Guide to the Asian Photograph Collection MSS.PHOTO.0397

Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford 94305-6064

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title: Asian photograph collection, circa 1870-1954
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.PHOTO.0397
Identifier/Call Number: 3457
Physical Description: 6 Linear Feet (13 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1870-1954
Abstract: Collection of photographs, mostly from Meiji-era Japan, with a few albums depicting China, Hong Kong and other East Asian countries from around the same time.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Majority purchased from Jerrold G. Stanoff / Rare Oriental Book Company, 1984. Some items added later, including three photo albums transferred from the Julian C. Wright collection (M0722).

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], Asian Photograph Collection (MSS PHOTO 0397). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Scope and Contents

Collection of published and unpublished photographs, mostly from Meiji-era Japan with a few albums depicting China, Hong Kong and other Asian locales. The majority were purchased together from a dealer in 1984 with a few items added later. Most take the form of albums, although there are also stereoviews and a set of cabinet cards. Many photographs are hand-colored.
These images were created and marketed for western consumption, focusing particularly on Japanese culture and customs, as well as scenery (temples, gardens, streetscapes) and portraiture. Other themes include feminine domesticity, agricultural labor and industry (silk, tobacco). While very few photographers are credited, there are confirmed works by Kusakabe Kimbei, Uchida Kuichi, T. Enami, Ogawa Kazumasa, Kozaburo Tamamura, and Adolfo Farsari.

Conditions Governing Use

While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns. Most of these materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Japan -- History -- 19th century -- Pictorial works
Japan -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works
China -- History -- 19th century -- Pictorial works
China -- History -- 20th century -- Pictorial works
Japan -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Pictorial works
Souvenirs (Keepsakes)


Series 1. Japan

Box 1

Album of 49 mounted hand-colored albumen prints - scenery, buildings, daily life circa 1870-1885

Scope and Contents

Many prints contain short English captions. Lacquer album cover with damaged inset.
Box 2, object 1

Album of 29 hand-colored albumen prints - scenery, people circa 1870-1899

Scope and Contents

Prints contain short English captions. Album is inscribed "Francis C. Edwards, Miyanoshita, Japan February 24, 1899." Final photograph in set is an uncolored albumen print of Yuksek-Kaldirim street in Istanbul, Turkey, taken by Sébah & Joaillier circa 1890.
Box 3

Disbound album of 37 hand-colored albumen prints - daily life circa 1880-1890

Scope and Contents

All prints captioned in English. Lacquer album cover, inset with tortoise shell and mother of pearl.
Box 4, folder 1

32 cabinet card portraits and other scenes circa 1872

Scope and Contents

Includes Uchida Kuichi's portraits of Emperor Meij and Empress Haru-ko, 1872 and work atrributed to Kusakabe Kimbei. All cards feature same red border; most have contemporaneous handwritten captions in English on reverse. Some are hand-colored.
Box 4, folder 2

Album of 24 hand-colored photographs - portraits and scenes circa 1880-1890

Scope and Contents

Album is accordion folding with loose wooden covers. Many prints contain captions in English.
Box 4, folder 3

Albumen print - "723. Daibutsuden in Nara" circa 1880-1899

Box 4, folder 4

Japan Today. A Collection of Photographs by Germaine Kellerman. New York: Japan Reference Library 1941

Scope and Contents

Set of prints, each with caption on reverse, originally in labeled envelope. Letter from Japan Reference Library to Nathan van Patten of Stanford University Libraries March 25, 1941 enclosed.
Box 4, folder 5

Illustrations of Japanese Life, Described by S. Takashima...Reproduced and Published by K. Ogawa 1896

Scope and Contents

Collotypes captioned in English, in two volumes with crepe pages and binding. Images in first volume are hand-colored. From preface by Ogawa: '"I have to acknowledge my indebtedness to Messrs. K. Tamamura and S. Kajima, as well as to Prof. Burton, for several of the plates in this volume." Other photographers also likely.
Box 5, object 1

The Hanami (Flower-Picnic), Described by S. Takahashima...Reproduced and Published by K. Ogawa 1897

