Photographic Collections

Tinted print from Japan
Tinted print from Japan
We have a large collection of photographs covering the whole of Asia, dating from the early days of photography into the late 20th century. The subject matter of the photographs is far-reaching. Content includes topography, archeology, architecture, culture, portraiture etc, from the Middle East to South East Asia, and from India to China and Hong Kong. Donations from notable figures such as Aurel Stein and A. P. Howell feature alongside more vernacular items.
Examples of the types of material can be found on our blog.

The collection contains albumen and gelatin silver prints, as well as more current formats; some are loose and some are in albums. Other photographic material includes stereograms, postcards and photo-panoramas.
We also have significant numbers of photographic and glass slides which are yet to be catalogued.

Please contact us for further information.
Stereogram of Armenian ruins
Stereogram of Armenian ruins, c.1870s

Many of the photographs can be found on our online catalogue. There is also a printed catalogue which is available in the RAS Reading Room.

'Piper of the Patiala Regiment playing at the Parade on the King's Official Birthday on June 13th on the Kongngsplein Batavia'
‘Piper of the Patiala Regiment playing at the Parade on the King’s Official Birthday on June 13th on the Kongngsplein Batavia’, 1946

Click here  or here to see  highlights from two of the RAS Photographic Collections.

We have two reels of film in the RAS Collections. They show Reginald Campbell Thompson’s excavations in Iraq. They have been digitised and are available to view here along with more information about the footage.