Talk at the Library: British Exploration of 19th Century TibetVIEW EVENT DETAILS
The Extraordinary Story of a Tibetan Lama Who Produced an Atlas of the Himalayas
In the late 1960s – more than 100 years after its creation – the former British Indian diplomat and Tibetologist Hugh Richardson noticed a collection of extraordinary maps in the India Office Library. These panoramic maps of routes across Tibet and the Himalayas were catalogued as the “Wise Collection”, but the circumstances of its origin were unrecorded.
Who is behind the Wise Collection? Why was Tibet of geopolitical interest in the 19th century? What do the maps tell us about Tibet in those times? And why were they not in use, but rather forgotten?
Dr. Diana Lange from the Universität Hamburg takes us on a journey of her detective work revealing the origin, meaning and story of these maps that resulted in her book An Atlas of the Himalayas by a 19th Century Tibetan Lama – A Journey of Discovery. This talk will be moderated by Swiss-Tibetan Dolma Blattner, Gen A alumna of the Asia Society Switzerland.
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Dr. Diana Lange is a Principal Investigator of the research project "Maps as Knowledge Resources and Mapmaking as Process: The Case of The Mapping of Tibet" at the Cluster of Excellence “Understanding Written Artefacts” at the Universität Hamburg. She holds a Ph.D. in Central Asian Studies from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2008). Her research is located in Area Studies (Tibet and the Himalayas and East Asia) with a specialization in the history of knowledge and exploration, material and visual culture studies, historical cartography, and cultural interactions. In 2018 she completed her habilitation (HDR) on the British Library’s Wise Collection at the EPHE in Paris, published under the title An Atlas of the Himalayas by a 19th Century Tibetan Lama. A Journey of Discovery (Brill 2020).
Dolma Blattner is currently pursuing her Master in Banking and Finance at the University of St. Gallen. Prior to that, she studied Business Administration at the University St. Gallen and the Singapore Management University. She is an alumni member of Asia Society Switzerland’s first Gen A cohort. Dolma has Swiss and Tibetan roots. Her mother's family is originally from Lhasa. Although she was born and grew up in Zurich, she still feels strongly connected to her heritage and is actively involved in the Tibetan community in Switzerland.
Asia Society Switzerland
For event details visit https://asiasociety.org/switzerland/events/talk-library-british-exploration-19th-century-tibet Asia Society Switzerland Mühlebachstrasse 20 8008 Zurich (MAP)