CONSALD Meeting 10/14/2010

CONSALD Meeting 10/14/10

South Asia Conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Notes by Tim Bryson
Corrections and additions welcome, esp. items in bold which signal info I may not have accurately or fully recorded or that may benefit from links to more info.
Revised 4/15/11

Chair’s Report: Jeff Martin

  • Sam Wright in transit from current job, still working on Philadelphia minutes.
  • Treasurer’s report: no change; balance still $245.36.

Round Robin
  • David Faust, U of Minnesota: more collection budget cuts looming.  Ames South Asia Library the only library on campus that increased circulation stats.  Average was a 4% decrease.
  • Rajwant Chilana, U of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana: library staff reorganization consolidated area studies librarians.  Mass retirements and voluntary separations happening.  Lost two library assistants last year. Lost one South Asia faculty position.
  • Jerry Hall, DSAL: more later
  • Judy Alspach, CRL/SAMP: more later
  • Laura Ring, U of Chicago: new assistant bibliographer; Ph.D., cataloger, testing RDA
  • Fehl Cannon, LC
  • Carol Mitchell, LC
  • Bronwen Bledsoe, Cornell: worst is over from budget cuts.  2CUL cooperative collection initiative with Columbia moving ahead.
  • Merry Burlingham, U of Texas, Austin: 3 new South Asia faculty in English, Geography, Nepal. 5% “give back” from staff budgets. Potential cut of $1 million from serials budget. [Update 10/19/10: Merry reports "the budget landscape has shifted for 10/11 and serial cancellations will be deferred for now."]
  • Bindu Bhatt, Columbia: retiring in December.
  • Adnan Malik, Berkeley: 7% cut .  Southeast Asia curatorial assistant transferred.  Understaffed. More retirements in Area Studies.
  • Xian Wu, Michigan State University: Asian Studies librarian, first time here.  Interested in getting information on SACAP.
  • Michael Grossman, Harvard, Middle East Division, Widener library: Cataloging and acquisitions for South Asia. Lost most student help. Found good new source in Lahore [name?]
  • Edward Miner, Iowa, African, Middle East, South Asian Studies librarian: South Asia faculty stable. Got grant for service learning program putting students in NGO’s.  5% materials budget increase, no loss of staff.  Liaison model under review, will share link [link?] to Iowa Liaison Framework listing possible duties, inspired by ARL report by Karen Williams, U Minnesota [link?].  May recommend that only certain fields need librarians with subject expertise.  Lobbying for Area Studies unit.  Service points consolidated. Corporatization of university putting humanities at risk; lost Film Studies department.
  • Edward Proctor, Duke: Newly hired. Working with British Library on endangered archives, esp. Tibetan Bon materials.  [[From Edward 10/26/10: URL for the Endangered Archives Programme (EAP): BTW, the EAP is funded by Arcadia, , which I noticed had also funded some other projects that CONSALD people were involved in.]
  • Phong Tran, Southeast Asia and South Asia Section, LC: Serving as acting section head. Trying to give overseas offices more cataloging responsibility. Shelf-ready materials soon from Delhi. More Urdu dual script records thanks to transliteration tool, still under development for other languages. Testing RDA.
  • Nuzhat Khatoon, LC, Asia Division reference librarian.
  • Uma Sharma, Syracuse: new Ayur Vedic program in Health Sciences
  • James Simon, CRL: See winter edition of Global Network newsletter for info on dance/music materials.  World Newspaper Archive for South Asia has 50 members; more digitization under way; mostly english, moving to vernacular; “The Pioneer” in process. CRL trying to broker licensing deal with ProQuest re. Times of India and with Adam Matthew Digital re. Foreign Office Files;  to be balloted in next few weeks; working on trials, feedback welcome.
  • Allen Thrasher, LC: Lost Southeast Asia cataloger. New Asian Pacific American collector; nothing on South Asian Americans yet; uses volunteers.  Pushing to get manuscripts processed; Nepali American doing physical descriptions.  May try to learn cataloging.
  • Rich Richie, Yale, South and Southeast Asia librarian: gained 6 faculty over last 2 years; searches underway for South Asia historian and Hinduism scholar.  Hosted LC Islamabad intern last year; South Asia Council may continue sponsorship for a new intern.  Aracadia Foundation grant to digitize, catalog non-English materials. 15% cut in collection development last year; 18% this year; flat next 3 years.
