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.

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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

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...

Life at the fringes of empire: Edward Eastwick in Sind

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Edward Eastwick (1814-1883) entered the service of the East India Company at the comparatively late age of 22, arriving in Bombay in the summer of 1836. This was not Eastwick’s first trip abroad. Following the unlikely advice of a family...

Dinners, mortars, and cinema trips: the Afghan Military Mission to India

Thursday, September 8, 2016

From 4 December 1944 to 30 January 1945 an Afghan Military Mission to India toured the country, visiting army and air force divisions, witnessing weapon demonstrations and training events, and meeting military and civil functionaries. A stable, independent Afghanistan on...

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