings of both libraries, which are made available online through digitization and improved indexing.

The approx. 300,000 volumes of South Asian literature in the CATS Library / South Asia Department inventory also include rare publications from the 18th to the early 20th century. Selected works are presented in the digital collections of Heidelberg University Library and made publicly accessible. In addition to historical travel reports and regional studies, another focus is on the digitization of the works of German-speaking Indologists.

Literature on South Asia – digitized

The Naval Kishore Press (NKP) was founded in 1858 in the northern Indian city of Lakhnau by Munshi Naval Kishore (1836-1895) and over the next four decades developed into one of the most important publishing companies in India. In terms of content, the publishing portfolio covered a wide range – of literature in regional languages, guidebooks, religion, and classical Sanskrit literature published by the publishing house. Selected works from the NKP collection will be digitized, some processed with OCR and made available online as editable full-text versions in Devanāgarī and transliteration.

Naval Kishore Press – digital

The Hiteshranjan Sanyal Memorial Archive (im deutschen Text auch kursiv?) comprises a large collection of textual and visual materials with a focus on Colonial Bengal. In 1993, the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC) began filming and digitizing early colonial-era Bengali journals. This unique collection also includes rare Bengali books and Assamese magazines and books. Based on a memorandum of understanding between the CSSSC and the South Asia Department of the University of Heidelberg, part of this collection is now presented in the digital collections of the University Library Heidelberg and made publicly accessible via the Open Access Repository of the FID4SA.

Books from Bengal

Early Bengali Books, 1800-1850

Early Bengali Books, 1851-1900

Early Bengali Books, 1901-1950

English Books from British India

The first issue of Hicky's Bengal Gazette was published in Calcutta on January 29, 1780. In addition to reports on the life of British society in Calcutta, the newspaper also dealt with critical, sometimes sarcastic reporting on the British colonial government. After a lawsuit against the editor James Augustus Hicky (1739/40-1802) for defamation, the publication of the magazine was discontinued on March 30, 1782.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

Digital archive of all existing editions of the English language newspaper "Himalayan Times" published by Suresh Chandra Jain in Kalimpong (West Bengal, India) in the years 1947 to 1963. The newspaper was published as part of the project "Kalimpong as a 'Contact Zone': Encounters between Tibet and Western Modernity in the Early 20th Century" (Cluster "Asia and Europe in a Global Context", University of Heidelberg) under the direction of Prof. Dr Birgit Kellner and Dr Markus Viehbeck digitized.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

Published between 1834 and 1840 under various titles, this journal contains descriptions of historical sites and monuments in India. Richly illustrated with engravings by William Daniell (1769–1837), among others.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

Published between 1834 and 1840 under various titles, this journal contains descriptions of historical sites and monuments in India. Richly illustrated with engravings by William Daniell (1769–1837), among others.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

The first issue of this important Hindi literary magazine was published in 1900 by the Indian Press in Allahabad. Under the editorship of the writer Mahavir Prasad Dvivedi (1903-1920), Sarasvatī developed into one of the most influential Hindi literary journals of the early 20th century.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

Founded by Hugh Nevill (1847-1897), a Ceylon Civil Service officer, this periodical published mainly articles on Sri Lankan culture and history. Probably no more than three issues were published.

Online edition

Details in ZDB catalogue

Further Text Collections

The range of digital research materials is constantly increasing. Here we have put together a selection of particularly recommendable digital source collections on South Asia for you, which are constantly updated by the FID4SA team.

Research project "Documents on the History of Religion and Law of Pre-modern Nepal" of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences

The project is dedicated to researching historical documents from Nepal's "long 19th century" (approx. 1768-1950) with a focus on religious and legal history. The primarily processed corpus with more than 100,000 documents was microfilmed by the Nepal-German Manuscript Preservation Project (NGMPP) of the German Oriental Society (DMG), but only partially catalogued and processed. The aim of the research project is a freely accessible digital database in which both a complete catalogue and a collection of selected editions are available. The most important project partners are the National Archives of Nepal.

To Project Documenta Nepalica

The Endangered Archives Program (EAP) is a grant program and digital archive operated by the British Library in London. Each year, the EAP awards grants to researchers to identify and preserve culturally important archives by digitizing them on-site without the archival material having to leave the country of origin. The EAP archive now lists more than 80,000 projects on South Asia.

To Endangered Archives Programme

The “Gundert Portal” is the result of a DFG funded project that started in 2016 at the Tübingen University Library. Main aim of the project is to catalogue, scan, and make available as open source all the textual material that is part of the Hermann Gundert legacy. It is now available worldwide in a freely accessible portal The Hermann Gundert estate at Tübingen University Library contains printed and lithographed books and pamphlets in Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit and other languages, Indian manuscripts including several palm-leaf manuscripts, copies of texts and notebooks in various languages by Hermann Gundert and his missionary colleagues.

To the Gundert-Portal

South Asia Open Archives is an open-access resource for research and teaching - a rich and growing curated collection of important historical and contemporary sources in the arts, humanities and social sciences from and about South Asia, in English and South Asian regional languages.

To South Asia Open Archives Website