The British Library’s Kashmiri collections contain 7 manuscripts, principally vocabularies and poetry in the Perso-Arabic script; approximately 300 printed books dating from the early 19th century to the present day; and various issues from 1967 to 1996 of Son Adab, the literary annual published by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
The collections are particularly strong in the fields of Kashmiri language, literature, history, politics and religion, and offer a wealth of information for the study of Kashmir, India and Pakistan.
Accessing the collections
The Kashmiri collections are currently accessible in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room of the British Library, alongside similar collections in other South Asian languages and English; the India Office Records and Private Papers; and Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. See the South Asian resources page for more information.
The opening folio of a collection of verse by the celebrated Kashmiri poet, Mahmud Gami (19th century) / Mss Kashmiri C 1.
History of the collections
The holdings come from manuscripts and books collected by the India Office Library prior to 1982; by the British Museum Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts prior to 1973; and from subsequent acquisitions made by the British Library (although in recent years these have been sporadic and dependent upon availability).
Details of the British Library's Kashmiri manuscripts can be found in the published catalogue:
Urdu, Panjabi, Pashto and Kashmiri manuscripts and documents in the India Office Library and Records, compiled by Salim al-Din Quraishi (London, 1990)
Entries for more than 100 printed books have been added to Explore the British Library to date, and work is ongoing. If a specific title/author cannot be found, please contact us.
Asian and African Studies enquiries
The British Library
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7873
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641
E-mail: Ask the Reference Team