Postcards from the Edge: Hill Stations of The Raj

2024-07-13 17:58:44

Omar Khan

Postcards from the Edge: Hill Stations of The Raj


June 7, 2024    
7:00 pm

Image on the left: Murree Bazar (Summer): D. Baljee & Co., Murree and Rawalpindi, c. 1905, Coloured collotype, Divided back, 13.95 x 9.05 cm. Image on the right: Grand Hotel, Simla: The Archaeological Photo-Works of India, Delhi, c. 1908, Collotype, Divided back, 13.85×8.75cm. Images courtesy of Omar Khan. 

Part of MAP’s online series, Deep Dive, this talk delves into India’s colonial history using an unusual source — postcards.

Led by author and researcher Omar Khan, this session focuses on colonial postcards from the hill stations of Darjeeling and Shimla in India, and Murree in Pakistan between 1897 and 1947.

Hill stations were centres of retreat and power for European colonists in India. Omar will examine the visual narratives surrounding these high altitude outposts, focusing on both European and Indian photographers and studios who were part of the postcard culture. Although largely overlooked by scholars and historians, postcards offer a window into popular perceptions– snapshots shared like the Instagram of those times.

Join the talk and learn more about how people at the time represented themselves in an ever changing landscape.

Omar Khan

Omar Khan is the author of Paper Jewels: Postcards from the Raj (2018) and From Kashmir to Kabul: The Photographs of John Burke and William Baker 1860-1900 (2002). He grew up in Vienna, Austria and Islamabad, Pakistan and is a graduate of Dartmouth College, Columbia and Stanford universities. He lives in San Francisco where recently retired as Chief Technology Officer at the non-profit Common Sense Media. He founded in 1995 and has researched early photography and ephemera of the subcontinent for over thirty years. A growing portion of his large postcard collection focussed on South Asia is available at

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