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The Hulbert Taft, Jr. Library

Foundations: Islamic Empires: Delhi Sultanate



The Qutub Minar, dating from circa 1200 AD, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delhi, India, Asia. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest.

UNESCO World Heritage Site: Qutub Minar and Its Monuments

Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources will have more specific information about your topic.

  • Secondary source books written by scholars which present a new interpretation or thesis based upon a synthesis of primary sources, scholarly journal articles, and other secondary sources.
  • Sometimes there will be an entire book, sometimes you may have to assemble information from multiple monographs.
  • Secondary sources will usually have a bibliography of materials for further study, including primary sources, journal articles (which are also secondary sources), and books. 



To ensure equitable access, all reserve materials are to be used only in the library for the duration of the project.

To borrow reserve books:

  1. Ask Library Staff at the Circulation Desk for the specific books you would like to use.
  2. We will retrieve the books from the reserve shelves and sign them out to you.
  3. When you have finished using them or at the end of class, RETURN the books to a Library Staff Member.


General (more than one empire)

Delhi Sultanate

  • The Asian world, 600-1500 /Roger V. Des Forges and John S. Major. DS33.5 .D47 2005   PS
  • Concise history of modern India / Barbara D. Metcalf and Thomas R. Metcalf. DS461 .M47 2012
  • Cultural history of India / edited by A. L. Basham. DS423 .C86
  • "The Delhi Sultanate" / Riazul Islam and C.E. Bosworth (This book chapter comes from The History of Civilizations of Central Asia, volume 4 and is found in the UNESCO Digital Library.)
  • Living architecture: Islamic India / Andreas Volwahsen. NA1502 .V613. PS
  • Marco Polo and the medieval explorers / Rebecca Steffof. G370 .P9 S74
  • The rise of Islam and the Bengal frontier, 1204-1760 / Richard M. Eaton. (an online ebook)
  • Sources of Indian tradition: from the beginning to 1800 / edited by Ainslie T. Embree. DS423 .S64 1988 vol. 1. PS

India History generally

  • Historic India / Lucille Schulberg and the Editors of Time-Life Books. DS423 .S33
  • The history of India / John McLeod. DS 463 .M224 2015 (also an online ebook)
  • The history of India / Ed. by Kenneth Pletcher (an online ebook)
  • India: a history / John Keay. DS451 .K365 2000
  • India: a modern history / Percival Spear. DS436 .S68 1972
  • India before Europe / Catherine B. Asher and Cynthia Talbot. DS452 .A84 2006
  • A new history of India / Stanley Wolpert. DS436 .W66 1982  (8th ed, 2009 available as an online ebook)

PS = contains primary source materials

Primary Sources

Primary Sources

Sources created by those who lived it

Any document, image, or artifact created at the time of the topic being researched is a primary source.

Examples include: eyewitness accounts, memoirs, household and day-to-day objects, clothing, coins, works of art and architecture.

See the Images tab for finding images of artifacts, buildings, coinage, etc from your empire.

Please note: primary source documents are a reflection of the time and culture in which they were created and may contain language or images that are considered offensive today.


Primary Sources in Books / eBooks
  • Islam in the Indian Ocean world: a brief history with documents / Omar H. Ali. BP 64 .A32 A45 2016
  • Living architecture: Islamic India / Andreas Volwahsen. NA1502 .V613. 
  • Religious transformations in the early modern world: a brief history with documents / Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks. BR252 .W54 2009  
  • Sources of Indian tradition: from the beginning to 1800 / edited by Ainslie T. Embree. DS423 .S64 1988 vol. 1. Chapter: "Islam in Medieval India". Look for writings by Barni (Delhi Sultanate).
  • Travels of Ibn Battuta / edited by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. G370 .I2 T8513 2003   (Link is to earlier edition available online at the Internet Archive


Primary Sources on the Internet
  • Internet Indian History Sourcebook Part of the Internet History Sourcebooks Project created by Paul Halsall of Fordham University containing collections of primary full-texts and other useful materials organized by era and by region/culture.
  • Resources for the Study of Indian History including the Delhi Sultanate. This reference is based on research ranging over a wide range of primary sources, providing excerpts of relevant passages in English translation. Many of these texts were written by authors who accompanied the invaders and recorded what they saw in Arabic, Persian or Turkish. The source of these excerpts are the translations made by Sir H. M. Elliot, and edited and published in 24 volumes by John Dowson in 1867. 

On the arts of the Delhi Sultanate


Primary Sources in Databases

If you have any questions,

see Mr. Padgett or Ms. Taylor

OR email us at

We're here to help!

The Travels of Ibn Battuta: a Virtual Tour ("You will be following in the footsteps of this famous 14th century Muslim traveler, exploring the places he visited and the people he encountered. To help you learn more about his adventures there will be images of the people and places he saw, information on the food he might have tasted, and "side trips" into the past and future."; this site began with the work of teacher Nick Bartel and has been expanded by UC Berkeley Office of Resources for International and Area Studies.)


NoodleTools Tips for Citing Books / eBooks and Primary Sources

PLEASE NOTE: Do not copy and paste complete citations from electronic sources. NoodleTools cannot generate footnotes from copied and pasted citations.


To cite a book, first choose the NoodleTools option that best describes where you found it.

  • Database = an electronic book found in a Taft Subscription Database such as ACLS Humanities e-Book.
    • Choose Book.
    • You must provide the permanent URL for your source. Look for any of the following on the page: permalink, persistent link, stable link, durable link, "Get link",Cite, or Citable Link.
    • Choose the name of the database, using the pull-down menu under My library's databases.
    • Complete information about the book (author, title, publication place, publisher, and publication date).
  • Website = an electronic book found on the Internet using a search engine like Google.
    • Choose Book.
    • Copy and paste the URL for the book from your browser address bar. 
    • Enter author, title, publication place, publisher, and publication date. If there's an ISBN, search that number to get the information about the book.
  • Print or In Hand = a book in the Reserve collection behind the main desk or found upstairs in the Main collection.
    • Choose Book.
    • Using information in the book, enter author, title, publication place, publisher, and publication date.

Note: Print and electronic books can also be cited in NoodleTools using the ISBN (International Standard Book Number) . For a print book, look for the ISBN and associated barcode on the back cover or on the back side of the title page. If you don't find it, a library staff member can help. Books published before 1967 won't have an ISBN.

International Standard Book Number - Wikipedia

If you have any questions,  Mr. Padgett or Ms. Taylor are happy to help!

To cite a Primary Source, first choose the NoodleTools option that best describes where you found it:

  • Database = a document found in a Taft Subscription Database such as Gale in Context: World History.
    • You must provide the permanent URL for your source. Look for any of the following on the page: permalink, persistent link, stable link, durable link, "Get link",Cite, or Citable Link.
  • Website = a document found on the Websites section of the course guide, found through a web directory like SweetSearch or a search engine such as Google. 
  • Print or In Hand = a document found in a book in the library. For example: in a reference book or a secondary source.

Next determine what kind of primary source you are citing:

  • Look at the list of options in NoodleTools. Is it a newspaper article, a speech, a letter, or another item listed? If so, choose that item type.
  • If you are not sure, you can use "Anthology / Collection" which enables you to cite a source found within another source.