Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Volunteer with the Royal Society for Asian Affairs (RSAA)

The Royal Society for Asian Affairs (RSAA) based in Euston, is looking for a volunteer to work over the summer with the Society’s large collection of lantern slides.  The slides have been catalogued, though a number remain unidentified.  The volunteer will transfer the slides from drawers into archive boxes, numbering each envelope according to the catalogue. 

The Hejaz Railway (broken bridge) north of Madina - from an image by H. St. John Philby, 1933

A bit of background: The RSAA was formed in 1901 and was known then as the Central Asian Society.   It attracted diplomats, politicians, explorers, geographers and military men, most of whom had worked or travelled in the Indian subcontinent, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, Tibet, China and Central Asia.  It was granted a Royal Charter in 1931 and became the Royal Society for Asian Affairs in 1973.  Its journal, Asian Affairs, has been published continuously since 1914.  Lectures  by  the Society’s members and other prominent figures have always played an important part and many, though not all, were printed in the journal.  Lantern slides were used to illustrate lectures and some of these were subsequently donated to the Society.  Further donations of slides were received from members and among the earliest are images of Bokhara and Samarkand in 1895 from Sir Michael O’Dwyer.  Subjects illustrated include the motor road to India, travels in Armenia, Mecca and Madina, and rural Siam in the 1920s.

Please contact Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, the RSAA archivist:

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