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South Asia: Himalayan Studies: Help with scripts and typing

This Guide contains information about Himalayan Studies (including Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, and the Tibetan cultural areas that traverse the borders of all those states), in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

General online dictionaries

Information about scripts

Typing in a different script

  • General HELP on typing in Indic scripts.
  • PC USERS: Windows/PC users have the option to download the Google Transliterate IME for various writing systems (including many South Asian writing systems).
  • MAC USERS: The video below will help Mac users adjust language settings so that you can type in a different script. 

Researching in South Asian languages

The single most important resource any researcher should be aware of is...


ALA-LC Romanization Tables


When library catalogers all across the country are creating records for books or journals (etc), they all rely on a single, slow to change (for both good and ill) standard for how they are going to romanize writing systems. Even though some languages share the same script (for instance, Hindi, Sanskrit, and Marathi  all use the Devanagari script), they are not all romanized in the same way. One interesting exception is Nepali, which uses the Hindi guide. You can read more about that in the Tibetan & Himalayan Library


When you as a researcher are looking for a book or journal, you, too, need to search using these Romanization Tables. They may not agree wtih the current romanization standard in the field, and occasionally there are omissions or mistakes in the charts, but for the purposes of library searches it will make information much easier to find!


The second most important resource is...


LC Authority Guide


This will help you figure out which romanization of Gandhi's name is preferred, or the title under which all works by Rumi are filed. It can also help you discover how the Library of Congress categorizes Tibet, or different ways that you might want to search for a work about Bengal.

Librarian for South Asian Studies

Profile Photo
Rich Richie
Sterling Memorial Library, 212

Southeast Asia Reading Room: Sterling Memorial Library, 214

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 208240

130 Wall Street

New Haven, CT 06520