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Guide to the R. B. Holmes Photograph Collection, 1910-1926 and undated

Summary

The images in the collection were taken by British photographer R. B. (Randolph Bezzant) Holmes and possibly others from his studio who traveled with him. Holmes was the owner of the R. B. Holmes & Co. photography studio in Peshawar, Pakistan. Of the 208 prints in the collection, one hundred two are loose, 11.5 x 9.5" black-and-white photographic prints of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. The remaining 106 prints are mounted in three commercial albums whose subjects range widely, from Afghan War-period images of the Khyber Pass, Landi Khana, Ali Musjid, and the Kabul River; to pastoral scenes around Nowshera, street scenes in Peshawar city, and panoramic views of the Peshawar Valley, to views from India, including the Jhelum and Liddar valleys, Srinagar, lower Himals, Harabal waterfall, Shalimar, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, to images of Waziristan and the Khyber railway. The sizes of the mounted prints range from 8.25"x5.75" to 11.25"x9”, along with some panoramic prints. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.00565
Title
R. B. Holmes photographs
Date
1910-1926 and undated
Extent
7.6 Linear Feet, 208 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Collection Overview

Of the 208 prints in the collection, one hundred two are loose, 11.5 x 9.5" black-and-white photographic prints of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. The majority of these detailed images were taken during the end of the Anglo-Afghan war in 1919 and depict large British military camps and vast landscapes, sometimes with camel caravans or military convoys. Some scenes show the remains of villages, military features such as towers, and religious structures. There are portraits of individuals, including camel drivers, a sniper, a female spinner, a young woman dressed in traditional wear, and various groups. The landscape views include the Khyber Pass, Tanai Gorge, Kabul River, Khargali Ridge, Dal Lake, Nanga Parbat, and the Sikkim Himalaya. Military camp views, many in panoramic scale with fine detail, include Landi Khana, Dakka Plain, and Landi Kotal.

The remaining 106 prints are mounted in three commercial albums whose subjects range widely, from Afghan War-period images of the Khyber Pass, Landi Khana, Ali Musjid, and the Kabul River; to pastoral scenes around Nowshera, street scenes in Peshawar city, and panoramic views of the Peshawar Valley, to views from India, including the Jhelum and Liddar valleys, Srinagar, lower Himals, Harabal waterfall, Shalimar, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, to images of Waziristan and the Khyber railway. The sizes of the mounted prints range from 8.25"x5.75" to 11.25"x9”, along with some panoramic prints. There are 12 gelatin silver prints. The images of Waziristan (Box 6) are out of copyright. There are also several photographs from the Diwan and Mela Ram studios in the Waziristan images. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

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warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

Except for the Waziristan photograph album (Box 6), which is out of copyright, the copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], R. B. Holmes photographs, 1910-1926 and undated, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

Jamrud Fort and entrance to the Khyber Pass.
(2 copies)

One copy housed with Print 9

Box 1
Print 1
Entering the Khyber Pass. Camel Convoy.
Box 1
Print 2
Ali Musjid Camp.
Box 1
Print 3
Ali Musjid Camp.
(2 copies)

One copy housed with Print 35

Box 5
Print 3
Page 2
Exit of the Khyber into the Peshawar Plains.
Box 1
Print 4
Looking North through the Gorge at Ali Musjid.
(2 copies)

One copy housed with Print 15

Box 1
Print 5
Looking North through the Gorge at Ali Musjid.
Box 5
Print 5
Page 1
Looking South through the Gorge at Ali Musjid.
Box 1
Print 6
Camp at Landi Kotal (left half of panorama).
Box 1
Print 7
Camp at Landi Kotal (right half of panorama).
Box 1
Print 7a
Looking towards the water works on the road to Landi Khanna.

Housed with Print 32

Box 1
Print 9
On the road to Landi Khana looking towards Kbargali ridge.

Caption on photograph reads "The Tangi Gorge."

