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Guide to the William Hillman Shockley Photographs, 1897-1922, 2010 and undated

Abstract

William H. Shockley was an American-born mining engineer and amateur photographer.

The collection contains the prints and negatives of thousands of black and white photographs taken by William Shockley during his travels as a mining engineer in China, Korea, India, Western Australia, and Russia (including Siberia) between the years of 1897 and 1905, shortly before and during the period of the Boxer Rebellion. Subjects featured include native citizens and officials (some of high rank), Europeans and Indians (including miners, soldiers, officials, missionaries, and guards), mining and engineering concerns (particularly of gold and coal in China), native dwellings and villages, religious buildings and art, street scenes, camps, landscapes, landscape features such as unusual trees and rock formations, domestic animals, caravans and other forms of transportation. There are many other work scenes in addition to mining settings. The collection contains approximately 2505 images and over 200 negatives. Many of the photographs are captioned. There is also a small quantity of Shockley's correspondence dating from 1905-1922. Arranged in series by format and by geographical location. Acquired as part of the Archive for Documentary Arts.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Shockley, William Hillman, 1855-1925.
Title
William Hillman Shockley Photographs, 1897-1922, 2010 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
2.8 Linear Feet, Approximately 2754 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The collection contains the prints and negatives of thousands of black and white photographs taken by William Shockley during his travels as a mining engineer in China (including Manchuria), Korea, India, Western Australia, and Russia (including Siberia) between the years of 1897 and 1905, shortly before and during the period of the Boxer Rebellion. Subjects featured include native citizens and officials (some of high rank), Europeans and Indians (including miners, missionaries, guards, soldiers, and officials), mining and engineering concerns (particularly of gold and coal in China), native dwellings and villages, religious buildings and art, street scenes, camps, landscapes, landscape features such as unusual trees and rock formations, domestic animals, caravans and other forms of transportation. There are many other work scenes in addition to mining settings. Further details on Shockley's images from China can be found under selected geographical headings below. The collection contains approximately 2505 images, with four mounted prints, 258 8x10 prints, and the remainder primarily 3x5 and 4x6; there are also 245 original negatives, 134 of which are glass plates (closed to use). Many of the photographs are captioned. There is also a small quantity of Shockley's correspondence dating from 1905-1922. Included in the collection is a set of 53 8x10 black and white prints that are reproductions made from glass plate negatives in a private collection; a small subset includes images of an estate in England, with a portrait of an unidentified man in uniform, and images of people playing tennis. Arranged in series by format and by geographical location. Acquired as part of the Archive for Documentary Arts.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research, with the exception of the original film and glass plate negatives, which are closed to use.

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.

warning Use Restrictions

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.

Contents of the Collection

A bound volume of carbon copies of Shockley's correspondence, written from Paris, St. Petersburg, Irdell (Russia), Bogoslak (Russia), London, Palo Alto, California, and Reno, Nevada. The majority of this correspondence relates to Shockley's work as a mining engineer, as well as several personal letters to his wife and others, correspondence relating to his personal finances, and responses to a correspondence course entitled "Training of Children." The volume also contains several diary entries from 1922 and notes on the Kluchi mines in Russia. Four letters are in German.

Consists of approximately 2505 black and white photographic prints from Shockley's travels as a mining engineer at the turn of the century to Australia, Russia, China, Korea, India. Included are many images taken in Siberia and Manchuria. Most of the prints were developed out contemporaneously, others were developed in the 2000s from original negatives. Titles are taken from Shockley's original labels.

The images include many topics and subjects, including landscapes, street scenes, crowd scenes, portraits, and group shots, posed and spontaneous. Frequently depicted are modes of transportation (horseback, donkey, camel, horse, cow, person-drawn carts, trains, steamers, canoes); agricultural activities and locales; mining activities (panning, surveying, drilling, carrying water, construction, machinery); religious objects, processions, and buildings; hunting; and architecture. There are many work settings in addition to mining, as well as depictions of commercial enterprises. Further details are offered under selected geographical groups below. Fifteen folders contain modern gelatin silver 8x10 prints printed from the photographer's negatives of Russia. Some of the 8x10 prints are duplicates that appear in the "Russia, 1905" folder. Unless otherwise noted, the majority of the prints are 3x4".

Bogoslak, Russia, 1904
(60 prints)
Box 1
Bogoslovsk, 1904
(2 folders, 68 prints)
Box 1
Bogoslovsk, undated
(27 prints)
Box 1
Bogoslovsk, second trip, undated
(2 prints)
Box 1
Chin Ch'ang Kou Liang, 1897

Chin Chang Kou Liang is located in a mountainous region north and north-west of Beijing, noted for its quartz gold deposits. Images depict native people and local officers, as well as houses, villages, a theater, a temple, and a market square in Chin Chang Kou Liang. There are local landscape features such as the Great Wall in Kou Pei Kou, bridges, and rivers. The majority of the photographs, however, concern mining operations, which include making gold washing and smelting ore to extract gold.

