Center for Research Libraries: SAOA Surpasses 1 Million Pages of Open Access Content. “For the past several years, members of the South Asia Open Archives initiative have been working collaboratively to build a robust collection of primary sources for researching, teaching, and learning about South Asia. Following its public launch in October 2019(link is external), SAOA has added hundreds of thousands of pages of newly digitized material from across the region. Now totaling over one-million pages of open-access primary source material, SAOA’s collection includes more than thirty-thousand items in twenty-seven different languages.”
Penn Today: Archiving empire. “A long-unseen archive centered on an 18th-century Mughal woman will soon be publicly accessible, thanks to the work of religious studies professor Megan Robb and a team of Penn students.”
Prestige: “Borders keep us divided; stories keep us united,” says Ahsun Zafar, the man behind Instagram’s @brownhistory
Prestige: “Borders keep us divided; stories keep us united,” says Ahsun Zafar, the man behind Instagram’s @brownhistory. “Two years and 1,381 posts later, Instagram handle Brown History has a loyal readership of over 400k, along with a podcast featuring interviews and talks with historians, authors, cultural experts, and artists. Started by Ahsun Zafar, an electrical engineer in Canada, Brown History is a digital archive exhibiting anecdotes focused on South Asians from all over the world.”
The Hindu: Hashtag, history: There’s a growing appetite for online archives from South Asia. “An old black-and-white photo shows an Indian soldier from the British Indian Army posing with his lady love somewhere in Italy. The accompanying caption reveals that the soldier, also a football player, had gone to Italy for a tournament when he met the woman and they fell in love. The soldier’s father, however, opposed their love, and asked him to cut all ties with her. This photograph was taken by the estranged couple as a keepsake. This tragic love story garnered more than 20,000 likes on an Instagram account called ‘Brown History’.”
Technology Times Pakistan: Punjab archives digitized historical web portal launched. “The digitized data covers the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial era in South Asia holding more than Seven Million files of unique documents and rare books. Secretary Punjab Archives & Libraries Tahir Yousaf and Chairman PITB Azfar Manzoor inaugurated the portal.” Unfortunately I got an error when I tried to access the link in the story.
Scroll .in: On a new Instagram account, Indians and Pakistanis are sharing their memories of living in the Gulf
Scroll .in: On a new Instagram account, Indians and Pakistanis are sharing their memories of living in the Gulf. “In today’s world, when migrants are increasingly being viewed with fear and suspicion, one story that successfully endures is that of the migration of South Asians to the Persian Gulf. Several centuries after the exchange of cultures and commerce began between the regions, around 3 lakh Indians still travel to the Gulf nations every year for work, adding to the range and complexity of the diasporic experience. These varied experiences are what a new Instagram account, called Gulfsouthasians, has set out to capture, with photographs connecting the Persian Gulf and South Asia in the 20th century.”
British Library: Endangered Urdu Periodicals. “EAP839 produced digital images of rare Urdu periodicals from the 19th to the first half of the 20th century in order to preserve and make them available to researchers. During this period the project team has successfully produced 3,832 issues. Urdu journals played a significant role in the development of Urdu literature, especially fiction, religion, history, poetry and culture of the South Asian region as a whole, particularly in Pakistan and India.” The material is not yet available online, but should be later this year.