Minutes of the Meeting -- Fall 2008
Thursday, 16 October 2008, 2:00-6:00 p.m.
37th Annual Conference on South Asia
Memorial Library #126 Madison WI
Judy Alspach (CRL), Deepa Banerjee (UWashington), Bindu Bhatt (Columbia), Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell), Tim Bryson (Emory), Fehl Cannon (LC-Delhi), Frank Conlon (BAS/AAS, H-ASIA, UWashington), David Faust (UMinn), James Gentner (LC-Washington), Michael Grossman (Harvard), Gerald Hall (DSAL), Nuzhat Khatoon (LC-Washington), Patricia Kunz (Madison guest), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Adnan Malik (UC-Berkeley), Samip Mallick (UChicago), Jeff Martin (UMichigan), Carol Mitchell (LC-Islu), Mary Rader (UWisconsin), Rich Richie (Yale), Uma Sharma (Syracuse), Andrea Singer (IndianaU), Sunita Vaze (NYPL), Sam Wright (WashingtonU)
Welcome, Agenda formation
Tim Bryson welcomed all to our annual semi-official (non-AAS) meeting, summarized the draft agenda, and called for any additions before speaking about his institution's history of South Asia studies and current library activities to introduce the round robin.
Tim has been Emory's South Asia librarian since 1999. The ten faculty focus on history, religion, Tibetan Buddhist Studies, and inter disciplinary-inter-regional areas such as Middle East and South Asian health care. Languages taught include Tibetan, Hindi, and Sanskrit, with interest in Telugu and Kannada. A hiring freeze is in effect.
Bronwen Bledsoe (Cornell) mentioned her pre-modernist background and Cornell's dispersed faculty, endowment, and interest in popular culture.
Mary Rader (Wisconsin): The growing legal studies program has six or seven people, including a new hire in intellectual property, and there is a current posting for an Associate Center Director (half administrative and half faculty position). The Libraries is documenting the extent of periodical indexing, and indexing select periodicals through pilot grants. Several of the group asked questions. See: http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/SouthAsiaIndex/
Sam Wright has a newly created position at Washington University in St. Louis, where the faculty are interested in creating a Center for South Asian Studies.
Judy Alspach will speak for CRL later in the meeting.
Samip Mallick (Chicago) is the new assistant bibliographer for South Asia, and he announced that there is a new ethnomusicologist specializing in Kerala at Chicago.
Philip McEldowney described a 10% across the board budget reduction at Virginia. They recently held a very successful Urdu Fest which included panels, a keynote, speakers from Pakistan and India, and performances of poetry and ghazals. The huge project to sort through donations from the Carmel Monastery revealed 80% duplicate volumes in Tibetan, which have found a home at Florida State University. Others were added to Virginia collections.
Frank Conlon will speak about BAS later in the meeting.
James Gentner of LC spoke in the SACAP pre-meeting.
Michael Grossman of the Middle Eastern Division at Harvard joined their library in 1999, and devotes less that half time to South Asia. With two student assistants a collection of a thousand pieces from small Islamic religious publishers in Pakistan is currently being cataloged.
David Faust is Don Johnson's successor at the University of Minnesota, and he worked with the collection there for many years - first as Don's first student assistant and later as a staff member. He reported that the Center for Asia is teaching Sanskrit for the first time.
Sunita Vaze (NYPL) described the reorganization of the language divisions which are now accessed through a central point.
Bindu Bhatt (Columbia) described new and vacant positions and a possible transformation of Area Studies into Global Studies. There is a new position in Jewish Studies and a vacant position for the Middle East. Columbia will hold a conference on Ambedkar with the Center for Human Rights.
Deepa Banerjee (Washington): The work of the South Asia Oral History continues in a third phase focusing on immigrants from the 1980s, and will culminate in a projected book (University of Washington Press 2010). Deepa will be presenting with others in the project in a Sunday panel. New faculty have been hired in cinema studies and comparative literature, and there are constant budget struggles.
Rich Richie (Yale): Rich came to Yale in 1997 and began working with South Asia in 1999. The program is looking into a new master plan, and has approved six new faculty hires.
Jeff Martin (Michigan): Michigan interests are multidisciplinary. Jeff may travel to Orissa this year. Michigan and others have joined in a digital archive named the HathiTrust: http://www.hathitrust.org/
Andrea Singer (Indiana): More support for acquisitions for undergraduate needs has come from a 2/3 World initiative. Through other funding we are current with the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center materials, and fonts are being added to public work stations. The program teaches Hindi, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Urdu, and Bengali.
Nuzhat Khatoon (LC-Washington) Retirements have brought change in the cataloging department and digitization projects are being considered. Florence Tan Moeson fellowships continue, and the library has purchased Adam Matthew collections.
Uma Sharma (Syracuse) describes many changes and challenges including interdisciplinary needs of 20-30 faculty members and student needs for film and online resources in English. Cooperation continues with Cornell's South Asia Center.
Adnan Malik (UC Berkeley) describes large and diverse programs, and special collections including family records and other materials related to South Asian immigrants in the diaspora. He complimented Michigan for Urdu vernacular cataloging.
Patricia Kunz (guest) is a reader for short term Fulbright scholar applications, and encouraged applications: http://www.cies.org/
Carol Mitchell and Fehl Cannon reported in the pre-meeting.
