Virtual library on South Asia - via Germany

A virtual library on South Asia is up and running at the Suedasien-Institute in Germany.

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 09:15 IST

A virtual library on South Asia is up and running at the Suedasien-Institute, the famed centre for research on the region at Heidelberg in Germany.

It is called Savifa, which stands for Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Suedasien, literally virtual library for South Asia.

It describes itself as "the information gateway for South Asia studies, which offers you a comprehensive access to professionally selected and annotated Internet resources as well as other scientific information".

Savifa is accessible online at and is a bilingual English-German site.

It contains "information and literature" from and about South Asia and seeks to act as a subject gateway within the broad range of the regional sciences.

Up to now, some 1,300 resources have been catalogued and annotated in SavifaGuide, mostly in English, but also in many Indian languages, such as Urdu, Bengali, Assamese and Tamil.

Meanwhile, SavifaDok is an Open Access document server and electronic platform for publishing and archiving academic literature in the field of South Asian studies. It publishes books, articles and research papers as well as multimedia documents.

This publication platform offers free access to full-text documents.

People with research interest in South Asia have the possibility of publishing their work in electronic format and making it available through the World Wide Web.

In this way, SavifaDok guarantees the long-term availability and visibility of documents in library catalogues (for example, KVK-Karlsruher Virtual Catalogue) and search engines by using standardised addresses and metadata.

Savifa is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and aims at serving as a gateway to both print and electronic media.

OLC-SSG South Asia is a bibliographical article database, which provides access to table of contents of about 220 journals relevant to the study and research on culture, politics and languages of South Asia. These journals are usually indexed back to the year 1993.

Australia-based T Matthew Ciolek's The Asian Studies WWW Monitor, a network looking at online cyber resources related to this continent, rated the site as being of "essential" scholarly usefulness, and noted that it belongs to the "study/online guide" category.

First Published: Dec 15, 2006 09:15 IST