15 - Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association
|Scope and Content
The records of OSMA date from 1881 to the present and document
the activities of Oberlinians in Asia during that period. Earlier
records discuss missionary activities of the Oberlin Band such
as evangelism, teaching, medical work, and the operation of opium
refuges in the Shansi province of northern China. The bulk of these
records, however, deal with the education activities of OSMA, which
was formed as a living memorial to those Oberlin missionaries who
died in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900.
Administrative and financial records of the OSMA from 1908-1981
document the founding and operations of primary and middle schools,
and later a college, in Shansi. Extensive correspondence and
numerous reports provide insight into the lives of the Chinese
this era and the lives of American men and women living and working
in China. These people observed first hand and regularly reported
on political events and social issues in China, from the founding
of the Nationalist government, to the invasion by the Japanese
and the ensuing Sino-Japanese War, and to the eventual triumph
of communist forces, ending American diplomatic relations and
thus OSMA's work in China. Major corespondents include H. H. Kung,
Wu, Lydia Lord Davis, Wynn C. Fairfield, and Herbert Van Meter.
Photographs, negatives, slides, and audio tapes provide extensive
visual documentation of the time and place. A selection of glass
lantern slides have been highlighted and described on an addendum
page. Student essays and art work of very high quality provide
the Chinese perspective.
Records from 1950 to the present trace the secularization of
OSMA and document the transformation of its programs to an
emphasis on two way exchange of students and scholars. Administrative
offers a look at the role of cultural exchange in both higher
education and international relations (and vice versa). Extensive
with both American and Asian students and scholars paints a
picture of the impact of cultural exchange on the individual.
Records of the OSMA have been arranged into the following subgroups
Subgroup I. Oberlin China Band
Series 1. Minutes (correspondence contained in the book)
Series 2. Correspondence
Series 3. General File
Subgroup II. Administrative Records
Series 1. Constitution, Regulations, and Amendments
Series 2. Minutes
Series 3. Reports
Series 4. Correspondence
Series 5. Committees
Series 6. Financial Records
Series 7. General File
Series 8. Directory of Representatives
Subgroup III. Program Areas
Series 1. China
Subseries 1. Ming Hsien
Subseries 2. Yunnan University
Series 2. Madurai, India
Series 3. Taiwan
Series 4. Japan
Series 5. Thailand
Series 6. Indonesia
Series 7. Korea
Subgroup IV. Representatives
Series 1. Reports and Letters
Series 2. Questionnaires
Series 3. Correspondence * (Restricted)
Series 4. Unsuccessful Applicants * (Restricted)
Series 5. Diaries of Student Representatives * (Restricted)
Series 6. Correspondence of Non-Representatives
Subgroup V. Publications and Publicity
Series 1. Newsletters
Series 2. Newspapers
Series 3. Mass Mailings
Series 4. Programs and Events
Series 5. Pamphlets and Flyers
Series 6. Miscellaneous Publications
Subgroup VI. Architectural Plans and Maps
Series 1. Architectural Plans
Series 2. Maps
Subgroup VII. Audio-Visual
Series 1. Photographs
Series 2. Photograph Albums
Series 3. Negatives
Series 4. Slides*
Series 5. Motion Pictures
Subseries 1. Films
Subseries 2. VHS Tapes
Series 6. Audio Tapes
(*See Addendum to Series 4.*)
Subgroup I: Oberlin China Band, 1881-1900, 1931-58 (0.4 l.f.)
Contains records pertaining to the Oberlin China Band, predecessor
organization of the OSMA. Records are divided into three series:
1. Recording Secretary's Book; 2. Correspondence; and, 3. General
Series 1: Recording Secretary's Book, 1881-1899 (0.2 l.f.)
Consists of one volume containing minutes of meetings of the
China Band, 1882-1884;original handwritten letters concerning
of the Oberlin Band in China Band, 1881, with copies added to the
book by Martin Luther Stimson in 1889; brief quotations from the
file of the Oberlin News, 1881-1885. Also included is one folder
of typescript notes from this volume and other documents not extant
taken by Grace McConnaughy, n.d. Roughly chronological within type
Series 2: Correspondence, 1883, 1889-90, 1892-93, 1896,
1931-32, 1934, 1952, 1958 (0.1 l.f.)
Correspondence of members of the Oberlin Band and interested
parties, 1883-96. Includes letters to and from C. D. Tenney, M.
F. H. Foster, Judson Smith, and others not identified. Also includes
correspondence, primarily of Lydia Lord Davis, M. L. Stimson, and
Wynn C. Fairfield, regarding the history of OSMA, 1931-34, 1958.
