Papers of Lieutenant-Colonel David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer

Scope and Content

The collection comprises the linguistic papers of David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer, relating to his work on Burushaski, Khowar, Shina, Bakhtiari, Karmani Persian and Gabri. Also includes photographs, glass negatives and cinefilm of a field trip to the Hunza Valley, North West Pakistan in the mid-1930s

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).


The linguistic material has been arranged into groups according to dialect/language; photographic material and films are arranged by format.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Bequeathed to SOAS in 1962.

Other Finding Aids

Unpublished handlist. 'Catalogue of Hunza Glass Lantern Slides (3 1/4” X 3 1/4”) Made from photographs taken by Lt. Col. D. L. R. Lorimer in 1934-35 (and a few in 1923-24) in Hunza, and also in Kashmir, Gilgit, and Nagir. Annotations J. M. Flowerday' (2017) is available in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Alternative Form Available

Sections of the linguistic papers are available in SOAS Library on microfilm - M5780 and M5781.

Archivist's Note

Description of linguistic papers based on list compiled by Dr. D.N. Mackenzie in 1963.


Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright held by SOAS University of London

Related Material

Royal Asiatic Society Archives holds papers relating to David Lockhart Robertson Lorimer and Emily Overend Lorimer [Ref: GB 891 LOR]. This 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.