Minutes of the Meeting Spring 2006
Annual Meeting of the Assocaiton of Asian Studies
Thursday April 6th 2006 1-5 pm
Doe Library, University of California
1. Attendees: Bronwen Bledsoe (Chicago), Tim Bryson (Emory), Merry Burlingham (UT-Austin), Fehl Cannon (LC), Saima Fazli (UC Berkeley), Sundar Ganesan (RMRL/Cennai, India), James Gentner (LC), Amar Gurung (MPP/Nepal), Gerald Hall (DSAL/CRL), Kenneth Harvey (ProQuest), Mel Hatcher (Genealogical Society of Utah), Nuzhat Khatoon (LC), Catherine Lee (UCLA), Qunying Li (Arizona State), David Magier (Columbia), Avinash Maheshwary (Duke), Adnan Malik (UC Berkeley), Philip McEldowney (Virginia), Laila Mulgaokar (LC), James Nye (Chicago), Mary Rader (Wisconsin), James Simon (CRL), Gurnek Singh (Syracuse), Allen Thrasher (LC)
2. Announcement: Bronwen announced Usha Bhaskar's retirement from the New York Public Library. David Magier recommended that CONSALD communicate with NYPL to stress the importance of their collection and Usha's job.
3. Minutes from the Previous Meeting: Minutes from the previous meeting (October 6th 2005, Madison) were read in silence and then approved.
4. Treasurer's Report: Adnan Malik gave the treasurer's report. Currently, CONSALD has $707.90 in its account.
5. Project Updates and New Initiatives:
Cataloging of Rare Buddhist Sanskrit Manuscripts: Ken Harvey of ProQuest announced the completion of the project cataloging rare Buddhist Sanskrit manuscripts. He acknowledged Bronwen Bledsoe's help in the project. The cataloging follows on consultation with CONSALD last spring. He will give a hard copy to Bronwen, which she will share with others on request. He will also provide information about the person who did the cataloging.
Journal Indexing Project: Mary Rader gave an update on the South Asia Journal Indexing project. She explained how journals were added to the project based on a two-pronged approach. Firstly, search current indexes and find South Asia content. If India is listed for three articles, the index is included. Secondly, search for journals that exist but are not indexed. For this all the sources provided by LC Islamabad and Delhi in all languages are included. The net result is that about sixty indexes are included in the project. David Magier suggested that this approach might miss publications from outside the US and South Asia, like Australia. Mary said that problem will be tackled by going through standard lists, like Garaham Shaw's list of periodicals, later. The site for the project is alive, and Mary requested those present to use it and inform her of errors and problems. David agreed to add the site to SARAI. Mary also announced that she was working on a grant proposal to get funding for the project, specifically for what should be indexed and has not been. Bronwen Bledsoe, Amar Gurung, Sundar Ganesan, and Adnan Malik will also participate in the project.
Roja Muthiah Research Library, Cennai, India: Sundar Ganesan gave a brief introduction to the RMRL. Among the prominent activities of the institution, he mentioned the indexing of Tamil journals; preservation of material, including runs of the Madras Christian College Magazine, Madras Musings and other rare imprints; collecting posters; cataloging in cooperation with other institutions, like Oxford and Cambridge Universities; and Microfilm duplication and digitization.
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, Lalitpur, Nepal: Amar Gurung of the MPP gave a presentation on MPP. Named after a famous literary prize, the MPP houses a Nepali only collection of 22,000 monographs, 4,100 periodicals and 600 rolls of microfilm. MPP is a repository for manuscripts, tapes, photographs, and contemporary materials, like posters, etc. It is starting a new project concerned with the modern political history of Nepal. Future plans for the institution include expanding to other languages and to foreign publications.
CRL Updates: James Simon reported on the transition of GRN from ARL, Association of Research Libraries, to CRL as its new home. This is the initiative to work on solutions to help provide access to foreign language resources. DSAL was one such seed project. They tend to focus on technological problems but not exclusively. The aim is to foster collaborative projects addressing questions like, how we collect, what we collect and how we serve. They also are interested in figuring out new ways to work with partners, e.g., a digital library for international research.