Arranged into five categories: Letters concerning the organization
of the China Band, 1881-1925; Letters received from the Oberlin
China Band, 1883-1900; Journal Letters (photostat copies) from
the Oberlin China Band preceding the Boxer Rebellion, 1900, 1907;
Letters about the Oberlin China Band, 1900-1958; and, Letters and
Accounts concerning the Boxer Rebellion, 1900-01, n.d. Arranged
alphabetically in the inventory. Letters in this series are copies
or transcriptions unless otherwise noted. (Five folders)
Series 3: General, 1881-1900 (0.1 l.f.)
Handwritten and typewritten notes, summaries, and extracts on
the history of the Oberlin China Band. The material drawn on dates
from 1881-1900, but the notes/summaries themselves are not dated.
Contains lists of the original Oberlin Band members, extracts from
Shansi Mission notes, extracts from Prudential Committee of ABCFM.
Subgroup II: Administrative Records, 1903-1999 (17.65 l.f.)
Administrative records documenting the founding and operations
of the OSMA. The bulk of the Subgroup dates from 1920-1950. Arranged
in eight series: 1. Constitution; 2. Minutes; 3. Reports; 4. Correspondence;
5. Committees; 6. Financial Records; 7. General File; and, 8. Directory
Series 1: Constitution, Regulations, and Amendments, 1908, 1923-24,
1949-77, 1983-85, 1989, 1991, n.d. (0.050 l.f.)
Describes the original purpose, objectives, and organizational
structure of OSMA. Includes original and revised Regulations
and Amendments, and draft proposals for the above. Includes OSMA’s
original Articles of Incorporation and amendments.
Series 2: Minutes, 1907- (3.4 l.f.)
Minutes of meetings of the Association, 1907-40; minutes of
the Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, 1941-97; and minutes
of the Advisory Council, 1950. The Executive Committee, Board
has been the primary decision making body since 1944. The minutes
and supporting documents (i.e., Executive Director's Report,
budget reports, and correspondence) discuss all issues regarding
organization, program development, and finance. Includes a "Duplicate" box
which contains copies of Executive Committee Minutes. Arranged
Series 3: Reports, 1907-1998 (0.8 l.f.)
Consists primarily of the Executive Secretary's Report, 1915-80,
and the Annual Report of the OSMA, 1907-33, 1980, and 1982-98,
the most important summaries of OSMA activities in any given
year. Also includes Program Planner's Reports, 1973-80; extracts
from the Oberlin College President's Report, 1907-51; and reports
of the Agricultural Department of Ming Hsien, 1928-43. Arranged
chronologically within the office of origin.
Series 4: Correspondence, 1904-1986, 1991-98 (7.6 l.f.)
Correspondence of OSMA headquarters with individuals and organizations
associated or concerned with OSMA activities, including administrators,
representatives, Asian and American exchange students and faculty,
colleges and universities, and organizations such as the ABCFM,
1902-61, the East-West Association and its director Pearl S.
Buck, 1943-50, and the United Boards for Christian Colleges
and Christian Higher Education in Asia, 1944-86. Arranged alphabetically
by individual, institution, organization, or, in some instances,
Series 5: Committees, 1918-96 (1.6 l.f.)
Records pertaining to the activities and efforts of committees
addressing specific challenges such as future policy or areas
of concern such as agriculture or curriculum. Also contains
records of the Student Committee, which played an important
role in selecting
representatives. Election Records exist for 1937-69, 1979-81,
and 1987-91. Records of the Student Committee date from 1918-75
and 1977-1991, while the remainder of these files date from
1944 to 1948. Arranged by committee, with the most influential
first. Chronological within committee. Minutes for Student
Committee, 1926-96. The correspondence concerning the transfer
and funds from the Charles M. Hall estate, 1928 are also included
in this series.
Series 6: Financial Records, 1903-2001 (5.0 l.f.)
Consists of records pertaining to income and expenditures,
including annual financial reports and budgets, 1910-1941;
with Auditors' Reports, 1935-52, 1960-80, 1982-89, 1998-99;
reports and correspondence of the treasurer, 1936-66, 1969-80,
records of the Finance Committee, 1937-64, 1980-86; information
on scholarship applications and awards, 1919-71; and ledgers
and account books, 1903-72. The bulk of this series dates from
to 1950. Arranged hierarchically, with annual reports and treasurer's
records first, followed by Finance Committee records, general
files, and ledgers. Also includes tax reports (IRS) from 1970's,
Series 7: General Files, 1918-1984 (2.5 l.f.)
