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The collections of photographs that are housed in The Northeast India Audiovisual Archive have been contributed by certain individuals, families and organisations and have also been collected from across northeast India by the team at the archive and by our collaborators. The photographs capture and represent the land, its people, their lives and their realities. These photographs document monumental events in the history of Northeast India and are legitimate sources of first-hand historical and anthropological information. 

Khasi National Dorbar

The Khasi National Dorbar was instituted in Shillong on the 4th of September, 1923 and concluded on the 6th of September, 2024 to discuss safeguarding the political and cultural interests of the communities living in the hill districts of colonial Assam. The idea of instituting Autonymous District Councils in the Assam hills was introduced in the Khasi National Dorbar. Its pioneering efforts culminated in the attainment of full-fledged statehood of Meghalaya in 1972.

Federation of Khasi States

A political movement that aimed to unite all independent states in the Khasi hills into a singular political entity. 

The Third Women’s Food Festival 1998

The Third Women’s Food Festival 1998 was organised by RS and CC in Shillong. Among the dignitaries attending the event are PR Kyndiah, Manas Choudhury, Mukul Sangma, RG Lyngdoh and more.

Nineteenth Gathering of the Youth of Seng Khasi Seiñ Raid

The Seng Khasi Seiñ Raid organised its nineteenth Youth Gathering at Khiehriat, Jaiñtia Hills in April, 2006. The youth displayed regional cultural dances on the occasion as well as traditional games unique to the place.

Nokte Dance in Arunachal Pradesh 

The Nokte are an indigenous community living in Arunachal Pradesh of Tibeto-Burmese origin. The Nokte dance is one of the community's cultural-ritual dances. 

Indira Gandhi's visit to Kopili River

Hill State Movement

The movement was inaugurated in the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills to attain a separate state for the people living in the Assam hills. The efforts of the movement were finally realised in the establishment of Meghalaya as an independent state within the Indian nation on the 21st of January, 1972.


Office bearers of the All Party Hill Leaders Conference in Shillong, along with its members in the district councils and in the legislature. 

Elephant Training 

These photographs were taken by pioneering photographer in Shillong, Ahmed Hossein along the banks of the Brahmaputra river which runs through present day Assam. The photographs show wild elephants being trained. 


A religious festival to invoke the blessings of the Creator on the upcoming sowing and harvest seasons in Jaintia hills.

Oriah Dance of the Wanchos in Arunachal Pradesh

Ceremonial dance of the Wancho indigenous group in Arunachal Pradesh 

Vote Counting, 1983

Election votes for the State Legislative Assembly being counted at State Central Library on the 22nd of February, 1983

Union political leaders' visits to Meghalaya

This collection includes photographs taken of political leaders visiting Meghalaya. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manmohan Sing, Krishna Kant and APJ Abdul Kalam are among the political dignitaries whose visit to the state were photographed.

Erstwhile Shillong

Pictures of various places in Shillong taken during the twentieth century have been included in this collection.

Editions of the UCC Magazine

Union Christian College, Shillong was established in 1952. This collection has pages from the various editions of their annual magazine.

PCO at Sumer and Umroi

These pictures display the visit of the Union Minister for Telecommunication, to the PCO at Sumer and Umroi

Inauguration of Meghalaya as a state

The state of Meghalaya was established on the 21st of January, 1972 by Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India. 

Ki Sur na Ri

Ki Sur ka Ri, a song collection published by the NVDA Mawkhar Circle printed by KJ Press Mawkhar. 

Wangala Dance

These photographs were taken by Ahmed Hossein on the occasion of Wangala Dance in Garo Hills. They depict the ceremonial practice during the festival, the material culture of the festival, instruments played during the dance and the dance itself.

Durga Puja celebration in Nartiang

Durga Puja celebrated at the Durga Temple in Nartiang , West Jaiñtia Hills District. The temple is 600 years old and is one of the most important temples for the Hindus in the country. It is one of the 51 Shakti Peethas and is a sacred site for devotees of the Shaktism sect of Hinduism. 

Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi's visit to Meghalaya

Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi along with Sonia Gandhi's visit to Meghalaya

Establishing the foundation of Union Christian College, Shillong

Establishing the foundation of Union Christian College, Shillong

Harvest Season in Meghalaya

The agrarian image along with the rural scenes of meghalaya are vividly captured in the photographs of this collection.

