The impetus for South Asia through Official Eyes, SATOE, came from the recognition that there is currently no easy access to information about acquisition policies for post- independence South Asian official publications. This has implications for collection development decisions, such as duplication and gaps in the national collection.

The South Asia through Official Eyes project is intended to develop a co-ordinated collection policy,  thereby countering the trend of libraries making purchasing decisions in isolation.

SAOP, the South Asian Official Publications Libraries Group, was launched in September 1999 in recognition of the challenges posed by this material. A consortium of five institutions was formed out of SAOP, with the University of Oxford acting as the lead institute. In addition to the project partners, SATOE  will consult with external advisers, whose expertise and interest in the subject area will further help to guide the project.

The SAOP email-list is called SAOPLIB-UK. Contact the JISCmail service if you wish to subscribe and participate in discussions about South Asian publications.



The project's overall objective is to improve and enhance current official publication data. Through this it aims to serve librarians and researchers in the following way:
  • To share information about current collecting of South Asian official publications
  • To collaborate on collection development
  • To access South Asian official publications more effectively thereby saving valuable research time.

The anticipated benefits to all clients include:

  • Cost savings through the elimination of unnecessary duplication. 
  • Identification of gaps in the national collection, which will be filled by agreement amongst SAOP members.
  • Sharing of expertise in acquisitions.

The aims of SATOE will be achieved through the development of:

  • an acquisitions and selection management database which will unify bibliographic information currently split between diverse resources
  • an interactive web-based, collaborative management tool which will offer detailed information on current serial subscriptions and their location
  • a website with descriptive information about collections

These systems tools will be designed from the results of a title-by-title survey of current acquisitions by collaborating libraries of core serial South Asian official publications.



The steering group determined the coverage of the survey as defined by the following three parameters.

Geographical Scope
For the purposes of the project, South Asia is described as including the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan)
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan (formerly West Pakistan)
  • Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon)
  • Tibet (government-in-exile)

Chronological Scope
Prior to independence, UK libraries received their Indian and Sri Lankan official publications by legal deposit. After independence in 1947/1948, this flow of deposited official publications gradually ceased. Owing to this, the project will focus on acquisition policies of individual libraries for post-independence South Asian official publications. 

Type of Publication
The survey will be confined to core serials as identified in authoritative reference guides. The Steering Group agreed the scope of publications at the meeting on 3rd October 2000. 

SATOE Home | Bodleian Library 

Bodleian Library
Last revised: 21 Sep 2003 / NB