Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
An heir to the Procter & Gamble fortune, Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968) was a pioneer sociologist who worked in China between 1917 and 1932, a witness to a convulsive period in China's history. After studying at Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley, he was asked to undertake a social survey of Beijing in behalf of the Y.M.C.A. Over the course of several years there he gathered statistics on incomes, occupations and health care, and he supplemented these bare facts with his photographs. For the most part, however, his pictures were taken to illuminate China's social life and culture, not its political upheavals. His researches resulted in the publication of four remarkable studies of Chinese life: Peking: A Social Survey, 1921; How Chinese Families Live in Peiping, 1933; Ting Hsien: A North China Rural Community, 1954; and North China Villages: Social, Political, and Economic Activities Before 1933, 1963. These groundbreaking studies of Chinese life are still used as basic reference material by writers and scholars. In 1984, Sidney Gamble's daughter, Catherine Gamble Curran, discovered 5,000 black and white negatives, 600 hand colored glass slides, and 21 rolls of 16 mm movie film that had been taken by Gamble and which had been relegated to an attic cupboard in the family home. The Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies, Inc., was founded in 1986 to manage this archive and to make it available to the general public. Presumably, these scrapbook photographs are prints from some of the same negatives.
The collection consists of eleven photograph albums of Gamble (Princeton Class of 1912), two of which contain photographs taken during his senior year at Princeton, including some of football games, Princeton President Hibben, and President Taft. The remaining albums are filled with photographs which reflect the life he knew in China as a Y.M.C.A. official (1918-1919, 1924-1927).
For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.
Folder inventory prepared by Allyse Terrell '2014 in 2011.
- Young Men's Christian Association
- Young Women's Christian Associations
- Princeton University
- Princeton University. Class of 1912.
- Manuscripts Division
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
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