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Guide to the William Hillman Shockley Photographs, 1896-1922 and undated, bulk 1897-1909

Summary

Collection contains over 2200 black-and-white images 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; mine operations (iron ore, gold, petroleum, and coal); ancient walls and forts; religious buildings and art; street scenes; remote camps; fields, rivers, 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.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.01177
Title
William Hillman Shockley photographs
Date
1896-1922 and undated, bulk 1897-1909
Extent
9.0 Linear Feet, 20 boxes; approximately 3224 items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

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; mine operations (iron ore, gold, petroleum, and coal); ancient walls and forts; religious buildings and art; street scenes; remote camps; fields, rivers, 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 3x4 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.

The collection is slated for digitization in late 2016; portions will be closed during the project.

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

More Biographical / Historical Info

Arrangement

Organized into the following series: Photographs, Negatives, and Papers. Photographs further arranged into subseries based on locations and year of travel: China (further divided into Beijing, Hebei, Henan, Hunan, Jinjanggouliang, Manchuria, Shanghai, Shanxi, Other Cities, and Unidentified); India; Korea; Japan; Australia; Russia; and smaller Other Places and Other Subjects series. Photographs are followed by a Negatives and Papers series.

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

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.

warning 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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

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

Contents of the Collection

1. Photographs, 1896-1905 and undated, bulk 1897-1905

12 boxes

The collection 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, and other places. Included are many images taken in Siberia, Manchuria, and what is now North Korea. Most of the photographs seem to have been created as contact prints soon after the negatives were exposed; others were developed by Shockley from film negatives; still other larger prints were created around 2010 from original negatives. Original print dimensions range from 2.25x3.50 to 4.5x5.0 inches, with most measuring 3.0x4.0 inches.

Although his mission was to document mining in these countries, Shockley, an amateur photographer, turned his camera to a wide variety of scenes and subjects, including landscapes, street scenes, crowd scenes, portraits, and group shots, posed and spontaneous. Whether in cities, towns, or in remote areas, he photographed a wide variety of ethnicities, age groups, communities, and settings. In many cases, the captions mention the social status revealed in styles of dress and comportment. He sometimes stayed with local families, especially in Russia, and took photographs of them in their homes and on outings. He encountered and visited with many Europeans, often diplomats, businessmen, missionaries, mining surveyors, and settlers; they also appear in his photographs, posed for the camera, observing work scenes, or in casual settings with their families and friends.

As Shockley traveled, he captured images of the many modes of transportation then in use: donkeys, camels, horses, oxen, troikas, sedan chairs, trains, steamers, canoes, and carriages and wagons of all kinds. In addition to mining (panning, surveying, drilling, dredging, smelting), he also documented many agricultural activities and locales; hunters and remote camps; religious buildings such as temples and Christian churches, and processions; and architectural details of buildings both humble as well as palatial. Other work settings include pounding hemp, using grindstones, fishing, and making pottery. He also documented local and foreign commercial enterprises such as trading posts, markets, and shipping firms.

Several hundred modern gelatin silver 8x10 prints were created around 2010 from Shockley's Australia and Russia negatives. Most of these duplicate the images in the vintage prints, but there are images not found among the prints; these have been filed with the vintage prints, while the duplicates are housed separately.

The photographic prints are arranged by geographic location and trip; for more details on each group, see the descriptions for each of these subseries.

China: Beijing, 1897-1898
(179 prints)

Series focuses on city scenes, and include native people, Qing government officers, salt workers, a funeral procession, and Chinese herb sellers. Work scenes include people washing quartz and other gold mining operations, fishing from boats, milling wheat. Other scenes feature ferry boats, city walls, Confucian temples, a bell tower, Peking astronomy instruments, a Christian building, a Manchu private garden in Peking, and a Buddha stone carving.

Box 1
China: Hebei, circa 1897
(18 prints)

Hebei province in northern China borders Shanxi and Henan, where Shockley also traveled. Scenes focus on the Putou Zongcheng, Xumi Foshuo, Puning, and other temple sites near Chengde (formerly Jehol), northeast of Beijing, as well as images of adults and children in a mining district near Jehol.

