Under the initiative of Henry Osmaston, the International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) was formed, with an international committee of distinguished scholars, in the wake of the third Colloquium at Herrnhut, near Dresden in east Germany, the headquarters of the Moravian church whose representatives founded the discipline of Ladakh Studies in the late 19th Century. Henry served first as Honorary Secretary and then – from 1997 until his death – as President of the Association.
As Honorary Secretary, Henry ran the Association virtually single-handed (helped only by Francesca Merritt who handled membership & subscription matters) till 1997, when he accepted the position of President, and the running of the Association devolved onto a small Executive Committee consisting of John Bray (Hon. Secretary), Francesca Merritt (Hon. Treasurer & Membership Secretary) and Martijn van Beek (Hon. Editor). After Henry's death in 2006, elections to the above posts, as well as the Presidency, were held under an interim constitution at the 13th Colloquium at Rome in 2007.
The IALS Constitution was ratified at the Leh Conference in 2009. Committee members are now elected as detailed in the Constitution.
Interns: The IALS is frequently approached by individuals seeking internships. We are a small organisation without a permanent secretariat and we therefore regret that we are not able to employ interns. Anyone interested in voluntary work in Ladakh may consult the Links section of this website, which contains links to 'NGOs working in Ladakh'. Some of the organisations listed there do accept volunteers.