  • Jim Nye, U of Chicago: Laura Ring new hire.  Samip Mallick working on Ranganathan Center.  CDO leaving; Jim on search committee, charged with re-examining organizational structure.  University president has a focus on South Asia; new Chicago Center for Advanced Studies in Delhi; proposal in process for new faculty position.  Urdu Research Library Consortium report: acquired Hyderabad collection; flooding and successful recovery; political problems resulted in closing, recent signs of resolution.  Acquired Karachi collection; unaffected by floods; preliminary identification of site for permanent building.  Pitched idea to State Dept to develop digital equivalents for libraries lost to flooding in Pakistan, e.g., using SAMP collection.
  • Liladhar Pendse, UCLA, South Asia, Slavic, Cetnral Asia, Tibetan, etc librarian: building renovation under way. $5 million grant to preserve serials, digitizing French Indian archives up to 1954.  New Central Asia program.
  • Gary Hausman, Princeton, still new on job: His current “South Asia Fund” at Princeton started, before his appointment at Princeton, as the “Urdu Fund.”  So there is now more money for South Asia collections in general (which could include, but is not limited to, Urdu). Bought Times of India from ProQuest, positive feedback from faculty and students.  They also like World News Archive.  Princeton discontinued Sanskrit language program, continuing with Hindi and Urdu.
  • Philip McEldowney, U of Virginia: didn’t get Title VI grant. Renovating large room for Asian Studies. Working on backlog materials, including censuses, serials (1975-86), maps, monographs. LC pamphlets (1970’s-1985) not cataloged?  Allen Thrasher thinks they were cataloged, maybe collection level only, recommends searching SACAP site under microfilm collections.  Bindu is doing some pamphlet cataloging.
  • Andrea Singer, Indiana: staff reorganization, new Area Studies unit. Working on ARL SPEC kit on international acquisitions.  SIRSI ILS will be unicode compliant by January. India studies program being developed, librarian will be part of core faculty. New theater complex.
  • Tim Bryson, Emory: Changing from SIRSI to Ex Libris ILS.  Library emphasis on digital librarianship.  Subject librarians being consolidated. New hire in Sufism and Urdu, Scott Kugle.  Tim the only South Asia staff member so he has to do all the selecting and vernacular cataloging.  New requests for materials in languages other than Sanskrit, Hindi, Tibetan, and Bengali, e.g., Urdu, Telugu, and Kannada are stretching his limits.
  • David Magier, Princeton, AUL: 2nd year flat budget. FY2012 est. slow growth. South Asia program small, slowly growing.  Building community relationships with other libraries: 1) Non Harvard ivy consortia for ILL coordinating collection development; 2) Columbia, NYPL, Princeton sharing storage, RECAP, almost out of space, de-duping, some new acquisitions straight to RECAP
  • Aruna Magier, BAS South Asia Editor; NYU South Asia librarian: no separate South Asia department at NYU, but several new faculty hires in South Asian studies in different disciplines; emphasis is on multi-disciplinary approaches and regional approaches. NYU library received a budget increase of the same proportion as the previous year: 7% increase. Collecting from LC Pakistan and LC Delhi, and  adding a new focus on thematic South Asian documentaries.
  • Deepa Banerjee, U Washington: big monograph cut looming. Librarians doing own fund raising. Science library merging with humanities library. New research commons.  Got Title VI funding.
  • Sarah Calhoun, U Wisconsin Madison, 2nd year MLIS student.  Worked on SALNAQ. Working on backlog.
  • Title VI list?  See Department of Education website.
  • Mary Rader, U Wisconsin Madison: Sam Wright’s position at Washington U will be posted as part time South Asia.  Annual of Urdu Studies journal editor retired; asking how much libraries willing to pay to fund new editor, e.g., $100.  Indexing project will include SALNAQ, colonial law journals, Tibetan journal.  Three new faculty hires.  Exploring library internships abroad. Cataloging outsourcing program highly successful.
  • Jeff Martin, U of Michigan: flat to small increase in budget. Hired colonial historian. Tamil language dropped. Dravidian focus fading.

