We have rich resources for the study of South Asia past and present. South Asia is taken to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Collection guides

Asian and African Studies Reading Room

Asian and African Studies Reading Room

  • Find information on the shelves
  • Access online databases and electronic journals
  • Order collection items to the Reading Room via our catalogues
If you need help, just ask our Information Specialists at the Reference Enquiry desk.

We offer workshops to help you make the best use of the Library's collections.

You’ll need a Reader Pass

Mon: 10.00 – 17.00
Tue – Sat: 09.30 – 17.00
Sun & English Public Holidays: closed

Opening hours for all Reading Rooms

For enquiries, please contact the Reference Service

Blog posts

Tagore Meets an Old Friend in Iran

Monday, October 24, 2016

After ousting the young Ahmad Shah from the imperial throne in 1925, Reza Shah Pahlavi determined to once again assert Iran as a world power on the global stage. Gone were the Qajars, who had reduced Iran to a mere...

Britain's first nose job

Friday, October 21, 2016

Science Content Expert Philip Eagle explores the first plastic surgery operation in Britain. On 22nd October 1814, Joseph Constantine Carpue (1764-1846) performed the first plastic surgery operation in Britain, reconstructing the nose of an army officer whose nose had collapsed...

Where’s Arjuna? Renaming the Monoliths of Mahabalipuram

Monday, September 26, 2016

The ancient capital of Mahabalipuram stands on India’s Coromandel coastline, facing one of ancient Asia’s most famous and lucrative shipping channels. Its formidable 7th-century stone monuments, many of which were hewn from single granite boulders, were created under the Pallava...

Letters from Indian Soldiers on the Western Front, September 1916

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In September 1916, the Battle of the Somme was still raging violently. By that point in the First World War, the Indian infantry regiments had been transferred from France to fight in the Mesopotamian campaign, but the cavalry regiments remained...

More blog posts

External links

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Centre of South Asian Studies

University of Cambridge

Find my past

Records of baptisms, marriages, burials, wills, pensions, military and civil career information

The National Archives

Records relating to the East India Company, and the Family Records Centre