It is with great pleasure that I invite you to explore the online Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive!
The product of many years of work by many, many hands, the online archive is a portal to the private collection of Syed Sajjad Zaheer (1905-1973), renown Urdu litterateur and political activist. As the personal and working archive of an author, activist and family member, the Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive is a rich collection of materials from letters to manuscripts to photographs. Highlights include items related to contemporaneous writers (including those affiliated with the Progressive Writers Association and the Afro-Asian Writers Association), politics (including the Rawalpindi Conspiracy and the Communist Party of India), and the Zaheer family (especially the works of Razia Sajjad Zaheer). Materials are available in English, Urdu and Hindi. The Sajjad Zaheer Digital Archive serves as a finding aid to the freely accessible digital collection preserved at the Center for Research Libraries as well as the physical collection currently curated by the Ambedkar University Delhi.
For those familiar with Sajjad Zaheer and/or literary and political movements of 20th century north India, we seek your help identifying the people, places and dates in the archive’s photographs! Please visit the parallel, crowd-sourced Sajjad Zaheer Photo Archive project to browse through photos from the archive. Photos are presented in random order so visit often to see new selections! The Photo Archive can be accessed in English, Hindi or Urdu and you can submit your input in any of those languages as well (choose your language using the pull-down option at the top right of the page).
Our hope is that these newly available resources will inform nuanced research, will inspire teaching, and will advance collaborative scholarship across national borders. Please share widely!
South Asia Librarian
University of Texas at Austin