Box 1
Print 11
On the road to Landi Khana looking towards Kbargali ridge.
Box 5
Print 11
Page 5
Looking through the Tytler Gorge towards Landi Khanna.
Box 1
Print 15
Looking through the Tanai Gorge towards Landi Khanna.
Box 1
Print 16
Khargali Ridge and Bagh (left half of panorama).
Box 1
Print 18
The Double road to Landi Khana.
Box 5
Print 19
Page 7
From Kafirkote over looking the Khargali Ridge. The battle-ground of the 11th May 1919, Bagh Springs and village in the distance and remains of old Budhist Stupa on extreme left.
Box 1
Print 20
From Kafirkote towards Dakka. Kabul river in the distance and remains of old Grecian Fort wall on near hill.
Box 1
Print 21
From Karfirkote towards Dakka. Kabul river in the distance and remains of old Grecian Fort wall on near hill.
Box 5
Print 21
Page 8
Entering the Dakka Plain.
Box 1
Print 22
Untitled. Dakka camp, Kabul River?
Box 1
Print 25
Untitled. Dakka camp, Kabul River?
Box 1
Print 25a
Dakka camp, Kabul River.
Box 1
Print 26
Dakka camp showing Fort Robart and Kabul river.
Box 1
Print 27
Looking across the Kabul river, showing ferry.
Box 1
Print 31
After bombardment view of Loe Dakka and the main road showing deserted villages towards Landi Khana.
Box 1
Print 32
A view of villages in the Khyber.
Box 1
Print 35
Looking towards Jallalabad. Taken from a picquet during an engagement.
(2 copies)
Box 1
Print 37
Tribal towers and villages.
Box 1
Print 51
A general view of Ali Musjid from the fort.
(2 copies)
Box 1
Print 58
Looking down through the Gorge towards Ali Musjid.
Box 5
Print 61
Page 4
Khyber Pass near Landi Khana
Box 5
Print 66
Page 6
Landi Khana and tribal villages.
Box 1
Print 70
Khyber Pass near Landi Khana.
(2 copies)
Box 1
Print 73
In the Tank Zam looking towards Kirgi.
Box 6
Print 81
Page 38
[Convoy in Taki Zam.]
Box 6
Print 83
Page 37
In the Hingis Tangi.
Box 1
Print 84
In the Hingis Tangi.
Box 6
Print 84
Page 39
Looking across the Tank Zam towards Jandola.
Box 1
Print 85
Looking across the Tank Zam towards Jandola.
Box 6
Print 85
Page 41
Camp Kotkai.

Hand tinted

Box 6
Print 86
Page 35
Looking towards Kotkai from the Ahnai Tangi.
Box 6
Print 87
Page 40
Entering the Ahnai Tangi.
Box 1
Print 88
Entering the Ahnai Tangi.
Box 6
Print 88
Page 36
Looking through the Ahnai Tangi (near).
Box 1
Print 89
View from Piaza Raghza towards Pir Gul.
Box 1
Print 92
View from Piaza Raghza towards Pir Gul
Box 6
Print 92
Page 34
Mahsud and Waziri Spies.
Box 6
Print 94
Page 1
Typical Mahsuds.
Box 6
Print 96
Page 5
Tribesmen leaving a Jirga at Kaniguram.

Hand tinted

Box 1
Print 97
Jirga with Kaniguram in back ground.
Box 1
Print 98
Jirga with Kaniguram in background.
Box 6
Print 98
Page 12
Battery coming into action below tribal fortified tower.
Box 1
Print 100
Mountain Battery going into action, showing a cave dwelling.
Box 6
Print 101
Page 42
Derajat column in camp at Laddha.

Hand tinted

Box 1
Print 102
Kaniguram.
Box 6
Print 107
Page 33
Kaniguram camp with Gurkha picquet in foreground.
Box 6
Print 108
Page 32
Gurkhas camp under snow.
Box 6
Print 109
Page 31
Kaniguram picquets under snow.

