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Library Resources outside the U.S.

This guide offers information about services and resources you can utilize from the Brown University Library when studying abroad, as well as information for using foreign libraries and research institutes.

South Asian Library Landscape

Library access and the function of libraries and related institutions in South Asia can be quite different from what you have come to know of both public libraries and university research libraries in the US. In some cases access may be very restricted, books might not be available for check-out, and call number systems might be completely different. As you get started think about what kind of library you might want to use. In any given country they might include: 

  • National Libraries or those of major cities or regions
  • University libraries
  • Cultural Center/Museum libraries
  • Manuscript or document libraries (including archives)
  • Foriegn Institute libraries
  • Private libraries available by appointment

In many cases you may want to start with the local member institution of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers which has centers in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and  Sri Lanka.

Although Brown is not currently a member, the Center for South Asian Libraries may also serve as a gateway into certain research institutions of the region.

Libraries and Institutes by Country/Region


While some entries may be outdated the following coprehensive list of libraries and archives across India may be useful as it is organized by province and city.

The following are some selected local institutions:


The following is a useful but somewhat outdated list of libraries and archives for Pakistan. Of note are: