Announcing a launch of new quarterly webinar series!-Save the Date, March 18, 2021

This event is the first quarterly event in a four-part series entitled “Connecting and collecting to empower.” The series will focus on libraries and library collections from different regions of the globe to highlight the collections, print, and electronic resources from often “forgotten” or “exoticized” parts of our world. No library is an island and as curators, we are often interconnected. It is a known fact that today academic libraries can no longer serve as an archive of all that was printed from a specific region. This series is geared towards students, faculty, and researchers, and the presenters in these webinars will be faculty, academic librarians, curators, researchers, and doctoral students. Each presenter will present how the library’s collections have aided them in their academic pursuits. What were some of the challenges they had to face when they were looking for specific resources and how and if the librarians helped them overcome them?

First Webinar:  The Other Asia: Central Asia and Library Collections (Spring 2021)

This 90 minutes webinar is dedicated to various library sources in Central Asia. Often, just like the Great Game in the 19th century, Central Asian Studies library collections are contested and relegated between the North American librarians for East European/ Eurasian Studies and Middle Eastern/ Near Eastern Studies. The US State Department, on the other hand, has attributed Central Asia alongside South Asia. Thus collecting Central Asian materials marks extensive collaboration among various librarians. The speakers at this webinar will speak to their efforts in collaborating to build a sustainable collection at their institutions. In this meeting, they will discuss some of the strategies they have used to develop research-level collections and collaborate with their colleagues in Central Asia. They will also focus on some open access resources.

This zoom event is free and open to all with prior registration here.

Thursday, March 18, 202111 am-12:30 PST/ 1 pm-2:30 EST

Opening Remarks:  Professor David W. Roland-Holst, Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley


Mr. Andy Spencer, Librarian,  Middle Eastern & Central Asian Studies Librarian, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Akram Habibulla, Librarian for Middle Eastern, Islamic, and Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana University

Dr. Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Professor of History and the founding coordinator of the Middle Eastern Communities and Migrations minor, James Madison University

Emily Laskin, Ph.D. Candidate Slavic Languages and Literatures, UC Berkeley

Organizer: Dr. Liladhar R. Pendse, UC Berkeley


(Open Access) KĀRAWĀN- Afghanistan Newspaper Digitized by University of Nebraska Libraries

Since the US invasion of Afghanistan, we continue to hear about the success of US policies when it comes to the nation-building in a war-torn land.  We also continue hearing the ongoing violence in the country, and how we are winning the war. Policies aside, I personally support and stand by our American troops our soldiers overseas!

We rarely hear about the projects that lead to a sort of cultural memory preservation or often these are relegated to backstage. And our homeland is a major sponsor of such projects overseas. Domestically, public institutions of higher education continue to perform miracles by offering more and more digitized resources. Open Access matters!

Karawan is indeed a breath of fresh air in the OA domain. The University of Nebraska has digitized its issues. That can be accessed here.

KĀRAWĀN: Digitalcommons@UNO
Kārawān, 1348-01-06, 1969-03-26 Not to be confused with the Soviet song that was popular during the Afghanistan occupation.

The site-description states that it was established by Sạbahuddin̄ Kushkakī (not to be confused with Burhanuddin Kushkaki) on 24 September 1968. Who was Sạbahuddin̄ Kushkakī is the question to which the answer cannot be simple? The US National Security Archive at GW University provides some insight on him in the context of National Endowment for Democracy (NED). A document entitled Afghanistan Democratic Education Project is informative of the early US efforts to carry out democratic goodwill projects. One can also find more information about him through the FOIA releases here (page.3) I will not dwell upon the trajectory of “the American Friends of Afghanistan, as one can read into who could have been its executive director at one point: z.k.”

Afghanistan Democratic Education Project! GW NS archive.

The point here is that due to these policies we have an effect of unintended consequences– we have access to Karawan!





Primary Sources: Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920

First page of war diaryThe Library has recently acquired Indian Army and Colonial Warfare on the Frontiers of India, 1914-1920, part of the India Office Records held by the British Library (IOR/L/MIL/17/5/4115).

For generations of British and Indian Officers and men, the North-West Frontier was the scene of repeated skirmishes and major campaigns against the trans-border Pathan tribes who inhabited the mountainous no-man’s land between India and Afghanistan. This collection contains Army Lists; Orders; Instructions; Regulations; Acts; Manuals; Strength Returns; Orders of Battle; Administration Summaries; organization, commissions, committees, reports, maneuvers; departments of the Indian Army; and regimental narratives.

Resource: The History of Afghanistan Online

Cover image of print versionThe Library has recently required an online version of The History of Afghanistan (Sirāj al-tawārīkh) written by the scribe Fayz Muhammed Kahn (also known as Katib), who was commissioned by the Afghan prince, later amir, Habib Allah Khan. It covers the period between 1747 when the country emerged as an independent political entity until 1919. The work was translated and edited by R.D. McChesney and M.M. Khorrami.