Hand tinted

Box 1
Print 110
Isha Post, on the road to Miranshah.
Box 6
Print 113
Page 3
Waziri caravan types.
Box 2
Print 114
The Waziri.
(2 copies)
Box 2
Print 117
“Even to this.”
(2 copies)
Box 5
Print 119
Page 18
The Old Pathan.
Box 2
Print 122
A Pathan Woman.
Box 2
Print 124
A Tribesman of the Border.
Box 2
Print 125
Two Afghans.
Box 2
Print 126
Two Afghans with their camels.
Box 2
Print 127
Persian Wheel, Nowshera.
Box 5
Print 128
Page 17
Kabul river and Bridge of boats, Nowshera, (Sunrise).
Box 5
Print 129
Page 16
The Sniper.
Box 2
Print 131
Afridi Man.
Box 2
Print 131a
Pathan woman spinning.
Box 2
Print 132
Jhelum Valley Road and River.
Box 5
Print 155
Page 24
Srinagar, looking from the Sheikh Bagh towards the Thakt-i-Sulieman.
Box 5
Print 158
Page 28
A scene in Srinagar City.
Box 5
Print 159
Page 27
View entering Srinagar by river.
Box 5
Print 160
Page 25
On the Dal Lake, Srinagar.
Box 2
Print 161
Kashmiri Women Pounding Rice
Box 2
Print 164
Gulmarg, showing the Club, Church and Pologround.
Box 5
Print 165
Page 35
Camping ground at Sonemarg, beneath the Glaciers.
Box 5
Print 169
Page 40
Looking from Zojila to Baltal, 1,500 feet below.
Box 2
Print 170
Looking from Zojila to Baltal, 1,500 feet below.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 170
Page 41
Camping ground at Panjitarni, one march before Amarnath.
Box 2
Print 174
Lake Gangabal and Mount Haramouk.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 175
Page 39
By Tannin River and Mountain heights in mist.

Hand tinted

Box 2
Print 180
By Tannin River and Mountain heights in mist.
Box 5
Print 180
Page 36
Harabal Waterfall.
Box 5
Print 182
Page 38
Nishat Bagh.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 184
Page 32
Poplar Avenue
Box 5
Print 193
Page 23
Chenar Bagh.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 194
Page 29
General view in the Liddar Valley.
Box 5
Print 207
Page 43
Pastoral scene at Aro, Liddar Valley.

Hand tinted

Box 2
Print 209
Liddar stream, Kolahoi peak in the background.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 210
Page 42
Sind river and heights, one march before Sonemarg.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 212
Page 37
Gulmarg in autumn.
Box 5
Print 215
Page 33
Pines Gulmarg.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 220
Page 34
Shalimar.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 233
Page 31
Shalimar.
Box 5
Print 234
Page 30
Srinagar City.

