Sidney D. Gamble photographs, 1906-2007
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research. However, nitrate negatives are non-circulating and may not be viewed in the reading room. Digital copies are available online. Researchers must register and agree...
- Gamble, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1890-1968
- The Sidney D. Gamble collection consists primarily of contact sheets, hand-colored glass slides, 35mm duplicate slides, contact prints, negatives, and other photographic formats documenting Gamble's four visits to China from 1908 to 1932. In total, there are over 5,000 unique images in the collection depicting urban and rural life, economic conditions, public events, agriculture, religious statuary, architecture, and the countryside. In addition to photographs of China, the collection contains a handful of images captured by Gamble from Japan and Korea and images captured by David Gamble in the western United States, circa 1906. Also included are artifacts, audiovisual materials, including moving images captured by Gamble in China from 1926 to 1933, scrapbooks, a small selection of Gamble's personal papers, and records of the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies, which relate to the exhibition of Gamble's photographs in China and the United States, 1980s-2000s. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
15 Linear Feet
Approximately 11,250 items
- Material in English and Chinese (Mandarin)
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The collection consists primarily of contact sheets and contact prints, hand-colored glass slides, 35mm duplicate slides, negatives, and other photographic formats documenting Sidney Gamble's four visits to China from 1908 to 1932. In total, there are over 5,000 unique images, which depict urban and rural life, economic conditions, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside.
Other materials in the collection include artifacts; audiovisual materials, including moving images captured by Gamble in China from 1926 to 1933; a small collection of Sidney D. Gamble's personal papers; records of the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation; and printed materials. The Personal Papers series includes biographical information, correspondence, scrapbooks, notebooks, and writings documenting Gamble's travels in China and his study of the country's social life and customs. The Gamble Foundation Records series consists of correspondence, printed materials, and reports documenting the Foundation's curation and exhibition of Gamble's photographs in the United States and China from the 1980s to the 2000s. The rinted Materials series includes Mandarin character drill cards, and Mandarin readers used in Chinese language schools, as well as a thesis describing the origins and evolution of the Princeton in Asia program. In addition to photographs of China, the collection contains a handful of images captured by Sidney Gamble from Japan and Korea, and images captured by his father David Gamble in the western United States around 1906.
Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
- Biographical / Historical:
Administrative History of the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation: In 1984, Sidney Gamble's daughter, Catherine Gamble Curran, discovered in the attic of the family home 5,000 black and white negatives, 600 hand-colored glass slides, and 21 rolls of 16mm film documenting her father's travels in China. In 1986, Curran helped found the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies to preserve, catalog, reproduce, and publicly exhibit the extensive collection of photographs and hand-colored slides taken by Sidney Gamble in China. The foundation has sponsored several exhibitions of Gamble's photography including "Turbulent Years: Sidney D. Gamble's Photographs of China," a traveling exhibition in China, and "China Between Revolutions," an exhibition at several universities and art museums throughout the United States. The foundation also coordinated publication of Sidney D. Gamble's China, 1917-1932: Photographs of the Land and its People (1988), China Between Revolutions: Photographs by Sidney D. Gamble, 1917-1927 (1989), and Sidney Gamble's China Revisited: Photographs by Sidney D. Gamble from 1917 to 1931 (2004).
Sociologist, China scholar, and amateur photographer Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968) visited China four times between 1908 and 1932 to collect data for socio-economic surveys and to photograph urban and rural life, public events, architecture, religious statuary, and the countryside. Gamble published four studies of Chinese life: Peking: A Social Survey, 1921; How Chinese Families Live in Peiping, 1933; Ting Hsien: A North China Rural Community, 1954; and North China Villages: Social, Political, and Economic Activities Before 1933, 1963.