DSAL Update: Jerry Hall invited people to see what is new on DSAL's web site as a new operating system has led to new changes. New additions include 2 new collections of photographs from WW II, namely, the Bond and the Keagle Collections. There are also 2 new resources of picture books of Indian natives selected from the Oudh Punch, along with 8,000 more distinct images. Two more dictionaries have been added. These include a Marathi-English, and a Bengali-Bengali dictionary, the latter being the first mono-lingual dictionary in the collection. DSAL's web page now carries a link to the SA Union catalog, and will soon also carry one for RMRL's Tamil collection. Schwartzberg's historical atlases, which are some of the most complicated digital documents, will also go up soon. Samples of the zoomification of the images of maps are already in place.
James Simon talked about TICFIA, the Technological Innovation and Cooperation Foreign Grant. March 31st was the end of phase II, and now the 3rd phase has begun. He talked about the complications of the grant's funding. Phase III covers North Central SA, including Nepal. James also reported on the good progress of the sound archive of the Linguistic Survey of India. Another aspect of the TICFIA project will be the selection and preservation of journal articles and their indexing. The last component will be document delivery from SA to Title VI and CONSALD members, focusing on material not available in the US, like journal articles. The last phase of the grant is supposed to continue into 2009. Many wondered who is considered a CONSALD member to benefit from this. Some suggested the CONSALD listserve, which currently has about 80 subscribers, might offer a starting point to deal with this question.
South Asia Union Catalog: James Nye reported that phase II, covering Bengal, Burma and Orissa, had just been funded. Abhijit Bhattacharya of Calcutta Social Science Institute will be in charge of phase II. Training for the project was already taking place, thanks to LC Delhi. There are likely prospects OCLC will approve credits for records added at about $4.40 per record. They are not just interested in full level, but also K level minimal records. The Union Catalog will have its own symbol. The British library has also agreed in principle to distribute all of its unique items through the Union Catalog. These would include the old BL catalogs that are not included in OCLC. These records will be loaded into OCLC via the Union Catalog and the revenue will be share between BL and the Union Catalog.
Mushfiq Khwaja Collection: Jim Nye reported that three weeks ago, Anwar Muazzam, who introduced the MKC to Jim, signed an agreement to purchase the collection in collaboration with AIPS. The latter will also take care of admin and maintenance. Invoices will be going out to those who wanted to participate. After purchase, the collection will remain in Karachi, where, thanks to Mark Kenoyer of AIPS, the government of Pakistan will donate land and help construct a new building not only for this collection but also others. Four people have already contacted for their collections. Mansur Ahmad, Jamil Jalibi, etc., will be on an advisory panel for the collection.
6. Results of E-election: Merry Burlingham and Philip McEldowney became new members of the executive committee. Thanks to David Magier and Rajwant Chilana who stepped down.
7. Proposal to Streamline and Revise Constitution:
Mary Rader put forward the suggestion, originally proposed by Don Johnson, that articles IV and V of the constitution be amended. The amendments should aim at firstly, reducing the size of the executive committee by eliminating ex-officio members, and, secondly, increase the term of office for office holders from two to three years. Merry suggested it would only be fair if the vote be carried out via email, as everyone concerned was not present. David Magier suggested that communication with SAC also needs to be cleaned up. Avinash Maheshwari proposed that office holders only be allowed to serve for two terms in a row. This proposal was carried, but will also be included in the e-vote. Jim Nye questioned the rationale of excluding ex-officio members because it would compromise questions of continuity. On being asked by Tim Bryson to clarify if by continuity he meant programming activities, Jim Nye said he had a broader understanding in mind, including the power of CONSALD to represent the group in important decisions, like PL480. It was decided, at the suggestion of Allen Thrasher, that the new executive committee will put together a summary of this discussion and present it to the entire CONSALD membership when they are asked to vote on the changes to the constitution. It was decided that the proposed changes will be treated as separate issues, hence votes will be solicited on: 1. reducing the number of members of the executive committee, 2. abolishing the membership of ex-officio members 3. Increasing the time served in office from 2 to 3 years.
