Betjeman Photographic Collection

betjeman2 The Ancient India & Iran Trust is grateful to have been entrusted with a substantial collectionfrom the estate of the late Penelope Chetwode (Betjeman). This includes about 6000 slides, photographs and negatives; the oldest going back to her time in India at the beginning of the last century, and the more recent recording her travels in India during the later decades of her life. The importance of these materials is largely in terms of their wide and eclectic recording of many architectural monuments, both big and small, and of their geographical and human settings.

betjeman1Between 2008 and 2011, Christophe Roustan-Delatour (Assistant Curator in charge of Non-European collections at the Museum of Cannes) undertook a cataloguing project to preserve the Betjeman photographic archive, with bursaries from the AIIT and additional funding from the French National Research Agency. The aim of the project was not only to protect the archive but to enable access to ‘one of the major resources worldwide for the study of Western Himalayan art.’[1] The completion of Christophe’s work and commitment to this project and the archive will result in a comprehensive catalogue of the archive of the Betjeman photographs of Himachal Pradesh, enabling this archive of irreplaceable images to be protected, whilst enabling greater access to them as a resource and with the potential for digitisation in the future

[1] ,Christophe (2010). Cataloguing Penelope Betjeman’s Himalayan Photographs. Indiran: the newsletter of the Ancient India and Iran Trust. Issue 4: (Spring/Summer 2010), p.5.


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