Help us save the Helen Kanitkar Library!

A project by: Mia Sullivan


WE RAISED £1,030

from 56 donors

This project received pledges on Fri 11 Dec 2015
Save our Anthropology library!

We are a group of SOAS Anthropology students and we are raising money to keep the Helen Kanitkar Library running at SOAS

Dr Helen Kanitkar was for many years a Lektor in the Department of Anthropology at SOAS. Students and staff from that period will recall the warmth and pastoral care she extended to generations of students. No knock on her door ever came at an inconvenient moment. When Dr Kanitkar passed away in 2001, her husband Hemant funded the refurbishment of the departmental library, which has been Helen's particular love. Additionally, he donated 800 of her books to what was reopened as the Helen Kanitkar Library and Research Centre (HKL) - Anthropology's Departmental Library at the School of Oriental and African Studied (SOAS), University of London. When Hemant also sadly passed away, he left a legacy which established studentships for research into the religions that had fascinated them.

The HKL contains a  LARGE number OF valuable resources to SOAS students

Copies of popular anthropological texts used on BA and MA courses, as well as videos and other resources have provided vital resources for generations of SOAS Anthropology students. Particularly valuable to current students are the outstanding examples of BA Independent Study Projects, MA dissertations, MPhil upgrade documents and PhD theses from which inspiration and guidance can be taken.

The HKL is also a study place for anthropologist, somewhere for writing and research, as well as for informal meetings and the exchange of ideas between BA, MA and research students. 

In the words of one SOAS student, 'the HKL has been fundamental to any and all success in my degree programme'. 

Fifteen years on, we have exhausted Hemant’s legacy and need your donations to keep this vital resource alive.

Your donations will enable the Anthropology Department to continue to appoint a Student Librarian who is responsible for coordinating volunteers, cataloguing books and dissertations, and fulfilling Helen Kanitkar's ambitions of bringing students together in a place where diversity and difference are celebrated. The position has also provided valuable work experience for SOAS students and we hope to be able to continue to offer this opportunity.

Please help us continue the generous Kanitkar legacy and the living reminder of a much-loved colleague.

More information about the HKL and the Kanitkar's kind donations: 

Leave a legacy:

1 year, 8 months ago

Hello lovely sponsors,

We are so close to our target.... and there's nothing to say that we can't break that target and raise even more money for future generations of Anthropology students at SOAS.

So please donate, if everyone who read this donated as little at £1 we would smash our target!

A massive thank you to all those who have donated already, everyone here at the Helen Kanitkar Library is really grateful.

1 year, 10 months ago

I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so far. It's great to see the generosity of people at SOAS and their friends.

Please keep sharing and spreading the word because we need your help! 

Guy Whittaker

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Mia Sullivan

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Nate Reidy

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Emily Walker

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Jonny Craig

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Shuai Li




21 anonymous donations totalling £218.00

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

Thank you. The Helen Kanitkar Library was the centre of my life at SOAS, I hope many others can use it and enjoy it for many years to come.

On behalf of my daughter Jessica, who has offered to have no Xmas presents

I have many happy memories of the HKL (when I attended there between 1998 and 2001 it was just called the Anthropology department library). It was a quaint space full of books and hundreds of articles and paper book slips to borrow the books and had to sign a little docket (and it wasn't that long ago). Helen loved her library and the students who used it, for some strange reason seeing students come and go reminded me of the film Good bye Mr Chips. Hemant was equally passionate about the library and the students. I used to abbreviate titles/theorists and I recall Hemant booming his voice down the corridor at me "Diana, who on earth is Eddie EP?" They were great. I truly hope you can keep their fire and passion alive, it would be a crying shame for the future students not to benefit from the great space. Good luck with it all.