30 May 2012

16th IALS Conference, Heidelberg, Germany, 17.-20. April 2013

We are pleased to invite you to the 16th Conference of the International Association for Ladakh Studies which will be held at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, from 17 to 20 April 2013. We wish to keep it an interdisciplinary and fruitful event with scholars, scientists and experts from different fields.

We look forward to welcoming as many participants as possible in Heidelberg next spring. The call for papers and further information on fees, grants and organizational details will be put on the IALS website in the following weeks, so please visit the Heidelberg Conference page for updates.

With best wishes from Heidelberg,
Juliane Dame

15 May 2012

Restarting the IALS Blog

Aside from the post 'Nineteenth century photographs of Ladakh' (which graced the first incarnation of this blog) the Ladakh Studies blog is being restarted. This page now replaces the old news page that was part of the IALS website ladakhstudies.org

News relating to the IALS and its members will continue to form the foundation of this blog; in many ways this page will become a notice board for the Association. We'll post members' news, details of events that our members may find interesting, research updates, reviews, conference updates, and topical issues being discussed by the Association. We'll also post items such as the 'Nineteenth century photographs of Ladakh'. Over time our authors will increase in number and we hope our readership will too, with both members and non members of the IALS visiting this site.

If you have any comments on how to improve the site we would like to hear from you, and likewise, if you have any content that may be of interest to members of the IALS then please contact one of the blog hosts.

13 May 2012

Nineteenth century photographs of Ladakh

Students of Ladakh might be interested to browse through the British Library online gallery.

This contains a selection of the library’s collection of photographs and drawings, including a number of images of Ladakh. Among my own favourites is a photograph of Leh bazaar taken in 1873 by Francis Edward Chapman who was a member of the Forsyth exhibition to Yarkand. Chapman’s photographs are included in Sir Douglas Forsyth’s published account, Report of a Missionto Yarkund in 1873 (Calcutta, 1875). However, the web version is clearer than the originals and, if you click on ‘interactive zoomable image’, you can see a magnified version of sections of the photograph, making it possible to look at individual buildings in some detail.

Other notable images on the site include drawings based on sketches by Dr Henry Cayley, who was the first British official posted to Ladakh in the late 1860s. One example is a drawing of Hemis monastery. The drawings appear to be ‘second hand’ in that they were evidently prepared by Stanley Leighton on the basis of Cayley’s sketches. However, they look as though they are broadly accurate, and record the the architectural details of buildings that have been greatly changed, or no longer survive.

The online gallery presents no more than a small percentage of the British Library’s overall collection of images. The full catalogue specifically of the India Office collection of photographs, prints and drawings within the British Library is available here. The collection is in principle open to all researchers, but it is necessary to apply for a British Library card and to make an appointment in advance.

John Bray