Box 1
China: Henan, circa 1899
(36 prints)

Henan province in north-central China is bordered by other provinces Shockley traveled to: Hebei, Shanxi, and Hubei. Images chiefly focus on the ancient Longmen grottoes and their Buddhist art and statuary; there are also a few images of a ferry on the Yellow River and of the river, millet fields, and farmland.

Box 1
China: Hubei, circa 1899
(32 prints)

While in Hubei province, south-central China, Shockley seems to have spent most of his time in on or near the Han River. Images in this series feature a ferry loaded with passengers, houseboats, junks, and various related operations such as sand-sweeping and cormorant fishing.

Box 1
China: Jinchanggouliang, 1897-1899
(207 prints)

Jinchanggouliang (spelled as Chin Ch'ang Kou Liang by Shockley), is a mountainous region in what is now known as Inner Mongolia, north and north-west of Beijing, noted for its quartz gold deposits and other minerals. The large number of photographs in this series indicate in part the length of time Shockley spent in this mining region; he probably passed through here more than once. He photographed local people, mine workers, women and children, Western men and women, and government officers, as well as village scenes, houses, spectators at an outdoor theater, monks, temples, and a market square. One sequence documents the induction of a Buddhist bishop; another shows Chinese soldiers asking grace from an official and posing for the camera. Also depicted are landscape features such as the Great Wall, bridges, and rivers.

The majority of the photographs, however, concern mining operations, with images of gold panning and washing, working steam mills, and smelting ore to extract gold, and workers’ housing. Many of the laborers are probably immigrants from Korea as well as other regions in China.

Box 2
China: Manchuria, 1897 April-1897 December
(337 prints)

The Manchuria prints form the largest group in the China series, indicating the length of time Shockley spent in this mining region and its vast geographical scope. Manchuria has a complex history of occupation by the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, and Russians, and is now represented by several provinces (Liaoning, Jilin, Inner Mongolia); even today the region around the city of Shenyang (“Moukden”) is known for its international population. Thus, place names and ethnicities in Shockley’s images can be difficult to decipher.

The landscapes of Shockley’s Manchuria trip feature mountainous terrain, remote mountain valleys, views of the Yalu river, and cultivated fields. Captions often document geological features such as sedimentary layers. Places he photographed include the Willow Palisades, a Manchu emperor's tomb (now in Shenyang’s Beiling Park), a Korean house, various pagodas, shrines, and temples, a Christian church, and a school. Shockley also photographed the families of Dr. Westwater, a physician and missionary who resided in Liaoyang for many years, and Dr. John Ross, a Scottish Presbyterian physician and missionary living in Shenyang.

Travel and work scenes include boat traffic on a river, a camel train carrying coal, gravel and lead mining, an iron furnace, and paying for a fur coat in Shenyang. There are many photographs, casual and portrait, of villagers, workers (both Chinese and Korean), Korean immigrants of all ages, women nursing babies, Chinese soldiers, French priests, and members of Shockley’s travel party, as well as the pack animals. There are also numerous images of inns where the travelers stayed.

Box 3
China: Shanghai, 1896-1898
(194 prints)

Also a large series, the Shanghai photographs feature places such as Nanjing Road, Longhua Buddhist temple, the Huangpu (“Wong Poo”) River and Suzhou Creek (“Soo Chow”), and city parks. There are also photographs of places where Westerners congregated: Astor House, Union Church, and the Bund (waterfront) where the British Yacht Club, German and American consulates were located.

People portrayed include many portraits of William Pritchard Morgan, his family, and other Western businessmen and engineers whose names are often noted in captions; also pictured are amahs or female servants, Japanese women, Western missionaries, “Jesuit scientists,” Indian guards, Sikh police, and a criminal with a yoke. As with other series, Shockley’s captions often mention details that mark an individual’s social status or condition.

