The South Asia Gopher (long message)

David Magier magier at
Wed Mar 9 21:38:40 UTC 1994

(This is an expanded overview of the SAG which I am posting to a number
of groups. My apologies if you receive this message twice. David

I am writing to inform you about you about The South Asia Gopher, and
to solicit an entry from you for the International Directory of South
Asia Scholars (an interactive searchable database accessible via the
SAG). Here are three short files:

I) A brief description of the SAG, including instructions for
connecting to it and using it from the internet.

II) A document describing the Directory. Your free-text entry can just
be emailed to me (magier at

III) A sample Directory entry

Please let me know what you think of the SAG and the Directory, and any
questions you may have.  Thanks.  David Magier

    ____________________________      304 International Affairs
  ///    -- David Magier --    \\\    Columbia University
 |||   Director, AREA STUDIES   |||   New York, N.Y. 10027-7296
 |||  S&SE Asia, Latin America, |||   212-854-8046 / FAX: 212-854-2495
  \\\ Mid-East, Slavic, Africa ///
    ---------------------------       magier at
I) About The South Asia Gopher

The South Asia Gopher (SAG), a collection of network-accessible
information resources from all over the world relating to South Asia,
is now available to the public over the Internet (via Gopher or direct
telnet connection to the host at Columbia University).  Although it is
stil 'in process' and contains many gaps, and I am still constantly
adding to it and refining it, I thought it would be good to make
available what I've assembled so far. As the compiler and editor of
this service, I will try to post detailed information updates on its
development. Meanwhile, a brief decription to let you know what it

The major categories of information in SAG are as follows:

a) Bibliographic resources

   1. A listing of the world's top library collections on South Asia,
along with direct links to their online catalogs, as well as brief
text files describing the particular strengths of those collections.

  2. A link to the South & Southeast Asia Video Archive at University
of Wisconsin (Madison), which provides access to their online catalog
of videos.

b) A sprinkling of links to online resources in Germany, Australia,
India, and the UK

c) Listings of (and some links to) South Asia-related newsgroups,
listservs, mailing lists, bulletin boards, etc.

d) Listings of (and some links to) electronic text archives for South
Asia materials (e.g. Sanskrit texts online), as well as software for
displaying and printing South Asian languages and fonts.

e) South Asia Teaching Resources
   1) Another link to the S.Asia Video Archive
   2) The Inventory of Language Materials (ILM), produced by Professor
Frances Pritchett of Columbia, and mounted locally here.

f) The International Directory of South Asia Scholars, a
fully-searchable keyword-indexed database of scholars, librarians,
and other South Asianists, and their teaching/research interests.

g) The Directory of South Asia Resrearch Institutes.

h) Specialized information archives, databases, and datafiles (e.g.
census data, health, environment, etc.).

Other new resources (created locally or by groups of South Asianists)
which I plan or hope to mount and 'publish' via this gopher include: a
Union List of S. Asia Newspapers on Microfilm (under construction by
Irene Joshi of Washington and others), a listing of current journals
and serials acquired through the Library of Congress Field Office in
New Delhi, the Chronology of Urdu Literature, a comprehensive listing
of grant and fellowship opportunities for South Asian Studies, and any
other text files, databases, bibliographies, or other resources which
the community of South Asianists would like to me put into this
central repository for world-wide easy access.

As you can tell from my brief descriptions above, this effort is still
in its infancy, and Columbia University has made a commitment to
maintain it and keep it evolving and improving. This will depend to a
large extent on your cooperation. While I myself am an experienced
internet 'navigator', I can't claim to have located all the
appropriate resources that should be listed (and linked) in the SAG.
Also, the universe of such resources mounted locally at institutions
all over the world changes from day to day. So I would be very
grateful if all of you would contribute to this effort by pointing out
to me any resources I may have overlooked, any changes in the
resources already listed or any problems in using them, or any
suggestions for improving the form or content of the SAG to improve
its value to the community. Please do send me your comments, submit an
entry to the Directory, and help me construct this service to maximize
its usefulness to yourself and your colleagues.


As promised, Columbia University's South Asia Gopher (SAG) is now up
and running and publicly accessible. As you will see when you use it,
it is still under development, with quite a few slots being held open
for resources that either haven't been fully implemented yet, or which
are still being created. In some cases (e.g. the online catalog of the
Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine), the resource is
linked into the SAG, but the internet connection to the the service
provider is not working properly yet. In other cases (e.g. many of the
'About the South Asia Collection' description files for the various
bibliographic resources) the files have not been written yet. As I
have mentioned before, I would be most grateful for any feedback from
you if you use this service. In particular, I would welcome pointers
to information I may have overlooked, things I have improperly cited,
or suggestions for improving the 'user interface' (i.e. the
arrangement of the menus). Also, I am very eager to expand the
coverage of the Directory of South Asia Scholars (under the South
Asianists menu), and so I would appreciate it if you would submit an
entry for yourself, and pass this message along to other South
Asianists so that they may use the service and submit entries for

To connect to The South Asia Gopher:

a) If you have a gopher client software, use the following pointer

Name=The South Asia Gopher


b) simply gopher to: 71

and then navigate down through the menus as follows:

CLIO Plus/Scholarly Electronic Resources By Subject/South Asia


c) If you do not use gopher client software, please
telnet to:

Once connected to Columbianet, please select the menu item marked
"CLIO Plus". Within that menu, you will find the item on the list
labelled "Scholarly Electronic Resources by Subject". Select that one,
and within it, you will find The South Asia Gopher.


