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Correspondence, diaries, literary papers, and photographs, of Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Roderick Oliver, 1921-1944, together with diaries and miscellaneous papers of his mother, Elizabeth Oliver, wife of Major Edward Oliver, Veterinary Advisor to the Indian government, 1905-1946, undated.

Identifier: MSS.24656-24720

Scope and Contents

Peter Oliver served with Coke's Rifles during the Second World War until his death on active service in Burma in 1945. Included here are papers relating to his army career. However, he is better known as a mountaineer, and particularly as a member of two unsuccessful Everest expeditions in 1936 and 1938. Climbing regularly in the Himalayas and to a lesser extent in the Alps during the 1930s, Oliver's papers are noteworthy for his detailed climbing journals, his articles on mountaineering, and his series of army and mountaineering photographs. Peter Oliver was also a keen amateur artist, and his pencil sketches of his companions illustrate Hugh Ruttledge's ‘Everest: The unfinished adventure’, which tells the story of the 1936 expedition.


  • Creation: 1905-1946, undated.

Conditions Governing Access

Normal access conditions apply.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal reproduction conditions apply, subject to any copyright restrictions.


65 Volumes

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged as follows: MSS.24656-24680 Papers of Peter Roderick Oliver MSS.24681-24720 Papers of Elizabeth Oliver

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bought, 1984.

Separated Materials

Printed maps from the collection, including maps of the Himalayas, Alps, and some military maps of the North West Frontier, 1925-1941, undated, have been transferred to the Map Room.


Ruttledge, Hugh. ‘Everest: The unfinished adventure’ (London, 1937).
National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division
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International Standard for Archival Description - General
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
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