Preliminary Guide to the Raymond E. Casper Photographs, 1945-1946 and undated


Raymond E. Casper was a U.S. Army major stationed in Southeast Asia during late World War II. Collection includes slides, negatives, and prints of Southeast Asia, the majority of which appear to have been taken by Major Raymond E. Casper. The slides have not been sleeved, but each box is fairly well-labeled. Many of the prints are dated 1945-1946. The photographs are scenes of everyday life in rural and urban India. They include historical sites and palaces, archeological sites, temples, holy men, tribes, parades, farmers, beggars, snake charmers, and animals such as cows and monkeys. There is also a small number of photographs and slides of Hiroshima, Japan, following the atomic bomb in August 1945.

Collection Details

Collection Number
Raymond E. Casper photographs
1945-1946 and undated
Casper, Raymond E.
3 Linear Feet, 2000 Items
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Material in English

Collection Overview

This collection consists of photographic slides, prints, and negatives, the majority of which apppear to have been taken by Casper during his time in Southeast Asia at the end of World War II. Slides and prints are open to research; the negatives are closed to use due to preservation concerns. However, prints of the collection's negatives are available in Folder 4 of Box 1.

There are over 1300 slides in this collection, the vast majority being from India. Some include captions, but there are very few dates. The collection includes both black-and-white and color slides. The black-and-white slides correspond to the collection's prints and negatives. The color slides, although they appear to be amateur photography, do not appear to have correlating prints. It is not clear if all slides were taken by Casper, or if some were acquired as souvenirs during or after his travels.

The photographic prints are entirely black-and-white photography, ranging in size between 2x3 to 5x7 inches. They are in good condition, many including Casper's captions with comments, locations, and dates for the image.

The images in the collection consist largely of scenes from rural and urban life in Southeast Asia in the mid-1940s. Locations represented include the Karachi Air Base in Pakistan; Lalmonirhat, Bangladesh; Agra, Cooch Behar (Koch Bihar), Calcutta, Hyderabad, and Delhi, India; and Hiroshima, Japan. Includes at least two photographs of Mohatma Gandhi. Other notable scenes include holy men and priests; Hindu iconography and gods; temples and historic sites, including the Taj Mahal and the Jain temple in Calcutta; and archeological sites. Street scenes of everyday people include images of beggars, a leper colony, street doctors and dentists, farmers, water-carriers, snake charmers, launderers, barbers, rickshaws, and policemen. Also includes images of military bases and soldiers, including many images of Casper. Practices that are heavily documented include burning ghats, fuel production from cow manure, and funeral rites. There is also a small amount of photographs from Hiroshima, Japan, showing the devestation of the city following the atomic bomb.

A small amount of slides are clearly from a different period of Casper's life. They are in color and have images of a family touring various landmarks in the Eastern United States, including Washington D.C., Luray Caverns, and other historic sites in Virginia. These images are undated.

More Biographical / Historical Info

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 restricted. Original negatives 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 & 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], Raymond E. Casper Photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Accessioning information, 1985-2011
Box 1
Prints from Southeast Asia, 1945-1946 and undated
(4 folders)

Prints from some of the collection's negatives are available in Folder 4. (The negatives are closed to use.)

Box 1
Prints from Japan, 1945
Box 1
Slides (approximately 1250)
Box 2
Slides (approximately 50)
Box 3

2. Negatives, 1945-1946

1 box

17 uncut 35 mm film rolls as well as individual negatives ranging in size from 2x3 to 4x6 inches, with images from Southeast Asia. Many of the negatives that have been sleeved have corresponding prints in Folder 4 of Box 1.

Conditions Governing Access note

This box is CLOSED to use.

Box 4

Historical Note

Biographical and Historical Note

Raymond E. Casper was a U.S. Army officer stationed in Southeast Asia in 1945 through at least 1946. He retired with the rank of captain in 1947.

Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.


The Raymond E. Casper Photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1985.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, July 2011

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, July 2011

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2011-0151

Materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.