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Inventory to the James B. Webster papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Access Points

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: James B. Webster papers
    Date (inclusive): 1894-2003
    Collection number: 70027
    Creator: Webster, James Benjamin, 1879-1929
    Collection Size: 43 manuscript boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 envelope, 3 mounted photographs (21.8 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The papers relate to theology, and to missionary activities and Christian education in China. They are comprised of diaries, correspondence, notebooks, writings, printed matter, photographs, and memorabilia.
    Language: English

    Administrative Information


    Collection open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], James B. Webster papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1970.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    September 29, 1879 Born, Passumpsic, Vermont
    1908-1912 Educational missionary in China
    1912 September 25 Married Alta Newby in Chinkiang [Zhenjiang], China
    1912-1915 Director of pastoral work and lecturer in Chinese and English, Shanghai Baptist College and Seminary
    1915-1917 Attended Hartford Seminary Foundation where he received his PhD in Religious Education
    1917-1925 Head of Department of Education and professor of Education, Shanghai College
    1924 Acting dean, Shanghai College
    1926-1928 Associate professor of Education, College of the Pacific, Stockton, California
    1928 Completed research study on adolescent interests of Chinese youths
    1929 December 8 Died, Stockton, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection documents J. B. Webster's work and life as a Christian missionary in China. The collection includes day books, correspondence, newspaper articles, writings, and other printed material from Webster's daily life. Webster lived in China for many years as a teacher and an administrator at Shanghai College. As a missionary and as an employee at the college, Webster worked to improve the Christian religious education movement, particularly in China, which included completing sociological studies of Chinese adolescents and writing on effective religious education techniques. The collection contains many examples of coursework and lesson plans for various classes at Shanghai colleges and other schools. Webster was interested in examining how sociological factors in the community and culture affected the acceptance and incorporation of religious education. The professional correspondence in the collection contains letters with fellow missionaries, superiors, coworkers at the Shanghai college, and students.
    Apart from the documents and materials from Webster's professional life, the collection contains material from Webster's own education and personal life, such as documents from his time at seminary and family correspondence. The collection includes letters, writings, photographs, and biographical material of Alta Newby Webster, James B. Webster's wife, as well as family receipts from China, which reveal the day to day existence of the Webster family in China. Additionally, Webster kept diaries that describe his life and travels in China. A;though Webster died in the United States in 1929, and there is material in the collection that was created after his death, including correspondence and memorial materials.
    The collection includes a significant number of photographs depicting the Webster family and other missionary families in China, students and instructors at Shanghai College, and scenery from Webster's travels around the country. Also included are black-and-white photographs taken by Webster that depict revolutionary troops attacking Qing Imperial forces. Webster had access to the battlefront on land and at sea.

    Access Points