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

A music examiner’s tour of India

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Amongst the India Office Private Papers at the British Library is the personal diary of Dr Charles MacPherson. A fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, and organist at St Paul’s Cathedral from 1916 until his death in 1927, MacPherson...

Nasir Shah's Book of Delights

Monday, November 21, 2016

To celebrate our new series of South Asian seminars and especially the focus on food with Neha Vermani's talk this evening Mughals on the menu: A probe into the culinary world of the Mughal elite I thought I would write...

A novel way to secure a pension

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The name Thomas Snodgrass will perhaps conjure up for some people an image of an archetypal pen-pushing bureaucrat, and indeed the subject of this tale was a real East India Company civil servant who was appointed writer (clerk) in the...

The Anvar-i Suhayli or 'Lights of Canopus'

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In tonight’s episode of Treasures of the British Library (Sky Arts, 21.00 Tuesdays), Julia Donaldson, writer and author of The Gruffalo, talks to Dr Muhammad Isa Waley about one of our most engaging Persian manuscripts, a copy of the Anvār-i...

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