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Locating Himalayan porters in the Archivalien der Expeditionsgesellschaften of the German Alpine Club (1929–1939)

Within the framework of Indo-German entanglements, the holding titled Archivalien der Expeditionsgesellschaften is of specific interest, as it holds the files, photo archive, film and audio material of the German Himalayan Foundation (Akten, Fotoarchiv, Film- und Tonmaterial der Deutschen Himalaja-Stiftung). The individual files of this holding originate from the many Himalayan expeditions undertaken during the twentieth century.

This post aims to provide a guide to this specific holding of the DAV archive that documents the beginning of German mountaineering efforts in the Himalayas and, in doing so, highlights a unique facet of Indo-German history as it attempts to uncover traces of the non-elite or native expedition labourers. The first section provides the context and trajectory of the expeditions, highlighting the conditions under which such materials were produced. The second section focuses on the holding in the archive and the various materials that refer to the expeditions’ labourers.



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MIDA Archival Reflexicon


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