transition: David Magier

David Magier magier at COLUMBIA.EDU
Mon Mar 10 10:36:48 UTC 2008

Dear INDOLOGY colleagues,

(please forgive any duplication, as I have sent the same note to
colleagues through several other South Asia related mailing lists)

I think it is high time I updated you on what is happening with me.
Following a teaching career in South Asian linguistics, and after 21 years
as the South/Southeast Asia Librarian (and Director of Area Studies and
lately Director of the Center for Human Rights Documentation) at Columbia,
I am leaving the University. My years as a scholar of South Asia, and my
time at Columbia, while occasionally frustrating, has been an era of
tremendous professional gratification and personal growth for me, and I
have really treasured working with many of you and participating in such a
rewarding intellectual community. And the opportunity to support that
community through my South Asia library work (at Columbia, through SARAI,
and also internationally through the Digital South Asia Library and my role
as President of the Center for South Asia Libraries) has also been
especially exciting.

So the decision to leave my career here has been a very difficult and even
painful one to make. I will really miss my work at Columbia (but not my
little underground cubicle!) and all the great connections and
opportunities it has provided for me, not least with INDOLOGY colleagues.
But the "pull factors" of my new job -- Associate University Librarian for
Collection Development at Princeton -- are very substantial professionally
and personally, and I am really thrilled that Princeton has selected me for
this important job, where I will bear overall responsibility and the
leadership role for the entire collection development agenda of the
university. Ultimately, this is the right decision at the right time for me.

I will be starting at the new job in April. Aruna (who will continue her
Telugu teaching at Columbia and her South Asia editorship of the
Bibliography of Asian Studies) and I may be moving from New York down to
Princeton later this spring or summer. It remains to be seen just how much
of a role I will be able to retain in things related to the University
Seminar on South Asia (which I have chaired for over 10 years), my library
activities in CONSALD, SAMP, CSAL, DSAL, SARAI, South Asia Council of the
AAS, and other South Asia related passions of mine. Partly this is because
Princeton, while it has spectacular research library collections, has not
had programmatic strength in South Asia. And partly it is because my new
position is not area specific and not even "area studies" in its focus. But
I have a feeling Aruna and I will be able to reach out to the small
community of South Asianists at Princeton, and start to pull together a
core of interest that might warrant some university attention (and mine) to
South Asia. We'll see. In any case, I am hopeful that I'll continue to have
opportunities to collaborate in some capacity with you all, and to interact
with you as colleagues and dear friends. I look forward to seeing you all
(in person and online) at the AAS meetings in Atlanta, South Asia
conferences in Madison, and everywhere else where South Asianists
congregate. So while I will have a different hat on, and will be a little
less in evidence, working physically (and conceptually) a little father
away, this is not a farewell. In fact, I hope you will "drop in" and help
us build up South Asia at Princeton!

Thanks for decades of great experiences!
All the best and do keep in touch!

(email after April 7th: dmagier at princeton dot edu)

P.S. Regarding SARAI
<>; the International
Directory of South Asia Scholars
<>; DSAL
<>; the Digital Library for International Research
<>, and the other online endeavors in which I have been
engaged: don't worry, these are not going away. They will be maintained and
will continue to grow, with input from me and others.

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