Main content

South Asia press photographs


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

During the mid-to-late 1970's, South Asia, most especially India and its immediate neighbors, experienced a period of civil and political unrest. In India, this took the form of a governmental and social crisis known as "The Emergency," in which Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed proclaimed a state of national emergency, implementing censorship, jailing political opponents, and suspending elections. In Pakistan, the presidency of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto ushered in a period of democratic constitutional reform and development which was cut short by a military coup in 1977. The nation of Bangladesh, created in 1971 as a result of the Bangladesh Liberation War, experienced a democratic crisis in which Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibar Rahman, after amending the constitution to give himself emergency powers to circumvent civil liberties, was assassinated as part of a military coup; full or partial military control of the government lasted until 1979. In Sri Lanka, ethnic tensions between Sinhalese and Tamil populations led to extremist violence, such as the assassination of the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiyappah, in 1975 by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

This collection consists of French press photos concerning events in South Asia from 1935-1994, with particular emphasis on the turbulent years of the mid-to-late 1970s, in which India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh experienced overlapping civil, political, and environmental crises. It documents the struggles between supporters and opponents of Indira Gandhi's political movement within India; Pakistani political unrest around the 1977 military coup; development of industrial capacity in Sri Lanka; overwhelming rains in Pakistan in 1974; and flooding in India in 1978. The collection contains stray photographs from the 80's and 90's depicting political moments in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The photographs are captioned to provide political and historical context, either with attached tags or on the reverse of the photos themselves. The photographs are collected in batches according to subject, and there batches appended with catalog numbers (format: PHPC:XXX); however, there is no corresponding catalog to which they can be matched. Therefore the catalog numbers have been retained and the batches arranged chronologically.

Sold by Kevin Jackson, 2019

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Sam Allingham
Finding Aid Date
2022 May 17
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view
PHPC 094 - French photos of the disturbances in Waziristan, HAC (three photographs), 1933-1937.
Box 1 Folder 1
PHPC 095 - French press photo of General Mohammed Ayoub Khan, captioned, RC, 1958.
Box 1 Folder 2
PHPC 097 - French press photo of the funeral of Solomon Bandaranaike, President of Ceylon, 1959.
Box 1 Folder 3
PHPC 096 - French press photos of Indian politics from 1960-1962. Independence Day celebrations, Krishna Menon, Nehru with Cou En-Lai. Also a photo of Madame Mitterand in Calcutta on a humanitarian mission. All captioned. NC (three photographs), 1960-1962.
Box 1 Folder 4
PHPC 074 - French press photos of politics in India from 1971-1981. Shown are India and Rajiv Gandhi, their supports and opponents, Moranji Desai, Jayaprakash Narayan, Naj Narain, also Marxist demonstrations at Tata in 1971. HAAC. (collection of 36 photographs), 1971-1981.
Box 1 Folder 5
PHPC 076 - French photos, one from 1975 of Hope Cook, Queen of Sikkim, talking to Barbara Walters on the Today Show pleading for her husband's safety as the kindgom voted on whether to join the Indian state or not. The other photo is of a Nepalese festival in 1974, SC (two photographs), 1974-1975.
Box 1 Folder 6
PHPC 079 - French press photos of Bangladesh from 1974-1994. Shown are hardships resulting from the severe rains of 1974, "Moslem" Burmese refugees following their expulsion from Burma in 1978, 1994 demonstrations in Paris in support of Taslima Nasreen. All described on back. ROC (eleven photographs), 1974-1994.
Box 1 Folder 7
PHPC 080 - French press photo of construction at Galwetawatta mines, near Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, AE, 1976.
Box 1 Folder 8
PHPC 078 - French press photos of flooding in India in 1977-1978 and religious clashes between Muslims and Hindus in Bombay in 1984 and demonstrations against the army going into the Golden Temple of Amritsar (ten photographs), 1977-1978, 1984.
Box 1 Folder 9
PHPC 077 - French press photo collection on political events in Pakistan from 1977-1992. Shown are riots in Islamabad in 1977, demonstrations in London supporting Bhutto in 1978, Karachi Muslims during the festival of Ashura, General Zia inspecting the first Mirage overhauled at Kamra Aeronautical Complex in 1980, French Secretary for Foreign Affairs Olivier Stirn visiting Afghan refugees near Tarbela, display of Pakistani military power following the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, General Zia opening the Islamic Foreign Ministers' Conference to devise a common strategy against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, Zia in London and Paris, crowd awaiting Benazir Bhutto in 1986 in Quitta, new Pakistani PM Mustfa Jatoi in 1990, riots in Islamabad in 1992 following the storming by Hindu zealots of Babri Mosque in India. OCC (22 photographs, most with descriptions on back), 1977-1992.
Box 1 Folder 10

Print, Suggest