Scope and Contents

Hand-colored collotypes with captions in English.
Box 6

175 stereoviews circa 1896-1910

Scope and Contents

Acquired as two sets. First set is almost all black & white and features publishers B.W. Kilburn (two cards, 1901), "European and American Views" (four cards, apparently a pirated series with no publisher printed), Strohmeyer & Wyman (five cards, sold by Underwood & Underwood 1896), Underwood & Underwood (1896-1905, 14 cards, most depicting scenes from Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese War), Keystone View Company (37 cards, 1901-1905, some copyrighted Underwood & Underwood), International View Company (one card of Russo-Japanese War by C.L. Wasson, 1905), Universal Photo Art Company (two cards of American Navy sailors aboard H.M.S. Goliath by C.H. Graves, 1902), T. Enami (one undated card with patriotic theme). The second set of 103 cards are all in color and are believed to be colorized versions of T. Enami images published by Sears, Roebuck & Company after Enami's American publisher Ingersoll View Company licensed them in 1905. No publisher is printed on the cards, but one card is labeled "World Series."
Box 7, object 1

Japan, Underwood & Underwood stereoview set circa 1904

Scope and Contents

100 stereoviews, many in color, in printed case.
Box 7, object 2

Disbound album of 149 mounted prints circa 1900-1915

Scope and Contents

122 hand-colored (some containing captions in English) and 27 black & white prints. Due to the fact that this album is in loose-leaf format and many appear to be snapshots, this album may have been created by an amateur. Pages probably not in original order.
Box 8

Sights and Scenes in Fair Japan. Tokyo: Imperial Government Railways circa 1915-1917

Scope and Contents

Album of 48 hand-colored collotypes by K. Ogawa (uncredited in this edition)
Box 10

Two photo albums of an English teacher in Japan circa 1938-1941

Scope and Contents

These albums belonged to Narcisa Irene Rhodes Faus (1917-1981), who taught English in Japan in the late 1930s after she attended the America-Japan Student Conference in Tokyo as a UC Berkeley student. The first album contains captioned photographs (with some loose or missing) including several of her students at Shiba Middle School in Tokyo. One photo taken aboard the ship Tatsuta Maru is dated May 1941. The second album appears to be a gift from her students at Jiya Gakuen Myonichikan school, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. There are a few loose ephemeral items with the albums, including a notice from the American Consulate to vacate Japan dated February 14, 1941, and a 1952 newspaper clipping that reports she served as Japanese language officer during the war.
Box 11

Characteristic Japan. Views and Characters in the Land of the Rising Sun. Published by Tamamura, Photographer. Kobe, Japan

Scope and Contents

Oblong folio with 24 hand-colored collotypes captioned in English.
Box 12, object 1

Small album of 50 hand-colored prints, most with captions

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Julian Wright art and photograph collection (M0722)
Box 12, object 3

Kabuki Drama color slide set (Koon Bunka Lab, Tokyo) 1954


Series 2. China

Box 5, object 2

Album of 30 mounted photographs - Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou (Canton) circa 1897

Scope and Contents

Photographs care captioned in handwritten English.
Box 9

China in Pictures. Shanghai: Liang You Printing & Publishing Company, Ltd. 1932

Scope and Contents

60 mounted silver prints with captions in English and Chinese.

Series 3. Mixed

Box 2, object 2

Disbound album of 32 mounted photographs of China, Japan, Korea and Thailand circa 1870-1890

Scope and Contents

Includes 11 hand-colored prints of Japan (almost all captioned in handwritten English), as well as about an equal amount from China, amd a few from Korea and Thailand (Siam). The origin of some photos is not identifiable, such as photos of a Western man posing with a monkey and a collage of portraits of American presidents. Album covers are silk brocade over wood and are damaged. Pages may not be in original order.
Box 12, object 2

Photo album belonging to Miss Ida B. Scott of Los Angeles circa 1900-1906

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Julian Wright art and photograph collection (M0722)

Scope and Contents

Personal album/scrapbook of travels with approximately 56 hand-captioned photographs of China and Japan as well California (including San Francisco Earthquake ruins) and other locations. Envelope of postcards and other ephemera enclosed.
Box 13

Photo album of 49 albumen prints of world travel

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Julian Wright art and photograph collection (M0722)

Scope and Contents

Album of published photographs, many hand-captioned and some with printed captions, chronicling a trip across North Africa, Sri Lanka and Asia. Japanese prints are hand-colored. The last two are from Scotland.