PEARSON, James (Jim) Douglas. ?.12.1911 — 1.8.1997. British Librarian of Asia. Of humble origins, grew up in Cambridge and was employed from the age of 16 as book-fetcher in University Library there. He developed a taste for “exotic languages” and won a scholarship for Hebrew at St. John’s College. Then studied Arabic and Persian at Pembroke College, graduated 1936. In 1936-41 again worked in Cambridge University Library and, after war service, 1945-50, as assistant Under-Librarian. In 1950-72 Librarian of S.O.A.S., from 1959 also teaching, then 1972-77 Professor of Bibliography there. Twice married, his second wife Hilda Wilkinson fully assisted him in his bilbiographical work.
Publications: edited: A Bibliography of Pre-Islamic Persia. 29+288 p. Persian Studies Series 2. L. 1975.
– edited: South Asian Bibliography. A Handbook and Guide. 381 p. Sussex 1979.
– A guide to manuscripts and documents in the British Isles relating to South and South-East Asia. 1-2. 319+337 p. L. 1989-90.
– Founder of Index Islamicus (1958–) and wrote much on Islamic bibliography.
Sources: *G. Roper, MELA Notes 65-66, 1998, 61-66; www.independent.co.uk/news/people/obituary-professor-j-d-pearson-1244502.html.
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