Skip Navigation or Skip to Content
Explore how collectors used Tibetan objects to construct both Tibet in the western imagination and to further their personal, organisational (missionary or military) and imperial desires and expectations.

Over eighty percent of Tibetan material now held at the National Museum of Scotland can be provenanced to specific individuals, whose biographies are enhanced and made tangible through the wide array of Tibetan objects they chose to collect. At National Museums Scotland, we have a vast collection of beautiful Tibetan objects on display. See a selection of objects from within our collection and explore the stories of the Tibetan collectors here.

About the Tibet Project

Discover more about the Tibetan project, in collaboration between the University of Stirling, Department of Languages, Cultures and Religions, and the National Museum of Scotland, Department of World Cultures.

Tibetan objects

Most of the objects in the Museum’s Tibetan collection were acquired in the short timespan of 1890-1930, less than a lifetime, making this collection a snapshot of the British Empire’s relationship with Tibet.


Explore the Tibetan project findings in depth; focusing on the stories of the Tibetan collectors, their expeditions and cultural experiences in Tibet during the mid nineteenth to early twentieth century.

Supported by

AHRC    University of Stirling

Back to top