Audio Archives

South Asian Literary Recordings Project (Library of Congress, New Delhi)

Person Describing Archive

Celyn Harding Jones (2010) ; Chelsea Obodoechina (2020)

Is this primarily a poetry audio site?


Sponsoring Person or Institution

Library of Congress

Site URL

Site Last Updated
Date Visited


General Description of Archive

This is an online archive of Congress' Archive of Recorded World Literature, recording readings of prominent South Asian writers (novelists, poets, playwrights). This site features readings in over 15 languages from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The home page has links to readings by language, country or by author. Once you select an author, a new page opens with a photo of the writer, a biography (that contains some literary context), and a list of recordings by date, which then list poems with separate mp3 exerpts.

Description of archive history or URL

Since the late 70's, the New Delhi office of the Library of Congress has been sporadically making recordings of South Asian writers. For the Library's Bicentenial celebrations of overseas offices, in 2000, the project to record more writers and share the recordings online began. In September 2002, the web site was launched and had recorded 80 authors. Authors were invited to read for 30-60 minutes, and were chosen as the most "prominent" South Asian writers.

Contact information

none provided, only email form:

Searchable options

No search bar, but lists of authors alphabetically, or divided by country or language.

Relation from the audio to the text

no transcription, however poems are divided in the recording. Interestingly, the link to the recording is a page number-- and while it's not clear, it might reference the page number in the book the writer read from. The book is listed bibliographically, but no access to an online version is provided. So, some attempt is made to link recording to text, but it isn't accessible online.

Date/Time/Length/Context info about the audio items

Unfortunately, there is no information on the date of the recording, and time/length is only provided on the play bar. Specific context about each reading is not provided, only about the whole series.

Author bios and context within literary history

Yes, both are provided.

Audio file type: streaming, download, file format, audio file compression quality (WAV, MP3, bitrate)

mp3 and realmedia files are provided.

Multimedia integration (pictures, video, etc.)

One photo of the author is provided.

Audio playback setup (opens in Flash player, on new blank screen, etc.)

Audio player opens in a new black screen in Dashboard.

Mobile access (i.e. accessible on smart phones, tablets, etc.)

UPDATE (Chelsea Obodoechina): Mobile access is possible, but the website does not cater to mobile devices. Functionality may vary depending on the device.


Browsing is basic on this site, as there are a few different ways to look at lists of the readings.

Discovery features (pre-made playlists; dynamic lists: lists of recent additions, featured items, related items, etc).
Interactivity and Web 2.0 features


Other notes

There are links to bibliographic records at the Library of Congress.