During the first half of the twentieth century the official representatives of the British Government for Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet compiled comprehensive data on the society of Tibet. Following the British military expedition to Tibet in 1903-1904 under Sir Francis Younghusband, they systematically collected information on many of the important people of Lhasa and some from other parts of Tibet. Most of these Tibetans were government officials from aristocratic families. Between 1907 and 1950 British Political Officers collated this information and issued nine different versions of the so-called "Who's Who in Tibet". The first five issues (up to 1933) included both Tibetan officials and members of the leading families of Bhutan and Sikkim. Copies of "Who's Who in Tibet" were printed in very small numbers for strictly confidential official use. They were never published and remain difficult to find and read to this day.
Frank Drauschke has collected copies of all nine versions of "Who's Who in Tibet" from different archives in India, the United Kingdom and the United States. The aim of this project was to compile data from all the different versions into a database, adding the correct Tibetan names (Tibetan script and Wylie transliteration), available complementary information and, where possible, a photograph of the person described in the biographical entries.
On completion of this compilation (in total around 600 entries) the whole will be edited into a comprehensive volume with an English index of names, titles and places, a Tibetan index of names and essays about the sources and on the political and social structure of Tibet in the first half of the twentieth century. The biographical section will include entries from the earlier editions on officials in Sikkim and Bhutan. The book is scheduled to be published in 2007.
Around 80 extracts from this project have been made available for inclusion on "The Tibet Album" website, giving a glimpse of the kind of content that will be available in the book.
For further information contact:
Facts & Files - Historical Research Institute Berlin
Pestalozzistr.38, D-13187 Berlin, Germany
ph.: +49-30-48098-620, fax: +49-30-48098-629