South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)

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The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) was established in 2008 to document, digitally preserve and make accessible the history of the South Asian American community.

SAADA is the only digital repository for materials related to the South Asian community in the United States. SAADA’s digital-only approach to archives presents a major re-conceptualization of traditional archival functions. In this innovative, “post-custodial” approach to archives, original archival documents remain with the institutions or individuals from which they originate, while digital access copies are available online


Organizational Structure

SAADA is a 501(c)3 recognized not-for-profit organization registered in the State of Illinois.

Members of the SAADA Board of Directors for 2010-11 are:

  • Michelle Caswell
  • Manan Desai
  • Jennifer Dolfus Ford
  • Samip Mallick
  • Tina Bhaga Yokota


SAADA's Collection Development Policy defines South Asian American to include all those who trace their heritage to Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the many South Asian diaspora communities across the globe. SAADA collects digital files of materials in all formats that relate to the diverse history of South Asians in the United States, including written documents, newspapers, photographs, audio and video recordings, oral histories, pamphlets, websites, and digital files.

Current SAADA collections include materials about Dalip Singh Saund, the first congressperson of Indian heritage, the Gadar Party and the Kerala Catholic Association of Southeast Michigan.


Other similar digital archiving projects for the Asian American community include Densho.

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