CONSALD Structure and History
Tim called for an informal review of the minutes of the CONSALD meeting at AAS 2008 (no corrections or additions), and reminded people that Liladhar Pendse (UCLA) will begin chairing CONSALD at the AAS meeting in March. Acting Chair Tim and Secretary-Treasurer Andrea Singer will rotate off the Executive Committee after that meeting.
Tim reviewed the birth of CONSALD in 1988 as the Committee on South Asia Libraries and Documentation under the auspices of the Association for Asian Studies. He described some of the early brochures and publications of the organization including the South Asia Librarian and Research Notes, the successor to the South Asia Microform Newsletter. Some issues of South Asia Library Notes and Queries , which included articles written by scholars about their use of materials, are available on the CONSALD web site. As the new web site is developed the group agreed that a focus on history and publications is appropriate, and Tim and others will look for complete runs of CONSALD publications.
Tim led the group in a discussion of the role of CONSALD publications: Would resource reviews add to faculty involvement? Frank Conlon mentioned that in the late 60s and early 70s the librarian group preferred meeting without faculty. Presently the timing of meetings prior to the beginning of conferences makes faculty involvement unlikely at meetings.
Informational Note: For further discussion the CONSALD list-serv address is: Consaldemail@example.com
CONSALD Web site:
Philip McEldowney introduced the draft web site above, which uses a Libguides format, and the group liked the organization. Philip intends to ask CORMOSEA about their use of a web-hosting service since issues about long-term hosting at the University of Virginia as server transfers are made are an issue. Philip mentioned the advantages of access by others in addition to himself if CONSALD became more in control of the web site.
Bibliography of Asian Studies (BAS)
Frank Conlon (firstname.lastname@example.org), BAS Managing Editor, described the increasing amount of South Asian material coming out in general or comparative journals from a wide range of sources. Meanwhile there is no economic reason for increasing staff, which creates 10,000 records every four months. A new upgrade will come in November, and a "find it in your library " button which works with WorldCAT records has been added.
Ideas for increasing access through an aggregator deal have been discussed, but BAS is just breaking even. More favorable terms for Asian users have also been discussed. (Individual members can subscribe for $75.00 yearly.)
Digital South Asia Library
For the Digital South Asia Library Jerry Hall reported that the immense Linguistic Survey of India DSAL project is in process.
The South Asia Union Catalog (SAUC) has improved its search technology, and work with Mark Foster of the University of Wisconsin is permitting parallel searchability of fields of Roman and Indic scripts. Telugu will be followed by Tamil. One can highlight a script and toss it back to a simple search to extend searching.
Dictionary contracts have been filled and experiments are proceeding with GOOGLE Indic transliteration.
Jerry asked for feedback on a new TICFIA proposal which includes developing shape files for historical maps of India for specific dates, digitizing recordings from border areas, digitizing popular visual items such as postcards, and revamping the reorganization of the site to make it interoperable with other projects and develop standards of inter-operability.
Cooperative Collections (several projects)
Carol Mitchell reported that LC field offices have been giving second preservation copies to appropriate libraries: IGO material to CRL for example, and agricultural material to the National Agricultural Library. They would be glad to extend this. (Bindu Bhatt accepted art catalogs for Columbia during the meeting.) Carol would like to hear from people who might occasionally accept music or materials for sub regional geographic areas which LC does not collect.
Mary Rader and Bronwen Bledsoe reported on Wisconsin's concentration in South Asian theater, and Cornell's in Himalayan Studies including Newari and Nepali materials. Others in the group described areas of interest including cookery, grey literature, pilgrimage and puja collections from the bazaar.
Both CORMOSEA and Latin American Research Resources Project (LARRP) have documented work on distributing resources among institutions which we might learn about.
Mary referred us to the following web site which includes background documents and information on initial collecting activities: http://www.library.wisc.edu/guides/SoAsia/cooperation.htm
She suggested contacting Bronwen, Bindu, or herself for further information.
Center for Research Libraries (CRL) update
In a transition from the earlier discussion on cooperation, Judy Alspach showed the web page for the LARRP Distributed Resources Report: http://www.crl.edu/grn/larrp/dr_dec07.pdf
Judy mentioned that James Simon is currently in Washington and will be in New York for the CRL conference on news preservation next week. CRL will also present on the same topic at a pre-conference to the Charleston conference on November 5th. The World News Archive will make online historic international newspapers digitized from a variety of sources available through NewsBank. The project will begin with 19th-early 20th century Latin American newspapers.
CRL received a MacArthur foundation grant to pilot cellphone human rights video preservation on the ground from India, Nigeria, and Mexico.
Shared purchases last year included the Times of Ceylon, which was then supplemented by the South Asia Microform Project backward from 1907.
AT CRL more than 1 million pages have been digitized and all international dissertations are being cataloged.
Non-roman scripts update
Adnan Malik is the South Asia representative on a Task Force on Non-Roman scripts. He welcomes opinions on priority levels since Perso-Arabic is taken care of and Devanagri, Tamil, and Bengali are already high on the list. Gujarati, Telugu, and Tibetan were suggestions.
AAMES (African, Asian, and Middle Eastern Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries)
CONSALD member Rajwant Chilana (U of Illinois) is now chair, and Deepa Banerjee (U Washington) is newsletter editor. Deepa welcomes news notes and articles as well as other contributions as well as increased attendance at conferences.
The meeting was adjourned at 6:00 p.m.
Minutes submitted by AS 10/20/08