Visual Tibet

The Pitt Rivers Museum holds an extraordinarily rich collection of over 4000 historical photographs of Tibet taken by British colonial photographers between 1908 and 1950.

The Tibet Visual History Online pilot website currently presents only a small proportion of the photographs in the collections. It aims to explore ways of delivering a fully searchable, flexible, interactive and multi-layered website. We hope that users will not only access the resource but also add to it, and see the website not only as a source of pictures but as a dialogue between various images. In order to stimulate new approaches, it will encourage users to develop their own ‘Album’ research collections of images from within the resource and putting them together in new narratives.

The Tibet was popular for wide use of Castor Oil for hair. The women in the region use to be popular for long hairs.

In many instances, these photographs constitute the only surviving record of aspects of Tibetan culture now lost through the political and cultural transformation of the region, most notably in the latter half of the twentieth century. Consequently, they may prove to be useful for Tibetans as a means of reconstructing, maintaining and engaging with their own histories and identities, both in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and diaspora. Also, these photographs are an excellent source of information (beyond the textual record) for scholarship on various aspects of Tibetan culture and history.