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HIS 498C: India's Partition: Primary Sources

Locating Primary Sources

For this class, it is very important to view a discussion on film and history by reading the "introduction" here.

Primary sources can be located in:

  • Collections housed in archives or libraries. The National Archives in Britain is a good place to start. It has several collections of documents in their original format, including postcards, photographs, newspapers.
  • Digital format through online databases.  For example, we subscribe to JSTOR, Access World News and Academic Search Complete.
  • Freely available collections on the web.  More on this below.
  • Published in books and microforms that can be located in our library catalog and WorldCat.  


Video Resources

The1947 Partition Archives is one of the best all-around resources in teh South Asia subcontinent with many of their interviews now archived at teh Stanford Digitized Collection, here.   

Interesting film footage from British Pathe

More videos detailing India Partition

India Takes Over

Refugee Camps




Published Sources

To locate published primary sources, consider the following search strategies in the Library Catalog:

KEYWORD SEARCHES  Add the following terms to your keyword searches with AND.




     personal narratives

     (letters OR correspondence)

     public records


     description and travel


      India AND Partition

      Pakistan AND sources

SUBJECT SEARCHES Use Library of Congress Subject Headings.  (Click here to learn more.)


India -- History -- Partition, 1947.

AUTHOR SEARCHES    Use the names of  people and organizations that are central to your topic as authors. (Hint: If you perform this search in WorldCat, limit your search to books.)

Examples of author searches:

   Gandhi, Mahatma, 1869-1948.

1947 Partition Archives also has good bibliography

**Do keep in mind that while all of these help understand partition, that is not the central focus of all of these books.  Also, the list may not be as up to date as the one you may be able to generate using the resources above.

Partition and Film


This Bloody Line  (a film on Sir Cyril Radcliffe)

BBC 70 years after Partition Primer (3.56)

70 years on Newsnight (6:53)

1947 Partition of India and Pakistan

For an exhaustive list of films on partition, see 

Primary Sources for India Partition

Personal Accounts

Useful Publications

Requesting Help

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Phone: 523-4345

Main Desk: 523-2173 (for questions on general library services)