Commercial sites include a snack shop, restaurant, soup kitchen, ironsmith, carpenter shop, photographer, a shop for Westerners, rice shop, and pharmacy. Vehicles of every kind are depicted. There is also an image of a warship on the river (with “USA?” written in the caption), and an “opium hulk,” and photographs of a significant funeral procession, an individual wearing traditional opera costume, and other scenes of popular life in Shanghai.

Box 4
China: Shanxi, 1897-1898
(190 prints)

Images of the Shanxi region in northwest China feature indigenous people, immigrant workers, local officers, Shanxi guards, soldiers, and Europeans such as E. Sabbione, an Italian agent for the Peking syndicate.

Landscapes that interested Shockley include loess mountains with cave houses, tuff, limestone, and granite formations, and the Fen River valley. Shockley also photographed mountain villages, stables and dwellings, religious buildings and deities, courtyards in the snow, and cultivated fields. Work scenes depict planting, fishing with cormorants, salt-making, packing coal on mules, and iron furnace operations at Gaoping, Da Yang, and other locations.

Shockley wrote about the coal-fields of Shanxi and other areas in China in several articles and presentations; some are available online (retrieved April 2016).

Box 5
China: Other cities, 1897-1899
(16 prints)

Images were taken in Tiensin, Nanking, in the harbor at "Ch'i Fu" (Yantai in Shandong Sheng), and on the Wei River in either Gansu or Shaanxi provinces. Subjects include stone statues at Nanking, merchants, a trio of singing girls, cotton bales, and scenes of boats on water.

Box 5
China: Unidentified locations, circa 1897-circa 1899
(43 prints)

Typical scenes in these unidentified places include landscapes of mountains, fields, and valleys; a few street scenes; men and horses; boats on water; and various factory and work scenes, including a water mill. One image shows Chinese statesman Li Hongzhang (Li Hung-chang, d. 1901) and various dignitaries, including perhaps William Pritchard Morgan. During this period Li was governor-general of Zhili province, and in 1899 was acting governor-general of the Liangguang provinces, so it is possible this image was taken in these places, or in Beijing, where Li often conducted diplomatic business.

Box 5
India and Sri Lanka, 1899-1900
(163 prints)

The 163 photographs in this series are chiefly of mica mining operations in Nellore and laterite mining; other images feature landscapes with fields and rivers; boats on the water; and important temples. Locations range across North and South India, including Delhi, Agra, Eluru, Nellore, Ahmadabad, Tiruchchirāppalli, and Thanjāvūr. There are also images taken in the Singapore Botanical Gardens and of the harbors of Penang (Malaysia), and Rangoon (Burma, or Myanmar). There are also a few images from Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).

Of interest are the many images of people: indigenous men, women, and children, often with their dwellings or camps; local mine workers; and European mine overseers, two of whom are E.H. Sargent and L.L. Wickham. The latter bears a strong resemblance to the uniformed man (in his later years), featured in the modern 8x10 inch prints of an unidentified English estate.

Box 6
Notebook, India, 1899-1900

The personal papers in this collection include a small leather-bound notebook which comprises a handwritten index for the photographs Shockley took in India, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Burma (Myanmar). On the front flyleaf is written, “Photographs taken in India in Dec 1899 to Feby 1900 by Wm. H. Shockley. The notebook is ruled with red margins, as if for an accounting record book. Numbers written in the right-hand margin correspond with the numbers written on the photographs, followed by a description of the subject of the photograph. Some descriptions are more complete than others. Generally, Shockley assigned each image its own number, but in some cases (see number 186) there are multiple frames of the same subject assigned the same number; these images have each been assigned a unique library identifier as with the rest of the photographs. The notebook is also accompanied by an envelope of small samples of the mineral mica collected by Shockley in India.

Box 16
Folder 3
Japan, circa 1897
(10 prints)

Given the prevalence of Japanese architecture and dress in these images, it is likely that they were taken in Japan, where Shockley passed through on his way to other locations in Asia, though they may date from the later Russia trips. Most of the photographs show streets with buildings, generally with a few people present in the shot.

