Norbhu with Everest permit

Norbhu with Everest permit

1998.131.404 (Print black & white)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


With tracing paper

Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

January 1st 1937

Named Person

Norbhu Dhondup


Lhasa > Dekyi Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

172 x 122

Rai Bahadur Norbhu OBE, a Tibetan aristocrat who worked as interpreter to the British Mission, reading the permit for the 1938 Everest Expedition, presented to the British Mission on New Years Day, 1937

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print gelatin silver

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Catologue Number

BJ.22 [view film roll]

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

Notes on print/mount - The reference 'BJ 22' has been written on the back of the print in pencil. A piece of thin paper has been stuck on the back of the print, which would have been used for transferring crop and reproduction instructions from the back to the front of the print. The caption "Norbhu, the interpreter, holding the permit for the 1938 Everest Expedition" has been written on the paper in blue ink [MS 23/03/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Caption in Chapman's hand-written list of negatives made whilst on the Mission to Lhasa, 1936-7 [See PRM Manuscripts Collection]: 'Ditto Ditto [V. [?] close up of N. [Norbhu] reading it [Everest permit]] Full'; PRM Manuscripts Collection: ‘List of Tibetan Prints and Negatives’ - Book 3: ‘33/2 - Norbhu studies the permit’ [MS 23/03/2006]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: Images prefixed with 'BJ' comprise a group of negatives containing images of the Lhasa band, chang girls, Tibetan officials including Tsarong and Ringang, Finch, Norbhu, Everest Permit and Khampa people, all apparently taken in the first week of January 1937 [MS 16/03/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: "To celebrate New Year's Day we invited the following to a luncheon party: the Prime Minister; the four Shappes - or Cabinet Ministers - Langchunga, Bhondong, Tendong and Kalon Lama; the Yapshi Kung, or Grand Duke: Tsarong Dzaza, and Chikyap Khempo, the head of the Ecclesiastical party. ... On arrival the first act of the Cabinet was to hand to Norbhu a sealed packet made of coarse Tibetan paper, together with the customary white silk scarf of greeting. This turned out to be the permission for an Everest Expedition in 1938. The Cabinet had been considering the question for some weeks and it struck us as an act of the greatest courtesy to hand over the permit so unostentatiously as a New Year's present" ['Lhasa Mission, 1936: Diary of Events', Part XII p.1 , written by Chapman] [MS 23/03/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Norbhu with Everest permit" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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