South Asian and Indian History

Changes to Library services during the COVID-19 lockdown.


Your assignments at university are an invitation to join a scholarly conversation by exploring topics in depth, formulating a unique research question, examining the research of others along with primary sources, building an argument, and drawing your own conclusions.  A good research topic is one that sparks your interest and allows you to ask new questions in order to find meaningful answers. This guide is intended to help you get started.

Pick a research topic

  • Read your assignment instructions carefully
  • Pick a research topic that interests you and meets the assignment criteria
  • Identify the key concepts of your research topic
  • Do some background reading on your topic using Wikipedia

Use guides, dictionaries, and encyclopedias to find authoritative definitions, critical perspectives of major historians and useful bibliographies.

Search Omni, the library's main search box to easily find peer-reviewed journal articles on any topic.  Remember to refine your search by selecting the following options: Peer-Reviewed Journals, Articles and Subject (optional) to obtain high quality, academic literature.

You can also search databases by subject to find journal articles. They offer many advanced search features and search results tend to be more precise.

Key Databases for Journal Articles: 

Additional Databases: 

Dissertations and Theses

Begin with the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources overview.

Searching for primary sources:

Search your topic (or historical person of interest) using Omni, the library's main search box to find primary sources (or reproductions) in our collection. Keyword searches that include the following terms will identify primary materials most of the time.

  • Diar* (for diary or diaries)
  • Correspondence
  • Letters
  • Memoir
  • Personal narrative
  • Recollections
  • Reminiscences
  • Journal
  • Sources

 Other search tips:

Historical Newspaper Databases

Primary Sources on the web

Other libraries with significant primary source collections:

Government Information

Maps and GIS

Atlases, maps and GIS data available.


Searchable database of illustrations, maps, photography

The material in the CIViC Archive is comprised of digital images and mutimedia (audio-video) recordings.

An initiative of Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP) to make available old and rare images. 7000 images in the first phase, divided into Old and rare images, and Historic ephemera.

Essays and pictures describe life and culture in the Indus Valley (India and Pakistan) during ancient times.  This site includes photograph collections of many archeologically significant sites.

Contains some videos as well.

Searchable collection from the Center for Art and Archaeology in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, has over 125,000 photographs in the collection. The images fall into the broad categories of architecture, sculpture, terracotta, painting and numismatics.

Audio and Voice Recordings


Content last updated: June 2, 2020