Box 6
Korea, 1897, 1902
(224 prints)

Shockley seems to have visited Korea at least twice: during the period of his earlier travels in China, 1897-1899, and from May to August, 1902, near present-day Pyonyang, where he surveyed the Gwendoline (Ap-unsan) gold mines. He took many photographs of remote and mountainous mining districts, taking pictures of country people in their dwellings; local and migrant workers; inhabitants and officials in villages he visited. There seem to be Japanese officials or soldiers in some images, as well as Europeans and their families. As with China, the images of local people show a great variety of dress for men and women, and Shockley's captions often refer to the social status conveyed by dress, but also to its practical purpose.

There are also images of fields, mountain landscapes, domestic animals and various conveyances, and work scenes such as panning, drilling, surveying, and mining. Many of these locations may overlap with what was then known as Manchuria, China; images from these regions form one of the largest series found in the collection.

Shockley also spent some time in Seoul, where he photographed street scenes and tourist locations such as the Gyeongbok palace complex, and visited diplomat Sir John Newell Jordan; he also traveled to Chemulpo (now Incheon), where he photographed the harbor and other local sites, and visited with and photographed businessman and longtime resident Walter Townsend and his family, including his Japanese wife and young adopted daughter Margaret Townsend.

Box 7
Australia, 1901-1902
(122 prints)

During a period roughly from late fall 1901 to May of 1902, Shockley traveled to Australia, chiefly to survey the gold mines of Western Australia, especially near Wiluna. He photographed numerous large and small mining operations, many now abandoned; animals and vehicles used in transport (including camels); and workers and overseers, chiefly Europeans. In one image, Shockley stands with R. Atwater, the manager of the Sons of Gwalia Mine, established circa 1896; the house was commissioned by first mine manager Herbert Hoover, circa 1899. Shockley also photographed several aborigine men and one young woman. His images document the rough life in these backcountry regions, and the beginnings of settlements in the Australian outback. He narrates the discovery of a man who nearly died of thirst in the bush but was discovered by Shockley's party.

He also traveled to the central and eastern cities of Bendigo, Brisbane and Stanthorpe (Queensland), where he photographed some buildings, mining company buildings, parks, and waterfronts. There are a few images of Perth as well, and of the Japanese steamer that he seems to have taken to Australia.

Modern 8x10 prints were produced in the 2000's from the glass plate negatives; they are all copies of original prints in the collection. There is, however, one glass plate negative of a nude aboriginal girl that is not present among the prints.

Box 8
Australia and Korea, circa 1901-1904, modern 8x10 inch prints
(37 prints)

Created in 2010 from glass plate negatives in the collection. The modern prints are all duplicates of original prints in the Australia series.

Box 12
Russia: Siberia, 1900
(84 prints)

Locations for these images come from Vladivostok, from which Shockley sailed on the steamer "Progress" to Petropavlosk, Gejiga, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and East Cape, Siberia, visiting the remote locations featured in these photographs in order to search for copper, gold and coal deposits. In addition to surveying for gold and coal, he photographed indigenous peoples, thus there are images of individuals and family groups he labeled as Chuchkis, Tungus (Evenks), Nivkhs, and Koryaks and their reindeer herds. Shockley also photographed European settlers in villages and remote outposts; and the crew and captain of the ship "Progress." A fellow adventurer and mining surveyor, Vanderlip, eventually published a book, In Search of a Siberian Klondike, using many of Shockley’s images as illustrations; his narrative, some of which coincides with Shockley’s itinerary, provides valuable background to the images in the collection.

Box 8
Russia, 1904, modern 8x10 inch prints
(About 130 8x10 inch prints)

Created in 2010 from glass plate negatives in the collection. These modern prints are all duplicates of original prints in the Russia 1904 series. Any larger prints bearing unique images that are not present in the vintage prints were foldered following the original prints.

Box 13
Russia, 1905, modern 8x10 inch prints
(133 prints)

Created in 2010 from glass plate negatives in the collection. These modern prints are all duplicates of original prints in the Russia 1905 series. Any larger prints bearing unique images that are not present in the vintage prints were foldered following the original prints.

