Cultural Wealth: Image, Audio and Publications, an Open Archive for the PeopleBy Dr. James Nye
28 Jul 2016

Supported by University of Chicago

The presentation explored the University of Chicago’s sustained and deep connection with the cultural heritage of India – an engagement that has gained momentum in the recent past. Dr. James Nye has played a crucial role in driving the assembling, documenting and preserving of source material available for historians in South Asia, channeled through two major initiatives – the Digital South Asia Library and the South Asia Open Archives Initiative.

These two global collaborations are aimed at addressing the scarce digital resources available for South Asian studies and making collections more widely accessible both to North American scholars and to researchers elsewhere in the world. The result has been the preservation of tens of thousands of books and journals, in Tamil and Urdu as well English journal articles, published during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Dr Nye is a Bibliographer for Southern Asia for The University of Chicago Library. He is also a specialist in Sanskrit, particularly medieval Indian texts, the Puranas and the Upapuranas.


Dr. James Nye

Dr. James Nye is Bibliographer for Southern Asia and Director of the Digital South Asia Library at the University of Chicago. He trained as a classical Indologist with an emphasis on medieval Sanskrit literature. His most recent externally funded projects focus on early gramophone recordings, maps from the colonial Survey of India, dictionaries for South Asian languages, the South Asia Union Catalogue, endangered Urdu periodicals and nineteen-century postcards from India. He holds graduate degrees from Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been Chair or the South Asia Microform Project for nine of the past twenty-two years. He recently completed thirteen-years of service as Director of the University’s South Asia Language and Area Centre and a three-year term as Director of the South Asia Language Resource Centre, both of which are U. S. National Resource Centres.

A prolific writer Dr. Nye has authored four books. His last publication focuses on the role of the University of Chicago in the formation of the Roja Muthiah Research Library in Chennai.

Dr. Nye has a natural flair for languages and besides being a specialist in Sanskrit, he is well versed in Urdu and Hindi as well. He is especially knowledgeable in medieval Indian texts, the Puranas and the Upapuranas. His contribution towards the documenting of source material in South Asian studies has been invaluable.

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