Papers of David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer and Emily Overend Lorimer

Scope and Content

The material consists of two folders. The first contains correspondence, manuscripts and printed material connected to the Lorimers' expedition to the Gilgit-Baltistan region, Pakistan in 1934-1935. The second folder contains correspondence and notes provided by D.L.R. Lorimer in 1946, to aid Roland Carter, political agent in Gilgit and Carter's own notes.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer was born on 24 December 1876. He entered the Indian Army in 1896. From 1898-1903 he served with the Q.V.O. Corps of Guides, and was seconded with the Khalibar Rifles from 1901-1903. He entered the Indian Political Service in 1903, serving with them until 1924. His posts included H.B.M.S. Vice-Consul for Arabistan (1903-1909); Political Agent, Bahrein (1911-1912); H.M. Consul, Kerman and Persian Baluchistan, and ex-officio Assistant to the Political Resident, Persian Gulf (1912-1914); Assistant Political Agent, Chitral (1915); on field service with the I.E.F.D., Mesopotamia, and Civil Governor Am'ra (1915-1916); H.M. Consul Kerman and Persian Baluchistan (1916-1917); Political Agent, Loralai, Baluchistan (1920), and Political Agent, Gilgit (1920-1924). Lorimer was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, 1933-1935. He also received an honorary fellowship of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in 1953.

Lorimer's publications included Syntax of Colloquial Pashtu (1915); Persian Tales (1919); The Phonology of the Bakhtiari, Badakshani, and Madaglashti Dialects of Modern Persian (1922); The Burushaski Language , Volumes I and II (1935), and Volume III (1938); The Dum'ki Language (1939), and The Wakhi Language (1958). He died in 1962.
Emily Overend Lorimer (1881-1949) was a British linguist, political analyst and author, She was a tutor in Germanic Philology at Somerville College Oxford ,1907-10, and editor of 'Basrah Times' 1916-17. She was with her husband, David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer, British resident in Cairo during the First World War and its Arab Revolt. She was an early translator and analyst of Nazi works, including Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf in the 1920s and 1930s. She worked with her husband on Asian studies.
Roland Carter (1924-2018) was a Political Agent in Gilgit 1945; and subsequently a diplomat in Moscow, Helsinki, Kuala Lumpur, Ulan Bator (Ambassador), and Pretoria.


The material was accessioned at two different times. Therefore separate series were created:

  • LOR/1 - Lorimer-Giligt Papers
  • LOR/2 - Lorimer-Carter Papers

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given Nancy Charley The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The Lorimer-Gilgit Papers were sent by Sidney Duly to Richard Pankhurst, Royal Asiatic Society Librarian, in February 1981. The Lorimer-Carter Papers were sent to Miss Nielsen, Royal Asiatic Society, in January 1967.

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2018.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The Lorimer-Gilgit Papers were in the possession of Sidney Duly until accession to the Royal Asiatic Society - the correspondence is addressed to him from both David and Emily Lorimer. The Lorimer-Carter Papers were in the possession of Roland Carter before accession to the Royal Asiatic Society.

Related Material

Within our Library Collections we have several books authored by David Lockhart Robertson and Emily Overend Lorimer. They can be found on our Library Catalogue .