Box 15
Russia, 1904, modern 8x10 inch prints
(Approximately 100 8x10 prints)

Created in 2010 from glass plate negatives in the collection. These modern prints are all duplicates of original prints in the Russia 1904 series. Any larger prints bearing unique images that are not present in the vintage prints were foldered following the original prints.

Box 14
Russia: Bogoslovsk, 1904
(134 prints)

In summer of 1904, Shockley traveled to Bogoslovsk (now Karpinsk), a good-sized city in the Ural Mountains region, photographing along the route a few scenes in Moscow and Perm. Once in Bogoslovsk he documented mining and smelting operations near the city, including iron furnaces, iron ore mines, and alluvial (river) gold mining with dredges as well as smaller manual operations and “starateli” (freehold) workers. Images include city scenes; focusing particularly on a mine manager’s house, where he seems to have stayed; Russian families he spent time with; servants; mining students; native costumes and dress; the nearby railroad station; and the roads on the outskirts of the city.

He spent many months also traveling in the remote country north and east of Bogoslovsk, continuing his documentation of mining operations. Locations include the Lobva, Cackva, and Volga rivers, Verkhoturʹe, and Kusva. Along the way he photographed railroad stops, small settlements, lakes, rivers, and travelers in various conveyances on the road. Many of the labor scenes in this series also include women working as ore sorters and gold miners.

Box 9
Russia: Bogoslovsk, 1905
(175 prints)

Returning to Bogoslovsk in 1905, also in late summer and early fall, Shockley seems to have passed through Alaska or Seattle, Washington, visiting Frank Ballaine, a transportation entrepreneur, his brother John Ballaine, and their families, who appear in a set of images in this series. He also photographed several scenes in Moscow, including the university.

He stayed in Bogoslovsk, again photographing friends and families there, and then traveled extensively in remote areas of the Urals, passing through Nizhnyaya Tura, the town of Cheli︠a︡binsk, and documenting markets, railway stations, small settlements, and mining and dredging operations along the Vizhaĭ, Lovza, and Ivdell rivers. There he also photographed indigenous Khanty (Ostiaks), ethnic Tatars, and backcountry hunters and settlers, often in their camps. There are many images of Shockley’s own travel party and the troikas, pack animals, and ferries they used in their travels. Only once does he refer to the political instability in Russia, where he documented a large group of railway strikers "discussing situation."

Box 10
Russia: Kluchi, Eastern Siberia, 1909
(42 prints)

This small series documents Shockley's travels in late summer and early fall to Klyuchi and surrounding regions on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Siberia, where he surveyed and assessed gold mining operations. There he photographed the mine manager and his family, log buildings at the mining camp, and surrounding forests and rivers.

Box 10
Other places, circa 1897-1910
(30 prints)

Vintage prints measuring from 3x4 to 4x5 inches chiefly represent images from Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., and locations in southeast Asia such as the island of Celebes (Sulawesi, Indonesia) and the Philippines (one image). There is also one image of an early London horse-drawn tram, an image taken on board the "Amorita" racing yacht off of Montauk, N.Y., and a dredge in an unknown location.

Modern 8x10 inch prints produced from glass plates feature what seems to be an English family - man, woman, and three female children - posing and playing games on an English estate; the father strongly resembles the mine overseer L.L. Wickham in Nellore, India, featured in image RL01177-P-1292.

Box 11
Other subjects, circa 1905-circa 1920
(11 prints)

Portraits of unknown babies and Shockley family members; some images are undoubtedly May Shockley with young son William B. Shockley in London. There is also a souvenir card with image of the god of happiness, Hotei.

Box 11
Original print envelopes, 1909 and undated
(1 folder, 5 items)
Box 16
Original dry gelatin glass plates boxes (empty), circa 1890s
(6 items)
Box 17

2. Papers, 1905-1922

3 folders

Of most interest in this series is a bound volume of roughly 100 carbon copies of correspondence, written by W. H. Shockley from places such as Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Ivdell (Russia), and Bogoslovsk (Russia), Palo Alto (California), and Reno (Nevada). The majority of the correspondence relates to Shockley's work as a mining engineer, but there are also several personal letters to his wife and others, correspondence relating to his personal finances, short drafts of articles on mining in Russia, and notes from a correspondence course on the "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.