Materials produced by, collected by, or related to the OSMA.
Includes reports, essays, writings, speeches, notes for Susan
of OSMA, and talks such Jacobson's Memorial Arch talk, 1989.
Extensive notes by Wynn C. Fairfield for his history of OSMA
and other reports,
as well as his lectures and talks, make up 1.25 linear feet.
Alphabetical by individual, institution, or subject.
Series 8: Directory of Representatives, 1918-1993 (1 vol.)
This 44-page spiral-bound "Directory of Representatives, 1918-1993" was
produced by the office of the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association.
Subgroup III: Program Areas, 1907-2000 (10.25 l.f.)
Records relating to OSMA's programs in Asian educational institutions.
Includes administrative records, correspondence with exchange students
and faculty and with those institutions, and a small amount of
printed matter and students' work from the Asian schools. Arranged
in six series: 1. China; 2. Madurai, India; 3. Taiwan; 4. Japan;
5. Thailand; and, 6. Indonesia. About one third of the material
relates to OSMA's work in China.
Series 1: China, 1907-2000 (3.7 l.f.)
Subseries 1: Consists primarily of materials relating
to Ming Hsien, 1907-1950, including minutes and correspondence
Managers; reports of the
Ming Hsien schools; financial records of the schools; correspondence,
primarily with Oberlin-connected ABCFM missionaries working
in the schools and with Chinese
students; a general file of student art work and essays, questionnaires,
miscellaneous reports, and campus plans; and Chinese language
printed and hand-written materials.
Arranged alphabetically or chronologically within each document type.
Subseries 2: Includes files concerning the Yunnan University
Program, 1987-1996. These files include Faculty Fellows and general
Series 2: Madurai, India, 1955-2000 (3.5 l.f.)
Records relating to OSMA's cooperative exchange programs with
Lady Doak and American Colleges in Madurai. Includes minutes,
reports, and correspondence
of the Managing
Committee; correspondence of the directors; correspondence with the colleges
and with Indian "faculty fellows" who were sponsored to study in
the U. S.; a few financial records; miscellaneous articles and reports; and
and publications of the two colleges. The bulk of these files document the
first phase of the program in India, 1955-1971, rather than the period since
resumed in 1978. Arranged alphabetically or chronologically within each document
type. A copy of Green Well Years (1997) by Manohar Devadoss is included in
Series 3: Taiwan, 1954-1992 (1.25 l.f.)
Consists primarily of correspondence with "faculty fellows" (exchange
scholars) from Tunghai University. Also includes a small amount of correspondence
with the Tainan Boys School and Tunghai University catalogs and other publications,
some in Chinese. Filed first alphabetically and then chronologically in each
Series 4: Japan, 1952-2000 (1.0 l.f.)
Correspondence with exchange students from Nagoya University
and Obirin Gakuen. Files also include the students' application
for the program and
of reference. Arranged alphabetically within each school.
Series 5: Thailand, 1972-1984 (0.2 l.f.)
Correspondence with two universities and one individual who
came to Oberlin on a faculty exchange. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 6: Indonesia, 1972-2000 (0.4 l.f.)
Correspondence with Gadjah Mada University and with American
and Indonesian exchange faculty. Arranged alphabetically.
Series 7: Korea, 1972-1984 (0.2 l.f.)
Correspondence with Yonsei University and with Korean
exchange faculty. Arranged alphabetically.
Subgroup IV: Representatives, 1931-1992 (17.85 l.f.)
Files, primarily correspondence, relating to Oberlin College
graduates selected as OSMA representatives. Divided into five series:
Reports and Letters; 2.
Questionnaires; 3. Correspondence; 4. Unsuccessful Applicants; and, 5. Diaries
of Student Representatives.
Series 1: Reports and Letters, 1933-1990 (1.85 l.f.)
Consists of one-time reports to the OSMA trustees and periodic
non-personal letters from representatives that served as regular
bulletins or updates on their activities.
Arranged chronologically within each document type. Each box can contain reports/letters
from China, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and/or Hong Kong.
Series 2: Questionnaires, 1972, 1974, 1984, 1993 (0.4 l.f.)
Responses of representatives and former representatives to
four different questionnaires. Arranged chronologically.
Series 3: Correspondence, 1931-2002 (15.0 l.f.)
Personal correspondence with representatives prior to,
during, and after their service in the field. Discusses
their appointments, travel and financial
and their experiences living and working in another culture. Some
files, especially those dating from the 1970's and 1980's, include
as the students' applications, transcripts, doctor's reports, and
letters of recommendation; therefore, researchers must have the
permission before using this series. Arranged alphabetically
by country and alphabetically
name within each country.
