Founded in 1949, the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium of over 200 universities, colleges, and independent research libraries in the U.S., Canada, India, Germany and Hong Kong. Since its foundation, CRL has been supporting both research and teaching in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, by preserving and making available to scholars a wide range of primary source materials from all over the world. Based in Chicago,IL, the Centre for Research Libraries is governed by a Board of Directors drawn from the academic community. McGill University has been a member of CRL since 1973.
In 2016, CRL’s collections include five million items -among which more than 38,000 foreign journals, and 800,000 foreign dissertations- and are built by experts working at major U.S. and Canadian research universities.
The Middle Eastern studies’ collection and the South Asian studies’ collection both make accessible invaluable primary sources, in particular runs of historical journals in Arabic, Urdu and Hindi that are not to be found anywhere else.
In addition, the Center for Research Libraries provides access to a number of digital collections. The Digital South Asia Library is a collaborative project developed with the University of Chicago that makes available to scholars monographs, journals, full-text dictionaries, bibliographies, images, maps, and statistical information from the colonial period through the present. The WNA-South Asian Newspapers collection is the third module of the World Newspaper Archive, and includes colonial-era titles in English, Bengali, and Gujarati, published in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka from 1864-1922. Among the key publications: Amrita Bazar Patrika (Calcutta), Bankura Darpana (Bankura), Madras Mail (Madras), Tribune (Lahore) and the Ceylon Observer (Sri Lanka).