David Magier suggested that perhaps the traditional meeting time for CONSALD meetings had to be changed in order to allow more members to attend. He recommended holding the meetings on Wednesdays. However, there was little enthusiasm for it because, as Avinash put it, this would put further strain on travel budgets and discourage people from coming altogether. David proposed to send out this question of moving the meetings to Wednesdays to the entire membership. It was carried as proposed.
8. Library of Congress Update:
James Gentner: Lygia Ballantine retired. This was one among many retirements in the Asia division. Carol Mitchell is the current acting field director in Cairo and Islamabad and James Gentner is the acting chief. James will go back to Cairo in June. The LC team responsible for US copyright will also deal with foreign copyright issues.
There is more pressure to get shelf-ready catalog records. Provision of Voyager facilities will make that possible and allow for more material with full cataloging and spine labels etc.
Islamabad field director position was posted earlier and will close soon. The chief position in Rio is also open.
Laila Mulgaokar: Laila has taken on some of Carol's duties, as have Atish, Ramsaran, Sunita and others. Her position will not get filled soon. The Tamil backlog is building up because the Tamil cataloger had a stroke. There is no Tamil expertise right now. The position will only be filled if the cataloger retires. Sanjeev Mukherjee cannot come back and will retire on disability. Washington DC has taken on the responsibility to do Burmese cataloging. The Thai cataloger has left LC, and Will Tucello will take that on. The Thai position will not be filled in Delhi. The situation in Sri Lanka will come to a head soon. The program will have to be redone from bottom up. Atish will go there shortly for an acquisition trip. Details will become clear in the next couple of months. He has started with lists of serials with the largest number of participants, and will go for back issues. Sub offices other than Sri Lanka are on track. The new Nepal person is in training but conditions there are bad. Burma is fine. All are moving to new embassy compounds. LC Delhi will move in June 2007.
Mr. Rakesh Sharma has not been heard from since. Not heard from Mr. Patwardhan either. LC Delhi will look at the fine print on DVDs more closely in order to avoid future copyright wrangles. LC Delhi will not pay US price for any DVD etc., whether in dollars or Indian equivalent. Generally, LC is able to convince vendors to provide material at Indian prices. It is important to note that India does not recognize public domain and that government publications are not public domain.
The National Agricultural Library has dropped out of all LC acquisition programs. LC Delhi will identify serial titles only being purchased for NAL and will see how many are on technical agriculture. Those on general agriculture will be acquired for LC.
Laila will talk to LC counsel in DC about dual imprints and get back to CONSALD. LC Delhi will continue to provide lists of titles they will not supply. CDs of serial titles will be mailed soon. Many send serials claims to DC instead of Delhi. This causes huge delays. Serials claims should be sent to Delhi directly. Please copy Laila on emails. The list of 2001 Census of India titles along with their prices will me emailed soon. It will be hard for LC Delhi to separate English and non-English titles for shipping as David Magier had requested.
In response to Merry's question about whether it was possible to upload the electronic copy of acquisition data to local datafiles James Gentner clarified that these records will be created under CAPS, the Corporate Acquisition Program System, which is a joint effort among LC Delhi, Cairo and Jakarta. These will be MARC21 records that could be loaded to local OPACs.
9. Round Robin:
Tim Bryson, Emory University: Emory acquired two new professors from UW Madison who are interested in Tibetan material. Hence, Emory needs more Tibetan books.
Mel Thatcher, genealogical Soiety of Utah: Mel reported on a pilot project in Moga, Indian Panjab (?), to film village records along with pedigree records. These will go down to the 1960s. The resultant dataset will have information on pedigree and other related documents.
Catherine Lee, UCLA: UCLA will have a new South Asia librarian. His name is Liladhar Pendse, and he will be the South Asia and Slavic librarian.
University of Washington: Merry announced that the University of Washington will soon have a new South Asia librarian. Her name is Deepa Bannerjee.
Merry Burlingham, University Of Texas, Austin: Shanti Kumar is leaving Madison to join the Radio and TV Program at UT Austin. The South Asia environment position will also soon be filled.
