About AIIS American knowledge of India is shaped by the American Institute of Indian Studies , a consortium of universities and colleges in the United States at which scholars actively engage in teaching and research about India. Since 1961, the Institute has provided fellowship support for scholars and PhD candidates in America. It has offered on-site training in Indian languages through the superb facilities of its Language Centers. And it has extended knowledge of Indian culture through its two Research Centers. As a member of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), AIIS's online photo archive is also linked as part of CAORC's Americal Overseas Digital Library (AODL). More than 5,500 scholars have received AIIS support.
The Bond collection consists of photographs taken during World War II by Frank Bond while serving in the Army Air Corps, 40th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, stationed in India and Burma. The squadron was formed in 1943 and transferred by sea to India in 1944. In India, the unit was assigned first to Gushkara, approximately sixty miles west of Calcutta, and then to the Alipore Air Base in suburban Calcutta. Bond was a specialist in the development of film from aerial photography that provided essential intelligence to the Allied forces during their advance through central Burma. As the campaign in Burma progressed, Bond was transferred to Akyab Island in the Bay of Bengal where he helped to establish the field photographic developing and printing laboratory.