William Hillman Shockley photographs, 1896-1922 and undated, bulk 1897-1909

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Summary

Creator:
Shockley, W. H., 1855-1925
Abstract:
Collection contains over 2200 black-and-white photographs taken by W.H. (William Hillman) Shockley during his world travels as a mining engineer between the years 1896 to 1909. Locations include China (including Manchuria); Korea; India; Japan; Australia; and Russia (including Siberia); London; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco; as well as several other south Asian locations. Subjects featured include local citizens and officials, and soldiers; Europeans (including businessmen, miners, diplomats, tourists, missionaries); indigenous peoples and their communities; mining operations (iron ore, gold, petroleum, and coal); ancient walls and forts; religious structures and art; street scenes; remote hamlets and camps; fields, rivers, mountains, geological formations, and other landscapes; domestic animals; and caravans and other forms of transportation, including railroads. There are many other work scenes in addition to mining settings. Formats include more than 2000 small vintage prints, over 400 modern prints, and over 400 nitrate film and glass plate negatives. Many of the photographs bear original captions. There are also some Shockley family photographs, correspondence (1905-1922), a notebook from India, and a few items of memorabilia. Arranged in series by geographical location and format. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.
Extent:
9.0 Linear Feet (20 boxes; approximately 3224 items)
Language:
Material in English
Collection ID:
RL.01177

Background

Scope and content:

Collection contains over 2200 black-and-white images taken by W.H. Shockley during his world travels as a mining engineer. Locations include China (including Manchuria), Korea, India, Japan, Australia, and Russia (including Siberia), between the years of 1897 and 1909. Subjects featured include local citizens and officials, and soldiers; Europeans (including businessmen, miners, diplomats, tourists, missionaries); indigenous peoples and their communities; mining operations (iron ore, gold, petroleum, and coal); ancient walls and forts; religious structures and art; street scenes; remote hamlets and camps; fields, rivers, mountains, geological formations, and other landscapes; domestic animals; and caravans and other forms of transportation, including railroads. There are many other work scenes in addition to mining settings. Other formats in the collection include negatives, modern photographic prints, correspondence, and a few artifacts and memorabilia. Shockley also documented his experiences in Russia, China, and other places in articles and presentations for the mining industry; some are available online (retrieved April 2016).

The bulk of the collection is made up of 2,227 vintage black-and-white contact prints measuring from 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches to 4x6 inches, many of which bear original captions in Shockley's hand. They are arranged in series by geographical location and date of travel. Accompanying these small prints is a small set of larger card-mounted photographs of Shockley family members, including Shockley's wife, May Bradford Shockley, and their young son William B. Shockley. There are also over 400 original nitrate film and glass plate negatives, some of which contain images not found elsewhere in the collection.

Several hundred modern 8x10 inch prints were made by a photo collector from Shockley's original negatives, chiefly of Russia and Siberia; some of these are unique images not found among the small original prints, including images of an upper-class family on an unidentified estate in England.

Non-photographic materials consist of Shockley's field notebook from India containing an index of photographs he took there; mica mineral samples from India; original envelopes and glass plate boxes; and a bound letterbook containing approximately 100 pieces of business correspondence and a few pieces of personal correspondence, dating from 1905 to 1922.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Biographical / historical:

William Hillman Shockley (1855-1925) was an American mining engineer and amateur photographer and botanist. He was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts and educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Trained as a mining engineer, he first worked in Florida and California, then from late 1896 to 1905 traveled to China, Russia, Korea, and Australia in search of mining opportunities, chiefly in gold, silver, iron ore, coal, copper, and petroleum. While in Nevada and Texas, he also investigated mercury mines. He also traveled extensively to investigate mining interests in PerĂº, Argentina, Chile, Sudan, Eritrea, and Egypt, and visited many European cities.

Shockley married May Bradford, Missouri-born mining surveyor in Nevada and federal deputy surveyor of the mineral lands, in London in 1908. After residing in London, the Shockleys returned to Nevada in 1913, three years after the birth of their son. After returning to London for many years, they eventually settled in Palo Alto, California. William H. Shockley died in Los Angeles in 1925, and May Bradford Shockley in 1977. Their only child, William B., became known as the inventor of the transistor and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1956.

Acquisition information:
The William Hillman Shockley photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as purchases from 2010 to 2015.
Processing information:

Item-level processing and description by Margaret Brill; Tiewa Cao; Christopher Flaherty; Miree Ku; Paula Jeannet; Tianyi Mu; Christof Schmitz; Beth Morris Weiss; Erik Zitser; and Luo Zhou.

Originally processed and encoded by L. Colby Bogie, Paula Jeannet, and Willeke Sandler, October 2010-2011.

Accessions represented in this collection guide: 2010-0154, 2011-0029, 2011-0034, and 2015-0162.

Arrangement:

Organized into the following series: China (further divided into Beijing, Hebei, Henan, Hunan, Jinjanggouliang, Manchuria, Shanghai, Shanxi, Other Locations, and Unidentified Locations); India; Japan; Korea; Australia; Russia (subdivided into Siberia, Bogoslovsk and Klyuchi); and smaller series, Other Places and Other Subjects. Photographs are followed by a Negatives and Papers series.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Contents

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Restrictions:

Collection is open for research. However, glass plate and nitrate film negatives may be consulted only with permission of the Curator of Documentary Arts.

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.

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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], William Hillman Shockley photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.