Duke University Library has built up one of the best collections of South Asian material in English and selected vernacular languages -- i.e., Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, and Urdu -- in the Southeast. Coverage of English-language material is comprehensive in all subjects, especially anthropology, religious studies, history, political science, and literature. Material in the vernacular languages is mostly literature and linguistics. All material is integrated with the general library collection and is accessed through the online catalog. The majority of items are housed at Perkins Library; however, specialized titles are sent to the appropriate branch library.
The library has a substantial collection of central and state government documents of India from the colonial period to date. The David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library has several thousand historical papers, personal diaries, and correspondence concerning South Asia in its collection as part of British manuscripts. These diverse papers concern political, economic, social, diplomatic, ecclesiastical, military, and naval affairs. Also available through the The Special Collections Library is the South Asia Pamphlet Collection comprising about 7,000 items. Arranged by broad subject categories, the pamphlets cover a variety of subjects such as political parties, government propaganda on birth control, economic policy, biographies, agriculture, industry, tourism, religion and philosophy.
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