Outreach Working Group

The Outreach Working Group is a standing body of the South Asia Open Archives (SAOA), reporting to the SAOA Executive Board and working in close consultation with the SAOA Program Coordinator and other Working Groups.

Members of the Outreach Working Group:

Laura Ring, University of Chicago (Chair)

Ellen Ambrosone, Princeton University

Triveni Kuchi, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Todd Michelson-Ambelang, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Mara Thacker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


The charge of the Outreach Working Group is to enhance, increase, and diversify use of the South Asia Open Archives through community engagement.

Our outreach is aimed at the user community writ large, encompassing both current and future/potential users, and member and non-member institutions across the globe. In furthering the open access, decolonizing mission of SAOA, we have a particular commitment to reaching a diversity of scholars and institutions in South Asia, as well as non-elite and minority-serving institutions in the United States. 

The forms of community engagement we propose include:

  • Social Media presence and strategy:
    • Sharing information about SAOA resources and activities
    • Engaging with social media content from others in South Asian studies, Library, or Open Access organizations
  • Educational support:
    • Creating materials to support, enhance, and encourage the use of SAOA content, including 
      • Research guides to interpret key collections (e.g., All-India census reports)
      • Collection introductions that frame digital holdings and/or provide counterpoints to colonial perspectives
    • Facilitating the use of SAOA in the classroom by preparing sample activities and lesson plans
  • Public events: 
    • Giving presentations or demos at South Asia-related conferences, libraries, departments, centers, programs, and other cultural institutions
    • Staffing exhibition booths and distributing promotional materials at conferences or other relevant events
    • Participating in panels and public conversations on open access, digital scholarship, South Asian studies, and other relevant academic disciplines and community initiatives


The Outreach Working Group contributes to the ongoing promotion of SAOA. It participates in shaping the vision of SAOA as the initiative grows and develops over time.


The Outreach Working Group is composed of at least three members from SAOA member institutions. At least one member will be from the Executive Board and that member will serve as the Working Group Chair or Co-Chair. The SAOA Program Coordinator participates in meetings of the Working Group. The term of service on the Working Group is one year and members are encouraged to renew their term of service.

Tasks, Timelines, and Deliverables:

Tasks, timelines, and deliverables for the Working Group are typically recommended by the Executive Board. The Working Group may also propose tasks within its purpose that contribute to the SAOA mission.


The Outreach Working Group reports to the Executive Board on a monthly basis and more often if requested. The Executive Board will be responsible for reporting recommendations by the Working Group to the SAOA membership.

Updated on July 27, 2021

Featured: Unique Urdu and Hindi Collection

Prof. Robert Phillips, lecturer for the Program in South Asian Studies at Princeton University, teaches courses in Hindi-Urdu and South Asian Studies, and has used both South Asia Materials Project (SAMP) and CRL resources to support different research, writing, and teaching projects.

Accessing Āmukha in SAMP’s holdings offered an opportunity to incorporate the crucial - but often less-collected - genre of the little magazine into his research on Hindi modernism and a subsequent conference presentation.