Photographic & Archival Images & Film Resources

For images of tangka paintings and other art objects, as well as objects of material culture, please see the section for Art and Material Culture in this bibliography.  The links provided below concentrate on sources for documentary and archival photographs.


  • The Tibet Album: British Photography in Central Tibet (1920-1950)
    Searchable by photographers, dates, people, places. Includes a “Who Was Who” project for early 20th c. Tibet, also the day-to-day diary of Gould Mission in Tibet (1936-37).  Primarily photos by Charles Bell (1870-1945), Frederick Spencer Chapman (1907-1971), Arthur Hopkinson (1894-1953), Rabden Lepcha, Evan Nepean (1909-2002), Hugh Richardson (1905-2000), and Harry Staunton (1908-1945). Project of the Pitt Rivers Museum, British Museum.
  • The Meridian Trust
    A comprehensive Tibetan Buddhist film archive with over 3,500 hours of materials including teachings by Tibetan Buddhist masters, empowerment and other ceremonies, cultural events, traveloques, talks, and more. The Meridian Trust is a charitable organization founded in 1985, and is under the patronage of HH Dalai Lama. 
  • Digital Himalaya
    Ethnographic materials from Himalayan Mountain communities, including slides, videos, audio tapes, etc. Includes materials from the Williamson Collection (1930-1935, Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet), the Fürer-Haimendorf Film Collection (1930s, North Eastern India and Nepal), the Naga videodisk created in the 1980s, the ThakVillage of central Nepal collected since 1969, and the Thangmi Archive of northeastern Nepal. Features sample images and video clips (.qt) from the collections.
  • Old Tibet Photographic Archive (Tibet House US)
    Includes the photo collections from Marion Grant Griebenow, High Richardson, Heinrich Harrar, Fosco Maraini, David McDonald, Lt. J.R. Weir, A.T. Steele, and the Tokan Tada collection. Digital scans of selected holdings can be viewed on the webpage. 
  • Tibet, from the Collections of the American Geographical Society (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
    This digital collection presents historical maps and images of Tibet from the holdings of the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library. It includes includes a set of early photographs of central Tibet and Lhasa as well as images from Harrison Forman's expeditions to northern Tibet between 1932 and 1937.
  • A Glimpse of Another World: A Journey through Western Tibet (1938)
    Photographs taken by F. Bailey Vanderhoef, Jr.
  • Sikkim Photos (Kandell Collection) - Library of Congress
    300 images portraying the people and landscape of Sikkim by Dr. Alice Kandell in 1965-1979. 

See also photographic archives at the following institutions: