INDEXES, BIBLIOGRAPHIES AND DIGITAL LIBRARIES

For non-fiction books and articles on Sri Lanka in European languages through 1978, the standard work is H.A.I. Goonetileke’s splendid A Bibliography of Ceylon, published in 5 volumes between 1970 and 1983 by Inter Documentation Company, Zug, Switzerland. This work is not available online, but a copy is held at the AISLS center library in Colombo. For more recent publications, the best resources are the standard disciplinary and area-studies bibliographies, most of which can be accessed only through university institutional subscriptions. For readers in Sri Lanka without a relevant affiliation, the AISLS center library offers onsite access to JSTOR and the Bibliography of Asian Studies. For some topics, AISLS center staff can also direct readers to specialist libraries in Colombo that have unique bibliographical resources. The resources listed below are available online at no cost to readers.

    • Archival Materials of the American Ceylon Mission/ Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India
      This article, by former AISLS fellow Barney Bate, is a quite detailed description of the archival materials held by the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India (JDSCI). These documents were moved in February and March 2005 from the Diocesan Office at Vaddukoddai to the Christian Theological Seminary at Maruthanarmadam. Most of the documents comprise materials from the establishment of the American Ceylon Mission (ACM) in 1816 by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM) to the transfer of the ACM to the Church of South India (CSI) in 1947. There are also some official materials from the Bishoprics of the Rt. Rev. Dr. S. Kulendran and the Rt. Rev. D.J. Ambalavanar, a small pamphlet collection from the same, and a small collection of Bishop Kulendran’s personal papers. Scholars are welcome to use this collection. Inquires should be directed to The Principal, Christian Theological Seminary, Maruthanarmadam, Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka.
    • Furniture and Decorative Arts of Sri Lanka (FDASL)
      An AISLS-sponsored documentary project that displays an inventory of furniture and other decorative arts that were created in Sri Lanka and are currently found in Sri Lanka’s cultural institutions and private collections.  It consists of approximately 1,000 images of 400 unique items, photographed by the project’s principal researcher, Ayesha Abdur-Rahman.
    • Manuscripts of the Sri Lankan Malays
      A digital library of manuscripts produced by Malays in Sri Lanka in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Most texts are written in Malay in Arabic script. The library was compiled by former AISLS fellow Ronit Ricci with support from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme. Currently, only a small selection of materials are available, but more will be added.
    • Prospects and Problems in Sri Lankan Studies
      This article was written by John Rogers on behalf of AISLS in 1999, and was revised in 2005. While it should no longer be taken as a survey of present trends, it provides background to American scholarship on Sri Lanka.
    • Rare Historical Manuscripts Series
      This pamphlet by Gananath Obeyeskere, which was published by S. Godage and the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in 2006, gives a general description of a project to transcribe, edit and publish Sinhala “intermediate texts” important for understanding Sri Lanka between the late 14th and early 19th centuries. By intermediate texts, Obeyesekere means texts that stand between those texts that belong to local folk traditions and the tradition of translocal Buddhist texts written by Buddhist monks and lay scholars in both Pali and Sinhala. Intermediate texts often mediate the abstract ideas and core values of Buddhist doctrine, making them more accessible and personally meaningful than they would otherwise be. Several volumes in the series have already been published. The project, which has received financial support from AISLS, is still ongoing. It will culminate in a volume that includes English translations of selected texts. One aspect of Obeyesekere’s own scholarship on intermediate texts can be found in his essay “Colonial Histories and Vädda Primitivism: An Unorthodox Reading of Kandyan Period Texts“.
    • Shodhganga: A Reservoir of Indian Theses
      A searchable full-text digital library of over 26,000 doctoral theses submitted to Indian universities. Thirty-six have “Sri Lanka” or “Ceylon” in their title, but many others include sections relevant to Sri Lanka.
    • Das Sidat-saňgarāva: Die einheimische sinhalesische Grammatik  Part I,   Part II
      A German translation of the Sidat Sangara, a thirteenth-century Sri Lankan scholastic work written as a guide for writing Sinhala poetry. Herbert Günther submitted this translation, which includes a substantial introduction, for the Dr.phil.habil. at the University of Vienna in 1943. It was of great use to James W. Gair and W.S. Karunatillake in preparing their English translation of the Sidat Sangara, published in 2013 by the American Oriental Society.
    • South Asia Materials Project
      Includes an index to holdings, including some runs of Sri Lankan newspapers, held at the Center for Research Libraries.
    • University of Peradeniya Journals
      Provides full text of the Ceylon Journal of Historical and Social Studies (1958–67, Ceylon Journal of the Humanities (1970–74),1971–78), Modern Ceylon Studies (1970–76), Modern Sri Lanka Studies (1986–88, 1997–2007), Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities (1975–present), and University of Ceylon Review (1943–67).
    • WorldCat
      This database amalgamates the holdings of a large number of library catalogs. Although no Sri Lankan libraries participate, it is useful a useful bibliographical tool for works on Sri Lanka, and includes Tamil and Sinhala publications.