See also Anthology of Shansi Rep letters, 2000, SG V. Publications
Series 4: Unsuccessful Applicants, 1986 (0.4 l.f.)
Files of applicants who were not selected as representatives.
Include biographies, letters of recommendation and notes
from the screening
are arranged alphabetically by applicant. This series is restricted.
the Archivist is required to view these records.
Series 5: Diaries of Student Representatives (unidentified)
Consists of four composition books which served as the diary
of one unidentified representative in the Shansi program.
Series 6: Correspondence of Non-Representatives, 1991-1995
Personal correspondence with non-representatives during
and after their service in the field. Includes discussion
arrangements, and cultural experiences. Some files
include applications and letters of
Arranged alphabetically by last name. Series is restricted.
Subgroup V: Publications and Publicity, 1900-2000 (5.0
Contains a variety of printed materials used to describe the
work of OSMA in some detail, provide brief synopses for promotional
purposes, or request donations
from Oberlin alumni. Arranged by document type in six series: 1. Newsletters;
2. Newspapers; 3. Mass Mailings; 4. Programs and Events; 5. Pamphlets and Flyers;
and, 6. Miscellaneous Publications.
Series 1: Newsletters, 1913, 1932, 1938-47, 1949- (0.8 l.f.)
Newsletters published by OSMA over the years. The bulk consists
of the OSMA Newsletter, 1957 to present. Arranged alphabetically
by title, chronologically
title. The Newsletters report on the annual Shansi Day Assemblies.
Series 2: Newspapers, 1917-18, 1920, 1922, 1936, 1940-41, 1945-48,
1950, 1952-54 1956, 1958-64, 1976 (1.0 l.f.)
Newspapers published by OSMA and OSMA supplements to the Oberlin
Alumni Magazine and the Oberlin Review. Also includes one folder
and two boxes of clipbooks (c. 1908 -1975). Arranged chronologically.
Series 3: Mass Mailings, 1913-41, 1948, 1959-61, 1973, 1978
Letters sent "Dear Alumnus" or "Dear Friends" to give
brief updates on OSMA activities and request donations. Arranged chronologically.
Series 4: Programs and Events, 1910-1997 (1.6 l.f.)
Schedules, flyers, and other publications related to programs
and events such as the Shansi Breakfast or anniversaries.
Series 5: Pamphlets and Flyers, 1900-1980 (0.8 l.f.)
Small publications designed to explain and promote the past
and present activities of OSMA to students and present
Series 6: Miscellaneous Publications, 1900-1949, 1993 (1.4
Miscellaneous publications dealing with OSMA as well as with
China in general. Includes photoduplicates from microfilm
Mission minutes and reports (0.4 lin. ft.) and other English
and Chinese language
materials. American Board materials are filed first, chronologically,
followed by the
remainder of the documents filed alphabetically by title.
Series 7: Anthology of Shansi Representative letters, 1996-96,
Correspondence, 1995-96, with contributors, and a copy
of the book Anthology of Shansi Representative Letters,
Subgroup VI: Architectural Plans and Maps, 1910-58 (1.7 l.f.)
Architectural plans and maps consist of blueprints and aeronautical
charts related to the work in China. Arranged in two series:
1. Architectural Plans;
Series 1: Architectural Plans, 1910, 1917, 1929, 1931, 1958,
n.d. (1.0 l.f.)
Blueprints, drawings, and rubbings of the school and mission
compounds at Taiku and Fenchow-fu.
Series 2: Maps, 1908, 1921-22, 1935, c.1940s, n.d. (0.7 l.f.)
Three American Air Force aeronautical charts, 29 x 22, of the
Lo River in Honan, China, three silk maps of China used by WWII
Yunnan Province, Kunming
and Lao Gai Railroad, and the Wei and Huang Rivers in North Central China.
Subgroup VII: Audio Visual, c.1890-1987 (15.05 l.f.)
Audio-Visual documents the work in China from approximately 1890
to 1985. Materials covers a wide range of photographic formats
including individual photographs,
photo albums compiled by student representatives, negatives and film reels.
Arranged in five series based on format: 1. Photographs; 2. Photo Albums; 3.
4. Slides; 5. Films; and 6. Audio Tapes. (An addendum for Series 4 is also
Series 1: Photographs, c. 1890-1987 (5.15 l.f.)
