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South Asian Studies

This guide offers a set of resources available to Brown users covering the region of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Burma, Bangladesh, Bhutan and parts of Central Asia).

Arts, Architecture and Visual Culture

General Resources:

Sources on South Asian Art and Architecture

A well-structured selective portal to hundreds of online resources, image archives, and published works on South Asian Art and Architecture, by Fran Pritchett of Columbia University

Digital South Asia Library: Image Collections Online

A variety of collections of images primarily of a historical nature but many related to art and architecture.

SAVAC: South Asian Visual Arts Collective (Toronto)
"A Toronto-based, artist-run, nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and presentation of new works of contemporary visual art by artists of South Asian origin, within Canada and internationally."

Asian Historical Architecture
Structured digital photo archive, with indices and clickable map navigation interface for sites throughout South Asia.

ABIA: South and Southeast Asian Art and Archeology Index
An annotated bibliographic database covering South and Southeast Asian art and archaeology; the initiative of the International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden, in collaboration with international scholars and Asian academic institutes. The database is fully searchable and is freely accessible. Extracts from the database are also available in the form of printed bibliographies.

Monuments of India

Indira Gandi National Centre for the Arts

A variety of online India resources, including photographs and art work.




Persian, Mughal, and Indian Miniature Paintings from the Minassian Collection

Part of the Brown University Special Collections

The John C. and Susan L. Huntington Archive of Buddhist & Related Art
A photographic research and teaching archive

Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum: Asian Art collection

Harvard Art Museums, Arthur M. Sackler Museum: Islamic & Later Indian Art collection


Can I Use These Images for...?

A classroom presentation or paper illustration?

In general, images used in a classroom presentation, for a scholarly lecture, or in an unpublished assigned paper, fall under the concept of Fair Use or the TEACH ACT.  Fair use is an exception to the exclusive rights granted by copyright. For further information, consult Circular 21 of the United States Copyright Office.


A lecture to a paying audience?

If your audience is paying to see you, in general you should obtain permission before using an image, unless the image is in the Public Domain.

A published scholarly article, book, dissertation or website?

You are responsible in these cases for obtaining permission, unless the work is in the Public Domain. In most cases, your publisher will require that you do so.

A new work of art based on another person's art?

Not an easy question to answer. The creator of a copyrighted work of art is given the exclusive right to prepare derivative works based on that work. On the other hand, there is a long tradition of artists responding to others' works. Whether you are basing your work on the original work of art, or a digital or print copy of it, it is always safest to get permission first.

Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

South and South East Asian Art and Archaeology Index (ABIA)

Culturopedia - Treasure House of Indian Culture and Heritage
Harappa - Specifically historical and archeological work in the Indus Valley. Includes a wealth of images, audio and video clips.