Uncover south Asian history
Discover 4.5 million pages of material gathered from across the Indian sub-continent. These documents were originally collected by the South Asian Research Foundation (SARF) with the objective of preserving Indian cultural heritage and span from 1700-1953.
Explore digitized versions of books, journals and reports covering key historical events.
15 October 1542
Birth of Akbar, 3rd Mughal Emperor
Chapter 4 of The Mogul Emperors of Hindustan chronicles the career of Akbar, the 3rd Mughal Emperor, who greatly expanded and unified the Mughal Empire, became a patron of art and literature, and established schools for Muslim and Hindu children.
Britain overthrows the Marathas
This page taken from Indian History Congress, focuses on the collapse of the Maratha military power in 1818, and explains how the British army successfully achieved their conquest, given that "a feudal force of ill-paid, ill-equipped and badly-led mercenaries yielded to superior organisation, superior science and superior leadership".
26 September 1820
Birth of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar
Vidyasagar-Granthabali (A Vidyasagar Bibliography) is a testament to the remarkable contributions of this educator and social reformer, known as the 'father of Bengali prose'.
5 November 1913
Birthday of Vivien Leigh
This picture shows Vivien Leigh, who was born in Darjeeling, discussing George Bernard Shaw's 'Ceasar and Cleopatra' with Shaw himself and Gabriel Pascal, the film's producer.
10 December 1913
Rabindranath Tagore wins the Nobel Prize for Literature
The national anthem of India, 'Jana Gana Mana', or 'The Morning Song of India', was composed by Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A report containing written statements of witnesses from Lahore. This specific page details the day-by-day movements of the Amritsar, the British soldiers, Indian police, and Indian Troops.
7 April 1920
Birth of Indian sitar player, Ravi Shankar
This transcript of an interview from Indian Music Today has Ravi Shankar expressing his desire for the new Indian government to financially support musicians, so that the art of traditional Indian music could progress. Shankar would later work with government-run All India Radio to create the Indian National Orchestra and served in Parliament later in life.
Bengal famine disaster
This file, titled "Famine Inquiry Commission - Report on Bengal" addresses the scale of human suffering and tragedy associated with the famine and the outbreaks of epidemic disease associated with it. The file explains that the famine not only affected the province of Bengal, but also, to a much less serious extent, the neighboring province of Orissa. As a result of the disease, between one and two million people died, and the many more who escaped death went hungry for many months, fell sick of disease and suffered in other ways from the disintegration of normal life.
15 August 1947
Indian Independence Day
This report features a snippet of how the Home Guards of the Defence Unit and members of the Women's Wing took part in the Ceremonial Parade on Indian Independence Day.
Watch the video below to discover what lies within South Asia Archive
"This archival information which was lost to the people of India will come alive because of this project."
Kapil Sibal, Indian Minister of Communication and IT