(2 folders, 213 prints)
Box 1
India, 1899-1900
(99 prints)
Box 1
India, undated
(64 prints)
Box 1
Kluchi, Eastern Siberia, 1909
(30 prints)
Box 1
Korea, 1897 and undated
(1 folder, 64 prints)
Box 2
Korea, 1902
(62 prints)
Box 2
Korea, undated
(79 prints)
Box 2
Loose/Various, 1897-1898 and undated
(132 prints)
Box 2
Manchuria, 1897 and undated

Image taken in Manchuria feature natural landscapes, mountains, Yalu river, cultivated fields and farms, and an iron mine. Other images depict scenes at a Manchurian emperor's temple, bridge at Liaoyang, pagoda at Moukden, shrine, priest's house, Lama temple, a Manchu emperor's tomb gate, and a westerner's house. Place names noted include Moukden (Shenyang) city, Liaoyang Fu, Jehol, Pai Lou at Moukden, and Sumeru. Work scenes include an iron furnace at Sai Ma Chi, a camel team from Manchuria carrying coal, paying for a fur coat at Moukden, and series of images about a train accident in Manchuria in 1897.

(84 prints)
Box 2
Manchuria, undated
(130 prints)
Box 2
Manchuria and Korea, undated
(138 prints)
Box 2
Mounted prints, undated, no place noted
(4 prints)
Box 2
Peking, 1897

Subjects include native people, Qing government officers, salt workers, a funeral procession, and Chinese herb sellers. Working scenes include people washing quartz gold, fishing from boats, milling wheat. Other scenes feature ferry boats, city walls, Confusion Temple, a bell tower, Peking astronomy instruments, a Christian building, a Manchurian private garden in Peking, and a Buddha stone carving.

(2 folders, 213 prints)
Box 3
Russia, 1905
(133 prints)
Box 3
Russia, undated
(Folders 1-8 of 15, 140 8x10 prints)
Box 3
Russia, undated
(Folders 9-15 of 15, 118 8x10 prints)
Box 4
Shanghai, 1897-1898 and undated

Shanghai photographs feature street scenes on Nanjing Road, Lung Hwa Temple, Wong Poo River, Soo Chow River, buildings and parks, Astor House, a western boat on Huangpu River, and a memorial arch. People portrayed include a businessman, a criminal with a yoke, an amah or female servant, Indian guards, and Sikh police. Commercial sites include a restaurant, snack shop, ironsmith shop, carpenter shop, photographer's shop, taxi station, a shop for westerners, rice shop, medicine shop, and a vat shop. There is also an image of a significant funeral procession in Nanjing Road, an individual wearing traditional opera costume, and other scenes of popular life in Shanghai.

(185 prints)
Box 4
Shanxi, 1897-1899 and undated

Images in the Shanxi folders feature native people, local officers, Shanxi guards, soldiers, a miner, loess cave houses and a loess landscape, stables and dwellings, and religious buildings and deities. Work scenes depict salt-making, packing coal at Yu Hsien, and an iron furnace at Ta Yang. Place names include Fen River, TaiYuan Fu, Yu Hsien, Shi Pa Pan in Shanxi, Kao Ping Hsien, Chihli, and Jehol. Many of these were areas where Herbert Hoover also worked as a mining engineer a few years later, or possibly during the same time period.

(133 prints)
Box 4
Shanxi, undated
(57 prints)
Box 4
Siberia, 1900
(84 prints)
Box 4
Washington, DC, circa 1901

Chiefly city street scenes.

(8 prints)
Box 4
Print envelopes, 1909 and undated
(1 folder, 5 items)
Box 4
Australia, modern black and white prints from glass negatives, 2010
(37 8x10 prints)
Box 5
Images from unidentified England estate, possibly Shockley home, circa 1905
(16 8x10 prints)
Box 5
Western Australia, circa 1901-1902
(120 prints)
Box 5

Contains three small painted portraits of three individual unnamed women, roughly 2x3" each, artist unknown.

Three portraits, undated
Box 5

Shockley's film and glass plate negatives from which black and white prints were made both contemporaneously and in the 2000s. A few negatives reveal experimental images (double exposures and other effects). Some negatives do not have corresponding prints, and vice versa.

[Original negatives are closed to research use. Please contact a reference archivist for more information.]

China, ca. 1900
(13 negatives)
Box 6
China, undated
(2 groups, 24 negatives)
Box 6
Korea, undated
(15 negatives)
Box 6
Korea/Australia, undated
(2 groups, 27 negatives)
Box 6
Unlabeled negatives, undated
(15 negatives)
Box 6
"Experiments," London, 1905

Negatives found in an envelope marked, "Experiments, London July 22 1905"

(6 negatives)
Box 6
Russia, undated
(11 negatives)
Box 6
Glass plate negatives [FRAGILE]

Set of negatives on small glass plates; corresponding prints are in main collection.

(134 plates, 3.25 x 4.5")

[Original negatives are closed to use; contact a reference archivist for more information.]

Box 7

Historical Note

William Hillman Shockley (1855-1925) was an American mining engineer and amateur photographer. He worked and traveled in Russia, Korea, Australia, and China, and was active in the Chinese mining regions during the same approximate period when another American, Herbert Hoover, also worked as a young mining engineer. Shockley was the father of William B. Shockley, inventor of the transistor and winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1956). He married May Bradford, who had been a federal deputy surveyor of the mineral lands. The Shockley's son William B. was born in England in 1910; they returned to the U.S. in 1913.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • William Hillman Shockley Collection (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Department of Special Collections)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], William Hillman Shockley Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The William Hillman Shockley Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as purchases in 2010-2011.

Processing Information

Processed by L. Colby Bogie and Willeke Sandler, October 2010 and October 2011

Encoded by L. Colby Bogie, Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, and Willeke Sandler, October 2011

Accessions 2010-0154, 2011-0029 and 2011-0034 were merged into one collection and described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.