Hand tinted

Box 5
Print 240
Page 26
Parachinar Bazar.
Box 2
Print 260
Parachinar Dak Bungalow.
Box 5
Print 263
Page 19
Deserted tribal fort near Guja Chinar in the Spin Tangi.
Box 2
Print 268
Kurram Militia Post.
Box 2
Print 269
Looking towards Kohat from the Pass.
Box 6
Print 277
Page 13
A defile in the Kohat Pass.
Box 2
Print 279
Looking down on Kala Bagh and Mari Indus.
Box 2
Print 300
Looking towards Khirgi from Manzai.
Box 2
Print 301
Looking towards Khirgi from Manzai.
Box 6
Print 301
Page 57
Village tower by Jandola.
Box 2
Print 303
Jandola Fort.
Box 2
Print 304
Jandola Camp.
Box 2
Print 305
Jandola Camp.
Box 6
Print 305
Page 56
In the Shahur Tangi.
Box 2
Print 306
In the Shahur Tangi.
Box 6
Print 306
Page 45
Exit of the Shahur Tangi (distant).
Box 3
Print 307
Exit of the Shahur Tangi, (distant).
Box 6
Print 307
Page 47
Exit of the Shahur Tangi (near).
Box 3
Print 308
Exit of the Shahur Tangi, (near).
Box 6
Print 308
Page 48
Looking towards Haidri Kach.
Box 6
Print 310
Page 44
Picquet above camp Haidri Kach.
Box 6
Print 311
Page 46
View from Haidri Kach picquet looking towards Sarwaki.
Box 6
Print 312
Page 50
Looking towards the Sulieman Range above Sarwaki.
Box 6
Print 316
Page 51
Daily convoys returning from Wana.
Box 6
Print 322
Page 49
Daily convoys returning from Wana.
Box 6
Print 324
Page 52
Rogha Kot camp perimeter, and Minchin Baba.
Box 6
Print 325
Page 43
Village tower near Wana.
Box 6
Print 329
Page 55
Wana Fort and plain.
Box 6
Print 330
Page 53
Column encamped Wana Fort.
Box 6
Print 331
Page 54
Wana Wazir hostages.
Box 6
Print 332
Page 2
Character Study; Wana Waziris.
Box 3
Print 333
Character Study: Wana Waziris.
Box 6
Print 333
Page 10
Michni Road, Peshawar.
Box 5
Print 341
Page 12
The Mall, Peshawar.
Box 5
Print 342
Page 11
St. Johns Church.
Box 5
Print 344
Page 13
The City Mission Church
Box 5
Print 345
Page 14
Caravan Sarai, Peshawar City.
Box 3
Print 347
Peshawar City in the main street.
Box 3
Print 354
Silk market, Peshawar City.
Box 5
Print 355?
Page 15
Attock Fort and Church.
Box 5
Print 370
Page 20
Attock looking down the Indus.
Box 5
Print 371
Page 21
Attock Bridge.
Box 5
Print 372
Page 22
Kaur Bridge Fort.
Box 3
Print 385
Manzai.
Box 3
Print 386
Sararogha Camp.
Box 3
Print 392
Camp Idak. (New view showing the fort).
Box 3
Print 403
Isha Picquet with Waziri types on the Road.
Box 3
Print 405
General view of Azad Khel, looking towards Razani.
Box 6
Print 407
Page 16
Camp Azad Khel.
Box 3
Print 408
General view approaching Razani, with camp in the distance.
Box 3
Print 411
Camp Razani (Near).
Box 6
Print 412
Page 17
Daily convoy entering the defile near Razani, showing the new road above and a tribal block house.
Box 3
Print 414
A camel convoy in the snow.
Box 6
Print 418
Page 21
Looking towards Razmak Camp with Pir Gul in the back ground and plateau covered in snow.
Box 6
Print 422
Page 20
From the Narai towards Razani. (all covered in snow.)
Box 3
Print 423
Camp Razmak. (Looking west).
Box 6
Print 425
Page 22
Camp Razmak with Everest Picquet in back ground.
Box 6
Print 426
Page 23
From Everest picquet towards Pir Gul.
Box 6
Print 429
Page 19
From Everest picquet looking towards Bannu.
Box 3
Print 430
Typical Mahsud and Waziri tribesmen.
Box 3
Print 431
Typical Mahsud and Waziri tribesmen.
Box 6
Print 431
Page 9
Character study "The Mahsud."
Box 3
Print 432
Character study “The Mahsud.”
Box 6
Print 432
Page 6
Waziri types on the Tochi road.
Box 6
Print 434
Page 4
The burning of Makin, Razmak Operations 1923.
Box 3
Print 436
Bathing Ghats on the Ganges river-Benares
Box 3
Print 902
Bathing Ghats on the Ganges river—Benares
Box 5
Print 902
Page 44
The Taj Mahal and Jasmine Tower, Agra.
Box 5
Print 911