II) About the International Directory of South Asia Scholars

The International Directory of South Asia Scholars is a free,
publically available online database of South Asianists from around
the world. This service is being provided by Columbia University
through The South Asia Gopher, and is compiled and maintained by Dr.
David Magier. You will find the Directory under the menu of "South
Asianists" in the SAG.

The database contains records of individuals who have identified
themselves as being involved in South Asian studies. Each record,
submitted by the person listed, contains the name, title, affiliation,
contact information (generally mail address, phones, FAX, and full
email address), and a short statement of the person's activities,
teaching and/or research interests, specializations, etc.  in the area
of South Asian Studies. The entries are free-form text, and one may
include any information in any format that seems useful and
informative. The database is indexed so that anyone can do a search to
locate the record for a particular individual, or one can do a keyword
search to find, for example, a list of all the South Asianists located
in a given country or city, or all the scholars who are working on a
given language or subject or region, etc. For example, a keyword
search using the term "Prakrit" will retrieve a listing of all the
scholars whose entries contain this word.

It is very easy to have your entry included in this database, so that
your colleagues from around the world will know who you are and what
you are working on and interested in. Experience shows that this type
of tool is very helpful in developing new human networks and
cooperative research and teaching ventures, getting answers to
particular factual queries, and fostering the 'cross-fertilization' of
ideas. We would like to invite you to submit an entry so that our
database will be as comprehensive and useful as possible.

To submit an entry for yourself (or for someone else), please send
full contact information and description of your work (as in the
sample) by email to magier at or by mail/FAX to:

David Magier
South Asia Librarian
304 International Affairs
Columbia University
420 West 118th Street
New York, N.Y. 10027
212-854-8046 / FAX: 212-854-2495

Your description of your work and research or teaching interests
should contain as much information as possible to allow people to
identify you and your work, and to 'find' you through typical keyword
searches (languages, countries or regions, fields and sub-disciplines,
ethnic or political groups, etc.). Please feel free to contact Dr.
Magier if you have questions about the Directory or need advice on the
best way to construct your entry.

III)  SAMPLE ENTRY for the Directory 

Prof. Willem van Schendel,
Department of History,
Erasmus University Rotterdam,
P.O. Box 1738,
3000 DR Rotterdam,
The Netherlands.

email: vanschendel at
fax: 31 20 6756437
phone: 31 10 4082515;   31 10 4082486;   31 20 6719820.

Regional interests:

Bengal (Bangladesh, West Bengal)
Northeast India,
Tamil Nadu,

Themes of recent/current research:

rural social structure,
peasant revolt,
sericulture, silk industry,
smuggling, border studies.


comparative history,

also involved in:

International Centre for Bengal Studies (ICBS), which publishes
translations of work by social scientists from Bengali into English, and
from various languages into Bengali. ICBS, started in 1991, has branches
in Dhaka, Calcutta, Delhi, the Netherlands, the UK, the US/Canada, Japan,
Singapore and Australia/New Zealand. A list of publications can be sent on


Philip F. McEldowney
South Asia and Middle East Specialist, Collection Development and
   Bibliography, University of Virginia
         CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22903-2498

PHONE: (work) 804-924-4987.  [home 804-979-6112]
FAX: 804-924-4337
E-MAIL: <pm9k at>, or alias <philipmc at>

Home address: 501 DRUID AVE
              CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA 22902-6041


Modern Indian history, British colonial policy, imperialism; History
of the Central Provinces, Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur, Nagpur,
Hoshangabad, Balaghat; Chattisgarh or Chhattisgarh Satnami movement,
tribal Baiga and Gond groups; forest managment, agriculture
technology, land revenue, landlord class, tenant conditions,
agricultural laborer or labourer situations, moneylender or banking
and Marwari families, Pindari or Pindhari history; peasant groups,
movements, and agrarian activities.


Library Science and Bibliography classes through the University of
North Carolina at Greensboro; modern Indian, British, and Chinese
history at the University of Virginia; New York State University at
Oneonta in Area Studies of modern India and Africa; Comparative
Tropical History at the Univeristy of Wisconsin; Languages of Hindi
and Urdu.  Listserves or listservs of CONSALD and ASEH or American
Society of Environmental History.


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