Photographs documenting representatives and their work. Best
represented is work in China, 1890-1950 (primarily b/w) and 1980s
and some b/w). Also
are Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, and Thailand, 1950s-1980s
(primarily color). Also included are b/w pictures of Shansi school
and some of its representatives,
primarily from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. Additional color photographs
are of Shansi activities and members in Oberlin, 1970s-80s, and photographs
from alumni tours, 1980-81, 1988, and 1997. Photographs are arranged roughly
however later accessions of photographs relating to a particular country
have not been filed with the earlier photographs from that country,
but rather have
been added at the end.
Series 2: Photo Albums, 1913-1937, 1960 (6.15 l.f.)
Photo albums compiled by OSMA student volunteers. Primarily
black and white photographs documenting activity in China and
Several albums are annotated.
Series 3: Negatives, c.1890-1933, 1934-37 (0.75 l.f.)
Box 1 Consists of two small volumes with pockets for 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" negatives,
and one volume with pockets for 3.5” x 6” negatives (1999/034).
Negatives are from China and Japan. Negatives are labeled in an index at
the front of the
volumes. Box 2 consists of 5x7 glass plate negatives documenting rural China
c.1910s-20s. These plates have not been identified and thus are in random
Series 4: Slides, c. 1890-1949, 1981-82 (3.1 l.f.)
Approximately 1200 3x4 black and white and hand-colored lantern
slides, 52 2x2 black and white lantern slides, and 65 35mm
Kodachrome and other
people, places, occupations, and modes of transportation in China, most
of them not specifically identified. Nine 3x4 glass lantern slides have
highlighted, dating primarily from c.1890-1905, with the assistance of
Carl Jacobson, Executive
Director of OSMA.
Series 5: Films and Videotapes, c. 1915,
1930's, 1940's, 1950, c.1970, c.1980, 2004 n.d. (24 reels)
Subseries 1. Motion Pictures:
Fourteen reels of 16 mm. film, 5 of which are by John Hamlin,
apparently taken in China and related to OSMA's work. Ten 8mm
reels are included,
some of which
were taken of or by reps Herbert Van Meter, Betty Cameron, and Robbins
Strong. Not all films are labeled.
Subseries 2. VHS Tapes - Selected titles converted to videotape
Contains SVHS master and copy tape for each title (Some
titles combined on one tape). [2001/065] Also included is
a tape (and DVD) of "Oberlin Shansi: Renewing the Commitment
to Joining Worlds," 2004.
Series 6: Audio Tapes, 1961 and 1979, (2 tapes)
Contains one "mini" reel-to-reel tape, and one magnetic cassette
tape. The reel-to-reel tape documents a discussion by American College Lecturers
the Oberlin Shansi program, 10 March 1961. The cassette documents a tour
given by Tom Gold to an Oberlin Shansi tour group on 15 July 1979.
Records of the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association were acquired
in fourteen lots between 1967 and 1991. Margaret Leonard directed
the transfer of files from the OSMA office to the Archives in 1967,
1981, twice in 1987, twice in 1988, and twice in 1990. One lot
of photographs arrived in 1991. Ellsworth Carlson transferred files
in 1985. Carl Jacobson and Peg Leonard directed the transfer of
the accessions in 1990. Four lots came from the Oberlin College
Library in 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1987. Fourteen more accessions
were received from the OSMA office in accessions 1996/098 1997/068,
1997/80, 1997/088, 1997/089, 1998/87, 1999/34, 1999/70, 2000/51,
2000/67, and 2000/80, 2000/112, 2001/005, and 2001/065. 0.4 l.f.
of records were transferred from the papers of President Starr
in 1998. Additional material was transferred from the Oberlin College
Library, Special Collections, in 2001 (2001/094).
Papers of Oberlin College Presidents Henry Churchill King (RG
2/6), 1873-1934, and Ernest Hatch Wilkins (RG 2/7), 1927-46. Papers
of Lydia Lord Davis (RG 30/80), 1862-1944; Florence Fitch (RG 30/37),
1807-1951; Alice Moon Williams (RG 30/58), 1883-1952; John Griffith
Olmstead (30/2), c. 1902-1930; Everett D. Hawkins (30/130), 1927-1972;
Robbins Strong (30/215), 1934-89; Herbert and Josephine Van Meter
(30/288), c. 1930s-1987; Raymond T. Moyer (30/260), 1921-1992;
Ellsworth C. Carlson (30/176), 1935-2000; Paul L. Corbin (30/49),
1886-1937; Frances Cade and E. John Hamlin (30/418); and records of the YMCA-YWCA (RG 29), c. 1900-1965;
and the Oberlin Band of Student Volunteers for Foreign Missions
(RG 19/3/1), 1886-1927.
See Archives guide to Missionary Records