Also in the series is a set of three very small watercolor portraits of unidentified women, perhaps created by Shockley’s wife, May Bradford Shockley, who was a painter.

Finally, there is also a notebook from Shockley’s travels in India which lists captions for images he took there; the description for this notebook is in the India Photographs.

Also in the papers series is a set of three very small watercolor portraits of unidentified women, perhaps created by Shockley’s wife, May Bradford Shockley, who was a painter.

A large collection of the Shockley family's papers can be found at the Stanford University's Special Collections Library in California.

Small watercolor portraits, circa 1920

Contains small painted portraits, unsigned, of three individual unnamed women, roughly 2x3" each, artist unknown. As Shockley's wife May Bradford Shockley, was a painter, these may well be her work.

Box 16
Folder 1
Bound volume of correspondence, 1905-1922

A bound volume of roughly 100 carbon copies of correspondence, written by William Hillman Shockley from places such as Paris, London, St. Petersburg, Irdell (Russia), Bogoslovsk (Russia), 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.

Box 16
Folder 2
Mica samples, 1899-1900
Box 16
Folder 3

3. Negatives, 1896-1910 and undated

Approximately 270 nitrate film negatives; 160 glass plate negatives; 3 boxes

Series houses Shockley's nitrate film and glass plate negatives from which he made black-and-white contact prints and developing-out prints as he traveled, and possibly after he arrived back home after his travels. In the 2000s, a private owner created prints in an 8x10 inch format from the glass plates – a few dozen of which are unique images not found among the earlier prints, and are filed at the ends of the original print series to which they belong. About 20 film negatives reveal experimental images created by Shockley with double exposures and other effects; some of these can be found in the “Other Subjects” prints series. Some negatives do not have corresponding prints, and vice versa.

Conditions Governing Access - Banner

Glass plate and nitrate negatives may be consulted only with permission from Curator for Documentary Arts.

Glass plate negatives: Russia, England, San Francisco, circa 1898-1909 [FRAGILE]
(134 glass plates, 3.25 x 4.50 inches)

Set of black-and-white glass plate negatives from which Shockley made the contact prints in main collection. There are a few unique glass plates with images not found elsewhere in the collection.

Box 18
Glass plate negatives: Australia, 1901-1902 [FRAGILE]
(32 glass plates; 3.25 x 4.50 inches)

Glass plate negatives bearing images taken by Shockley in mining regions of Australia. One image of an Australian aboriginal young woman is unique to the collection; no print exists of it.

Glass plate negatives are restricted; access is only by permission of the Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts.

Box 19
Nitrate film copy negatives, content circa 1897-circa 1910; created 1910s?
(Approximately 270 items, Approx. 270 nitrate sheet negatives; average 3.5x4.5 to 4x5 inches)

Set of nitrate negatives, probably created from the positive prints in the collection. The set represents a good portion of the original prints taken in Russia. There are also a few dozen images among the negatives for which prints do not exist, taken in San Francisco, St. Petersburg (Russia), Southbourne (England), and London. A set of experimental exposures is also in the negative collection.

The collection also includes glass plate negatives from which Shockley created the contact prints in the collection; these are also listed in the Negative Series.

Nitrate negatives are restricted to use and are currently in freezer storage; please contact Research Services staff before requesting access to this portion of the collection.

Box 20
 

Historical Note

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 Perú, 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.

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Provenance

The William Hillman Shockley photographs collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as purchases from 2010 to 2015.

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

Further item-level processing and description by Margaret Brill; Tiewa Cao; Christopher Flaherty; Miree Ku; Paula Jeannet Mangiafico; Tianyi Mu; Christof Schmitz; Erik Zitser; and Luo Zhou.

Accessions 2010-0154, 2011-0029, 2011-0034, and 2015-0162 were merged into one collection and described in this finding aid.