The State Central Library, Shillong

The State Central Library in Shillong is a public library established in the 1950s by the erstwhile Government of Assam. On the 19th of January, 1974, the Government of Assam handed over the public library to the Government of Meghalaya, with assets being divided between the two states. Today, it is maintained by the Department of arts and Culture, Government of Meghalaya. The premises also houses an auditorium wherein a multitude of events are held.

Gorkha Panchayat

The collection consists of photographs taken of the personel of the Gorkha army and their families who live in the Gorkha army cantonment in Shillong.

Laying the foundation stone of Crowborough Hotel

Inauguration of the second channel (DD2) Studio Complex of Doordarshan Kendra on the 16th of December, 1995

Chief Ministers of Meghalaya

This collection has photographs of the chief ministers of Meghalaya since the inception of the state. They are portraits of the chief ministers and photographs of them at important evets, meetings and while thay are at work in their office.

Presbyterian Church at Laitlyngkot

Presbyterian Church at Laitlyngkot

The building of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, pre-2001

The old building of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly before being engulfed in the 2001 fire.

Prime Ministers of India visiting Meghalaya

Agriculture in Meghalaya

The collection consists of photographs taken of agroforestry practices in Meghalaya, sowing procedures and the harvest season as well.

Northeast Chess Meet in Shillong, 1987

Northeast Chess Meet organised by the Shillong Chess Association in 1987. Former Member of Parliament, Purno Sangma is one among the number of dignitaries present during the event.

Hamlet Bareh Nagapkynta

Newspaper articles on the author and filmmaker, Hamlet Bareh Ngapkynta and his works.


Photographs of erstwhile Motphran and Iewduh or Bara Bazaar in Shillong, taken during the twentieth century.

The Catholic Church in the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills

Celebration of culture within the Catholic Church in the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo Hills during important events in the church

Presidents of India paying a visit to Meghalaya​

The Cinema in Shillong

Inauguration of the second channel (DD2) of Doordarshan

Inauguration of the second channel (DD2) Studio Complex of Doordarshan Kendra on the 16th of December, 1995

Football Tournaments

New Year's football tournament organised by Dong Lumshyiap Thiang

Inauguration of the Office of the District Commissioner, Shillong

The new office of the District Commissioner of Shillong being inaugurated on the 21st of April, 1989

The Great Assam Earthquake of 1897

Roger Bilham's collection of images of the Khasi, Jaintia and Garo hills taken before and after the Great Assam Earthquake of 1897 by Tom LaTouche

Vice Presidents of India visiting Meghalaya

Aly Shadap's collection

Churches in Northeast India​

Indigenous religious ceremonies in Meghalaya

Aly Shadap is a trailblazing photographer in Meghalaya whose works involve microscopic photography, landscape photography, documentary photography, portraits, photographs of the indigenous communities in Meghalaya, markets and places of cultural exchange, festivals, religious ceremonies, spaces of worship and more.

The European missionaries introduced Christianity in the hills of northeast India in the nineteenth century. Today, it is the most followed religion in the region.

The indigenous faith in all its nuances and uniqueness continues to be practised in Meghalaya till this day. This collection has photographs of ceremonies and rituals being conducted during importat religious occassions and in the home as well.

Temples in Northeast India​

Ahmed Hossein

The Durga temple in Nartiang, Jaintia Hills, is an important religious site for the followers of the Shaktism sect in Hinduism. It is among the 51 Shakti Peethas in Shaktism. There are also photographs of other Hindu places of worship in northeast India.

Ahmed Hossain is a pioneering photographer in Meghalaya whose projects led him to document the unique practices of the people in Meghalaya and other states in Northeast India, their immediate societies and ways of life and monumental events in northeast India. His body of work also includes landscape photography and documenting important government projects and events.

Inauguration of buildings, organisations and important programmes in Meghalaya

Photos of conferences, important days and events being observed in Shillong and the other districts of Meghalaya, like the Conference on Art History and jubilees of certain establishments like the Taekwondo Association of Meghalaya and many more. The inauguration of important institutions and organisations like the Baljer Airport Project in Tura, the Solid Waste Disposal Plant in Mawlai and more.  

Governors of Meghalaya

Landscape photographs taken around Meghalaya

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya

MM Jacob, Madhukar Dighe and AA Rahim are among the governors of Meghalaya whose photos and the photos of whose endeavours have been included in this collection. 

Members of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya at events and their projects and works.

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