Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore photographs relating to Japan and China, circa 1914-1916
NAA.PhotoLot.139
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.PhotoLot.139
Creators:
Scidmore, Eliza Ruhamah, 1856-1928
Dates:
circa 1914-1916
Languages:
Undetermined
Physical Description:
50 negatives
glass
23 negatives
nitrate
120 lantern slides
Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs made and collected by Scidmore documenting life in Japan and China. They depict people, agriculture, crafting and jewelry, and natural and urban settings. Some additional photographs were made in South America and possibly the Philippines. The collection includes lantern slides published by the William H. Jackson Photo and Publishing Company of Denver and E. B. Thompson of Washington, DC.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1856-1928) was an author, journalist, lecturer, and collector who traveled extensively and helped to bring the Japanese cherry blossoms to Washington, DC. She spent her early life in Madison, Wisconsin, and then moved during the Civil War to Washington, DC, with her mother and brother. She was educated for two years at Oberlin College before obtaining a position as a newspaper correspondent covering the capitalʹs social scene. Her career as a travel writer began in 1883 during a trip to Alaska which she documented in her first book, Alaska, Its Southern Coast and the Sitkan Archipelago (published 1885). Shortly thereafter, she lived for long periods of time in southern and eastern Asia, particularly in China, India, Japan, Java, and the Philippines. Scidmore promoted intercultural understanding and cooperation and particularly encouraged the relationship between America and Japan, where her brother served as a Consul General in Yokohama. She was decorated by the Japanese emperor for her sympathetic reporting of Japanʹs treatment of prisoners of war during the Russo-Japanese War. Though Scidmore contributed articles to many popular magazines, she was most active for National Geographic (between 1893 and 1914) and her photographs accompanied many articles. She also served on the National Geographic staff and on its board of managers.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies note
Most of the glass negatives and lantern slides have been digitized and are available online. Contact prints were made from the nitrate negatives and are available with the collection.
Author
Finding aid prepared by NAA Staff

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 139

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation note
Photo lot 139, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore photographs relating to Japan and China, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
Additional photographs made and collected by Scidmore are held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 97 and in the National Geographic Society archives.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Department of Anthropology collections holds several artifacts donated by Scidmore.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
The collection was donated to the Smithsonian as the result of the Institutionʹs having loaned Scidmore photographic equipment. It was donated in USNM accessions 70640 (1923), 85816 (1925), 31224 (1896), and possibly 30262 (1896).

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
Preliminary finding aid is available in repository.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Jackson, William Henry, 1843-1942, possible photographer or publisher Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thompson, E. B., (Ezra Bowen), 1865-1951, possible photographer or publisher Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Agriculture -- Japan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chinese Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Handicraft Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japan Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Japanese Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philippines Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
South America Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transportation -- Japan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland , 20746
Phone: 301.238.1300
naa@si.edu