Chronology Date Event 1890 Born on July 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to David Berry and Mary Huggins Gamble; grandson of James Gamble, who, with William Proctor, founded Proctor & Gamble in 1837. 1896-1907 Attended Miss Sattler's School and University School on Cincinnati, and Thacher School in Ojai, California. 1908 First sojourn in China. Traveled with parents to Hangzhou by way of Honolulu, Japan, and Korea. 1912 Graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Literature degree; elected to Phi Beta Kappa. 1913-1914 Served as secretary and treasurer of Escondido Land and Town Company, San Diego, California. 1914-1916 Worked part-time for the California State Commission on Immigration and Housing while studying for a Master of Arts degree in economics at the University of California at Berkeley. Awarded fellowship in 1915 which involved a six-month residence at the Preston School of Industry in Ione, California. 1916-1917 Taught in the economics department, University of California at Berkeley. 1916-1917 Arrived in China in May for second sojourn. Together with Robert Fitch and J.H. Arthur, traveled up the Yangzi River, from Zheijiang province deep into Sichuan province, taking numerous photographs. 1918 Spring Visited flood relief camps in Tianjin and traveled to Beijing. Traveled with G. Sherwood Eddy to Xiamen, Fuzhou, Ningbo, Hong Kong, and Manila. Joined the international staff of the YMCA in Beijing and became a member of Princeton University Center in China (Princeton Court). 1918 Summer Visited Beidaihe and Bei Niu Ding (Hebei). 1918 Fall Conducted field-work for a social survey of Beijing with John Stewart Burgess while teaching elementary economics and the principles of philanthropic and institutional work at Yenching University. 1919 Spring Visited Baoding and Kaifeng during Spring Festival, and Taishan, Jinan, and Qufu in March. 1919 Summer Worked on survey materials at Beidaihe. 1919 Fall Traveled to Hangzhou. 1919 Winter Returned to Pasadena, California, in December, with negatives of some 2,500 photographs taken during second sojourn. 1921 Published first book, Peking: A Social Survey, with the assistance of J. Stewart Burgess. Traveled as member of a commission headed by G. Sherwood Eddy to study the labor movement in England and relief work in Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. 1922-1923 Prepared for third sojourn in China at New York Union Theological Seminary, New York School of Social Work, and Columbia University. 1924 Spring Married Elizabeth Pritchard Lowe, daughter of Dr. Walter I. Lowe and Catherine Caskey Lowe of Hamilton, New York, on January 18. Arrived in Beijing on March 13 to resume post as secretary of the International Committee of the YMCA. Began studying Chinese at the North China Union Language School and conducting socio-economic surveys of Chinese family life. First trip to Miao Feng Shan in April, a popular pilgrimage site northwest of Beijing. 1924 Fall Traveled to Chengde, Lanxian, Tangshan, And Tianjin. 1925 Spring Traveled to Shanghai in January to meet a commission on social and economic research, and returned to Beijing by way of Qinhuangdao and Tianjin. Second trip to Miao Feng Shan with Arthur W. Hummel, Franklin C.H. Lee, and L. Carrington Goodrich in April. 1925 Fall Taught at Yenching University, Union Medical College, and the American Women's College Club. 1925 Summer Traveled to Japan to join Dr. and Mrs. Lowe, and accompanied them to Beijing, Beidaihe, and Shanhaiguan. 1926 Spring Conducted research on prices, wages, and the standard of living in Beijing. Gamble's first child born on March 21st. 1926 Fall Traveled for three weeks in the Soviet Union with G. Sherwood Eddy and 25 Americans, including brother Dr. Clarence Gamble. 1926 Winter Accompanied wife and daughter back to the United States on November 11, and stayed in Pasadena until early 1927. 1927 Spring Sailed for China on February 26, arriving in Shanghai on March 25; then traveled to Beijing by way of Qingdao and Tianjin. Took film footage of pilgrimage activities on a third trip to Miao Feng Shan in April. 1927 Fall Visited Dingxian where the National Association for the Mass Education Movement, led by Dr. James Yen, was based. 1927 Winter Returned to the United States. 1929 Elected President of Princeton-Yenching Foundation. 1931 Summer Returned to China for fourth and last sojourn, following a second trip to the Soviet Union. Became involved in the administration of Yenching University. 1931 Fall Moved Dingxian to serve as research secretary of the National Association for the Mass Education Movement, and carried out surveys of village life in northern China. 1932 Spring Departed Shanghai for the United States on February 23. 1933 Published How Chinese Families Live in Peiping. 1934-1968 Continued to publish books and articles on aspects of Chinese village and family life. Elected member of the National Council of the YMCA. Became Treasurer, Vice Chairman, Chairman, and President Emeritus of Church World Service; Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation; President and Honorary Chairman of Princeton-in-Asia. 1968 Died in New York on March 29 at the age of 78, survived by his widow and four children; Catherine, Louise, David, and Anne.
Taken from Sidney Gamble's China Revisited (2004).
- Acquisition Information:
- The Sidney D. Gamble photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift from Catherine Gamble Curran of the Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies in October 2006.
- Processing information:
Processed by Marlyse H. MacDonald and Noah Huffman, June 2008
Encoded by Noah Huffman, March 2009
Accessions 2006-0104, 2006-0091, 2007-0174, 2008-0017, 2008-0062, and 2008-0068 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
- Physical / Technical Requirements:
These film negatives are composed of cellulose nitrate, which is very flammable and can present a health hazard.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
- Sidney D. Gamble photographs, 1911-1919, — Princeton University
- China Photographs, 1920s — David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Alternative Form Available:
Selected items from this collection have been digitized and are available in the Sidney D. Gamble Photographs - Duke Digital Collections.
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Documentary Photography -- China
Photography -- China
Sociologists -- United States
Cellulose nitrate film
Archive of Documentary Arts (Duke University)
Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies
Gamble, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1890-1968
China -- Economic conditions -- 1912-1949
China -- History -- Republic, 1912-1949 -- Pictorial works
China -- Photographs
China -- Social conditions -- 1912-1949
Japan -- History -- 1912-1945 -- Pictorial works
Korea -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research. However, nitrate negatives are non-circulating and may not be viewed in the reading room. Digital copies are available online.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Sidney D. Gamble photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University