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.

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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

Further Adventures of the Intrepid East India Company Women

24 November 2015

The three intrepid women, Mariam Begum, Frances (Webbe) Steele, and Mrs Hudson who managed to travel on board East India Company ships in the early seventeenth century, flouting Company prohibition, continued to cause trouble even after the much harried English...

Further Deccani and Mughal drawings of Christian Subjects

16 November 2015

In a previous post, I looked at an important drawing of the Virgin of the Apocalypse that had been catalogued as Deccani c. 1640-60 by Falk and Archer (1981, no. 443) and argued that it was in fact Mughal from...

The moustache which fell off

13 November 2015

In November we look for a story to post in honour of the gallant chaps growing facial hair for Movember. Two years ago we shared The Lay of the Red Moustache, 'a doleful ditty founded on facts'. Last year it...

Indian seamen: a roll of honour for the Second World War

11 November 2015

Indian seamen, or lascars, remain forgotten heroes of the world wars, partly because information about them is very scarce. The blog I posted earlier today details the death toll, the numbers of men taken prisoner and acts of bravery and...

More blog posts

External links

The British Library is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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


The Lives of the Mughal Emperors (paperback)

The Lives of the Mughal Emperors (paperback)

This beautifully illustrated book tells the remarkable story of the 300-year Mughal dynasty in India.


The Goddess and the Thief (paperback)

The Goddess and the Thief (paperback)

Uprooted from her home in India, Alice is raised by her aunt, a spiritualist medium in Windsor.


The Book of the British Library

The Book of the British Library

As well as holding some of the world's most prized cultural treasures, the British Library is the repository of the nation's collective memory.