Philip McEldowney, University Of Virginia: After three years have moved from the 5th to the 2nd floor. UV received five truck loads of donations from the Library of the Study of Religion, New York. Quite a few of the titles are on music. A number of digital images of Tibet have been cataloged. Many of them have print copies as well. Philip visited Australia and New Zealand in February.
Saima Fazli: Saima is currently working at UC, Berkeley, but is looking for a job elsewhere. She has a degree in MLS.
Gurnek Singh, Syracuse University: Nothing new to report. After three years, they have a new university librarian. They need to send more material to off-site storage as they have run out of space. Gurnek visited India last year.
Avinash Maheshwary, Duke University: All four universities are still part of the TRLL program. Only NC Central will be an associate partner. NC State has moved more towards technical subjects in agriculture and textiles etc. So, Duke and UNC have cut back in those areas. Duke library has moved into a new building. There a new two new vacancies for a Latin American and a Slavic librarian. Recently completed a bar coding project that involved 500,000 books. Most have been sent to the new state-of-the-art off-site storage facility. A new Institute of Islamic Studies has been formed on campus.
Qunying Li, Arizona State University: The library allotted $5000 for the first time for acquisition for South Asia studies. Hopefully, they will give more next year.
Allen Thrasher and Nuzhat Khatoon, Library Of Congress: The threat of the Area Studies Reading Room being appropriated for exhibition space has been averted. It is also unlikely that the four reading rooms will be amalgamated. The acquisitions budget for Asia is good, but might face another cut next year. There is now a permanent head for the reference services of the Asia Division. There are vacant posts in the Chinese and SEA sections. The Reading Room also is understaffed.
The big British Intelligence files will become available soon. Catching up on continental prints. There is a lot of translation into French. Sending as much as can to off-site storage and retaining only microfilms and reference materials. Visitors beware, make requests before coming.
LC acquired two new collections of Burmese documents. These include the archives captured by General Stillwell and the interrogation records of communist insurgents after the War in Burma. Both have lots of stuff on Indians in Burma. IDC will film them both.
Work is continuing on cataloging Bengali manuscripts, and Rukhsana will start work on Urdu manuscripts. Catching up on fiche and newspapers on microfilm.
The Friend's Society of the Asia Division is active and has got a $300,000 donation which will go towards acquisition and cataloging. Want to make big push on US South Asia publications via copyright law. Will try to acquire diaspora publications at book fair in Frankfurt.
Adnan Malik, University of California, Berkeley: Adnan is the new South Asia librarian at UCB.
Bronwen Bledsoe, Cornell University: Bronwen is the new South Asia Curator at Cornell.
James Nye, University of Chicago: Gerry Hall has taken over some of Bronwen's responsibilities. Eventually, Catherine Adcock will replace Bronwen.
A new extension is being built for the Regenstein Library. Helmut Jahn will be its architect, and it is expected to open in four years.
Dr R.C. Dhere's (?) Marathi collection will be purchased in Pune and will stay there. Jim will work on the collection with the help of AIIS. Others are welcome to join.
James Simon, CRL: The cataloging of foreign doctoral dissertations continues. Lost their South Asia catalogers and do not have much SA staff, mostly part time workers.
David Magier, Columbia University: These are boom times for Area Studies and South Asia at Columbia with new faculty hires. Partha Chatterjee is the director of Center for Mid East and Asia. Sheldon Pollock is there. There is money for hiring Area Studies faculty in all departments. South Asia has increased budget to spend on serials, books etc.
There has been a vast and rapid growth in off-site storage. Facilities shared by Columbia, Princeton and NYPL. They are working on #5 and planning #6 and will start sending stuff off-site on receipt, making it the default location.
Just received donation of Howard Riggins' (?) ambassadorial documents and the musicology collection of Harold Powers.
A new program for digitization has been started where each division, including Area Studies, will have individual selectors select digitization targets. They are limited by copyright. South Asia will get to do significant digitization.
Mary Rader, University of Wisconsin, Madison: A number of faculty got stolen. There is a lot of construction, including new storage facility. Retirements will cause delays in cataloging.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 6 pm.
[Minutes taken and submitted by Adnan Malik. ]