New CONSALD Website (Tim Bryson)

  • Old site still the default at  Created and maintained by Philip McEldowney at U of Virginia for many years.  Recently migrated from UVA servers to commercial web hosting service,
  • New site located at . Still a draft.  New location offers the opportunity to use a content management system, i.e., one that automatically generates web pages from content entered into a form.  How content is displayed can be changed with global settings as opposed to having to hand code individual pages.  In addition, access can be regulated with great granularity, down to the level of individual posts.  Samip then Tim created draft sites using Drupal, an open source content management system.  
  • We made some initial assumptions and this is the first time we’re presenting it to the group as a whole for feedback to see how we should proceed.
  • Jim Nye: Change the banner images.  Tim: we can change the images to whatever you want.  [Eventually, we can set it up so that you can upload banner images yourselves.  For now, if you have an image for us to use (copyright free), email it to Tim ( ]
  • Should the site be geared just to CONSALD librarians or to South Asia scholars as a whole?
    • Advantages are that it would enable CONSALD librarians to share their collective expertise with each other and with the scholarly community and it would aggregate information on resources into one place. Also, having the CONSALD-L posts on the Drupal platform, for example, makes them more searchable.  
    • Disadvantages are that it would take some time to fill in all the categories with information, that it would require some active management to keep it up to date, and it may duplicate what a lot of other sites are already doing.
    • Rich Richie: CORMOSEA site was geared to scholars but it is mostly used by librarians.
    • Jim: If targeting scholars, would it not duplicate SARAI?  David Magier manages SARAI.  He hasn’t had time to work on it for a long time but has plans to return to it.  Having it on CONSALD offers the advantage of distributed management, i.e., many people could work on it.  
    • Carol Mitchell said that the new site offers LC people an opportunity to contribute.  
    • To serve the field as a whole, it would require an infrastructure, e.g., assigned responsibilities or a vetting committee, to implement.
    • Should we focus on just a few categories at first then build out?
    • Aggregated information for librarians would help people new to the field.
    • Tim: Should we focus on serving ourselves and contributing to the field only what we as librarians can contribute that is unique and original, e.g., original reviews, i.e., serve as a unique niche rather than try to cover everything?
    • Jim Nye: Rather than copy and aggregate all library guides into the site, why not set up a search portal that searches those guides only and presents the results with some standard facets?
      • We could use Google Custom Search Engine to set up a restricted search.  
      • To make the facets consistent, that might require everyone to set up their guides in the same way.
    • Could searches be saved and be made available to others?  Unknown at this point.  We can explore.
  • Should the CONSALD-l posts be public or private?
    • Some users might be sensitive about some things.  SARAI has had complaints on some of its content.  
  • Going forward
    • Tim will (has already) set robots.txt file on the server to ask search engine robots not to index the site.  This will allow CONSALD members to contribute to the site without logging in.  Later we can open up the site to the robots.  Since anyone can still see the site if they know the url or stumble on it, and spammer robots will not respect the robots.txt, Tim has kept the login restriction.
    • Tim will send login instructions to the SACAP list (plus not-yet-SACAP-members if they’ll send me their email, e.g., Xian Wu  

Review of Hindi literature at U Wisconsin Madison (Sarah Calhoun and Mary Rader)

