Britain and Tibet by Julie G. Marshall

I finally finished going through this book! It isn't a book that you read, not one with a story, but rather it is a list of publications where the subject is the relationships between Britain and Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan from 1765-1947. There are 4020 references listed and they are grouped according to area, people and time period. Why was I looking through this? Because this is a great resource to find obscure journal articles about early exploration in the Himalayas. Often these articles have maps drawn from the geographical knowledge of the time and are annotated with place names as they were know then. This is very helpful when you are trying to trace the locations for Primula collections made in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Many of the places have changed names or don't exist any more. Also these articles detail the common routes travelled in those days and this also provides a clue as to where Primula collections have been made. Of course many of the references are not available online, so it is quite a process to find ones of interest. Thankfully each section in the book has a preamble about the subject of the references that follow and most references are detailed with a short note on the contents and any maps included.

Many interesting articles can be found in "The Geographical Journal" which can be accessed through JSTOR. If you sign up for a free account you are able to view up to three articles at any given time every 14 day period.

Another source of articles is "The Himalayan Journal" which can be accessed through the Himalayan Club. Unfortunately, with a recent reorganisation of their archive, images accompanying the articles are no longer available. However the excellent website "PAHAR mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset" has old journals including this one with the images. This site also has an extensive library of old maps.


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