Physical Archive

The Tibet Museum’s photographic archive collection consists of approximately 20,000 photographs, 5,000 slides and 15,000 negatives. The collection covers numeropis topics relating to Tibet: religion, culture, environment, politics, the community in exile, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other important religious figures and more. We are currently in the process of digitizing the collection, in order to make our catalog accessible through our website. Presently, however, inquiries and searches should be submitted to us by email.

In order to ensure the continued growth of the archive and historical accuracy, The Tibet Museum has initiated two projects: Photo Identification Project and Family Photo Album Project.


The Photo Identification Project:

The majority of the photographs in the museum’s collection were received through donations from various individual donors and organizations which lacked accompanying information. In order to find out the historical facts about these photos, the Museum started the Photo Identification Project.  whereby museum staff travel to Tibetan settlements in India, Nepal and Bhutan to meet with members in the community who would be able to provide information about the photographs including dates, places and people. The Tibet Museum will continue this project until all the photos were identified.


Family Photo Album:

In order to increase the volume of our collection, the Tibet Museum has started the Family Photo Album Collection Project; through this initiative we have acquired many old and new photographs, some of great historical value. This project involves visiting Tibetan settlements and scanning photographs selected and identified from personal family albums within Tibetan communities. This project will be continued to increase the historical and archival scope of museum collection.


The Tibet Museum photo archive is an important history documentation resource and a vital asset for the Tibet Museum. The photographs are used for exhibitions, books and other printed material published by the Tibet Museum, as well as by the Department of Information and International Relations and other departments of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA). The photo archive is also open to other institutions, writers, journalists, tibetologists, researchers, NGOs and international organizations.

We are always looking for historical and contemporary photographs on Tibet and Tibetan issues. Any donation of photographs and other materials will be appreciated.  For further details on donating photographs to the Tibet Museum, please contact us at: [email protected]