  • Goal was to see if CONSALD member collection patterns may tend to leave out some outlying publishers.
  • Handouts [online?]
  • Wisconsin holdings converging with LC.  Mary does not have time to search catalogs.  Relies on SACAP profile.  If other CONSALD members, i.e., most major university research libraries, do the same, then a lot of material is not being collected.
  • A lot of material is being collected by the big public libraries but they are more likely to dispose of unused material than to preserve it like the academic libraries.  
  • Compared CONSALD member holdings with publisher listings at Biblia Impex (New Delhi aggregator).  Many smaller publishers not being collected.  If we don’t collect them, they may be lost.
  • Mary asked her faculty if they’d be willing to have their library collect from the marginal publishers if others collect the top publishers.  They were willing.
  • Q&A
    • Kitabaghara publishes a lot of reprints and there are some OCLC dupe records.  Response: true but not a significant impact on overall pattern.
    • Bhopal and Nagpur publishers active but not covered.  Do we need to coordinate book buying trips?
    • LC services willing to take items purchased, catalog them, bind them, and send them.
    • Jeff Martin did similar research on materials published in Oriya listed at DK (the other major India aggregator).  Lots not being collected.
    • Could CRL develop a depository program for materials no longer wanted by public libraries?
    • Set up a book exchange via CONSALD for withdrawn items?

DSAL (Gerry Hall)

TICFIA 3 (James Simon)
  • Continuing work on Souh Asia Union Catalog, Linguistic Survey of India, South Asia periodical literature (indexing)
  • Periodical indexing: Four partners in India. Goal 75K records.
  • “DSAL has partnered with the Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg in Germany to host the page images from the Hitesranjan Sanyal Memorial Archive collection of Bengali periodicals. The journals were scanned by the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC), with support from DSAL and the South Asia Microform Project (SAMP) of the Center for Research Libraries. DSAL is currently receiving index records for a portion of these journals and will link from the index records to the volume-level digital files hosted by Savifa: Virtual Library South Asia .”
  • Exploring page turner for large files.
  • Google dirty OCR may be available soon for full text searching

Jim Nye
  • DSAL usage: Over 3 million hits per month, mostly from offshore
  • South Asia Union Catalog stats not ready yet.
    • 130K new records in 5 years
    • no authority control e.g., for authors but will load that data for dirty searching
  • Digital Dictionaries. Still advancing, many in pipeline (see about page), including monolingual dictionaries. Preparing proposal for NEH, suggestions welcome.  Porting to Drupal to enable cross-searching.
  • Musical Recordings from EMI archive includes unplayed recordings from Grammophone and HMV (including Columbia).  Hundreds of thousands of recordings 1988-1980’s India.  Proposal being submitted to digitize these; funding for about 7K so far plus the catalogs. Equipment developed at Berkeley’s Lwrence Labs to digitize using lasers.  IMLS grant.  Some will have transcriptions.
  • Q&A
    • Possible to extract bib records from catalogs into SAUC?  Good idea.  Probably difficult.  Probably a separate project.
    • How select the 7K?  Funders require prioritization for speech acts over music.
    • Linguistic Survey includes a lot of musical performances.
    • Ask music librarians for suggestions.
    • EMI willing to oen up their archives esp. for non-commercial Asian recordings.
    • SAUC records from British Library retain holdings info, unlike OCLC.
    • Status of endangered Urdu collection?  Too many obstacles to make it happen.

SAMP (Judy Alspach, CRL)
  • 42 reels from Nepal of journal titles 1901-1977, 1924-1930
  • LC fiche monographs all cataloged.  Serials to be done by June 2011
  • need volunteer(s) to create proposal for microfiliming journals in Mumbai library for Dartmouth professor.

Ephemera collection Philip McEldowney
  • More info online.
  • questions
    • Who else owns copies?
    • What should we do with them, e.g., archive print copies, microfilm, digitize?
    • Bronwen offered a fond farewell to Bindu Bhatt, retiring end of this calendar year.  Jeff announced CONSALD will be sending her an Amazon gift certificate. 


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