“Bucks for Books”: Afghan War Books Sponsorship Appeal

Today, on the 10th anniversary of the fall of Kabul, we’re announcing a donation opportunity for our members and supporters – and we need your help! A collection of rare books on 19th century Afghanistan, primarily written by British military officers, has recently become available on the antiquarian book market. The Navy Department Library is interested in acquiring these volumes, but lacks the funds to do so. The library will digitize the books in HTML (textual) format, prominently post them on the Naval History and Heritage Command’s website, and house the volumes in the Rare Book Room. The library has previously posted similar items from its collection, such as “A Journal of the Disasters in Afghanistan, 1841-2” and “The Afghan Wars 1839-42 and 1878-80,” and their content has been used in briefings to Navy leadership. The volumes listed below cost $9,800, and two generous donors have offered $1500 in seed money to assist in the purchase of this collection. We ask that you consider a tax deductible gift to this worthy project through our online GiveDirect interface, which is linked below. Acknowledgement letters will be sent in time for your 2011 tax preparations! And please pass the word along to others, using the social media sharing buttons at the bottom of this story.

Afghan Wars

(Left) Sir Louis Cavagnari and Afghans, 19th Century (Right) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Damin Bertrand, on a patrol in Khan Neshin, Afghanistan, on June 6, 2011.


Click here to donate now to the Afghan Books Pledge Drive
(please select “Afghan War Books” under the Program Area section of the GiveDirect form)

DC 194(edited)


Bellew, Henry Walter, Medical Officer to the Mission. Journal of a Political Mission to Afghanistan, in 1857, under Major (now Colonel) Lumsden; with an Account of the Country and People. London: Smith, Elder and Company, 1862. $1,750.




DC 195 (edited)


Edwardes, Major Herbert Benjamin, Companion of the Order of the Bath, Honourable East India Company Service. A Year on the Punjab Frontier, in 1848-49. London: Richard Bentley, 1851. $1,000.




DC 197 (edited)


Ferrier, Joseph Pierre. History of the Afghans. Translated from the unpublished French manuscript by Captain William Jesse. London: J. Murray, 1858. $800.




DC 197 (edited)


Hutchinson, Colonel Henry Doveton, Director of Military Education in India. The Campaign in Tirah, 1897-1898. London: Macmillan and Company, 1898. $400.





DC 200 (edited)


Oliver, Edward Emmerson, M.Inst.C.E., M.R.A. Across the Border: Or, Pathân and Biloch. Illustrated by John Lockwood Kipling, Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire. London: Chapman and Hall, 1890. $400.





DC 202 (edited)Shadbolt, Sydney Henry, Inner Temple, Barrister-at-Law. The Afghan Campaigns of 1878-1880: Comprising Historical and Biographical Divisions, and Containing a Rapid Sketch of the War, Maps Illustrating the Operations and the Movements of the Forces, One Hundred and Forty Permanent Photographs of Officers Who Lost Their Lives in the Campaigns and of Recipients of the Victoria Cross, with Memoirs Prepared from Materials Furnished by Their Relations and Surviving Comrades, Summaries of the Movements in the Field of the Various Regiments Which Were Engaged, and Separate Records of the Services of Every British Officer Who Was Employed in the War. Dedicated to Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Baronet, Commander-in-Chief, Madras Army. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, 1882. $2,200 (two volumes).


DC 199 (edited)


Thorburn, Septimus Smet, India Civil Service, Settlement Officer of the Bannú District. Bannú, Or Our Afghan Frontier. London: Trübner & Company, 1876. $400.





DC 203 (edited)


Ullah, Neamé. History of the Afghans. Two volumes in one. Translated from the Persian by Bernhard Dorn, Ph.D., Professor of Oriental Literature in the Imperial Russian University of Kharkov. London, 1829-36. $1,000.




Vigne, Godfrey Thomas, Esquire, Fellow of the Geological Society of London. A Personal Narrative Of A Visit To Ghuzni, Kabul, And Afghanistan, And Of A Residence At The Court Of Dost Mohamed: With Notices Of Runjit Sing, Khiva, And The Russian Expedition; With Illustrations, From Drawings Made By The Author On The Spot. London: Whittaker, 1840. $800.

Wood, Captain John, Indian Navy. A Journey to the Source of the River Oxus. With an Essay on the Geography of the Valley of the Oxus by Henry Yule. New edition. London: J. Murray, 1872. $550.

DC 201 (edited)


Yate, Major Charles Edward, 29th Bombay Infantry, Companion of the Order of the Star of India. Northern Afghanistan; Or, Letters from the Afghan Boundary Commission. Edinburgh: W. Blackwood & Sons, 1888.  $500.00




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