Page 45
Taj Mahal, Agra, moonlight effect.
Box 5
Print 916
Page 47
Taj Mahal, Agra.
Box 5
Print 917
Page 48
Marble screen and interior, Taj Mahal, Agra.
Box 5
Print 920
Page 46
View near Rampore.
Box 3
Print 1062
Pahlgam.
Box 3
Print 1084
Gamp Forest, Phalgam.
Box 3
Print 1084a
The Liddars.
Box 3
Print 1089
Club and Nedou's Hotel, Gulmarg.
Box 3
Print 1106
The Khan of Dir welcomes the Viceroy with great pomp-the Panjkora river borders the valley with Hindu Kusk in the distance.
Box 4
Print 1420
The end of the caravan crosses into Afghanistan from the Khyber.
Box 4
Print P.5
Near Landi Kotal, Khyber Pass.
Box 5
Print P.10
Page 9
A cold and misty morning, Peshawar Valley.
Box 5
Print P.14
Page 10
Ploughing, the Kashmir homestead.
Box 4
Print UN-1
Sind Valley, Kashmir.
Box 4
Print UN-2
Dal Lake.
Box 4
Print UN-3
Nanga Parbat 26, 660. The east aspect across the Astor River.
Box 4
Print UN-4
Glacier Valley and campsite, Sonemarg, Kashmir.
Box 4
Print UN-5
Return of Mohforce, Oct. 1935. New Road, Nahakki Pass.
Box 4
Print UN-6
In the Sikkim Himalaya, view towards Darjeeling. The pony track winds over the ridges.
Box 4
Print UN-7
The Indus. Baltistan. The pony track runs along the river bank.
Box 4
Print UN-8
Untitled. Mountain and river scene.
Box 4
Print UN-9
Open Road, Afghanistan, 1910.
Box 4
Print UN-10
Looking towards the Lahore Gate, Peshawar City
Box 4
Print UN-11
[A group of twelve men.]
Box 4
Print UN-12
Caravans passing Ali Masjid, Khyber Pass.
Box 5
Print UN-13
Page 3
[Street scene.]
Box 5
Print UN-14
Page 9
Oabul (Kabul) River at Nowshera.
Box 5
Print UN-15
Page 10
The Khyber Railway.
Box 7
Print UN-16
Page 1
Bagiari Station at the mouth of the Khyber Pass.
Box 7
Print UN-17
Page 2
Kafir Tangi Tunnel.
Box 7
Print UN-18
Page 3
Near Fort Maude.
Box 7
Print UN-19
Page 4
View from Changi Reversing Station.
Box 7
Print UN-20
Page 5
Near Medanak Reversing Station.
Box 7
Print UN-21
Page 6
Shahgai Station.
Box 7
Print UN-22
Page 7
Ali Masjid Gorge.
Box 7
Print UN-23
Page 8
The summit 3,500 feet above sea-level, Landi Kotal Station.
Box 7
Print UN-24
Page 9
Near Michni Kandao.
Box 7
Print UN-25
Page 10
Tangi Bridge.
Box 7
Print UN-26
Page 11
Panorama on the way down to Landi Khana.
Box 7
Print UN-27
Page 12
 

Historical Note

Randolph Bezzant Holmes was born in 1888. He was a commercial photographer who took over the business established by his father, William D. Homes, around 1899 in Peshawar, Pakistan. Holmes was an official photographer of the Afghan Wars on the North West Frontier in Afghanistan. He also spent time in Kashmir and in other Asian locales. Later in life he also painted watercolor landscapes from the same areas. In 1929 he published a memoir of his time in Afghanistan, Story of the North West Frontier Province, Peshawar, containing gelatin print plates of his landscapes. Holmes died in 1973.

Related Material

  • R. B. Holmes Collection (papers and photographs)(Macmillan Brown Library, University of Canterbury, New Zealand)


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The R. B. Holmes Afghan War Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase from 2009-2011, 2014, and 2016.

Processing Information

Processed by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, December 2009

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, December 2009

Updated for additions by Alice Poffinberger, December 2010 and October 2011

Updated for addition by Alice Poffinberger, September 2014

Updated for additions by Alice Poffinberger, January 2017

Accessions 2009-0117, 2010-0181, 2010-0194, 2011-0121, 2011-0122, 2011-0212, 2014-0131. 2016-0052, 2016-0250 and 2016-0286 are described in this finding aid.