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Manuscript Records of Traders, Travellers, Missionaries and Diplomats, 1853-1941

Part 1: Sources from the William R Perkins Library, Duke University

This project makes available a wide range of English language sources by writers, diplomats, tourists, businessmen, missionaries and others documenting the political, cultural and social history of Japan from 1853 to the present.  Part 1 covers 11 individual collections of papers from Duke University.  These include:

  • Letters of Sir Edwin Arnold, British poet and journalist, 1869-1903, including exchanges with Takaaki Kato, Japanese Ambassador in London, concerning Buddhism, Anglo-Japanese and Russian-Japanese relations;
  • Papers of Robert S Chilton Jr, Chief of the Consular Bureau in Washington DC, mainly for the period 1897-1901, concerning trade with China and Japan;
  • The diary of Rachael Ferver, wife of an American businessman in Japan, for 1928, recording her life in Tokyo and Yokohama;
  • The diaries of Augustus & Jeanette Healy, tourists, for 1920-1922, describing what they did and saw in Africa, India, China, Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong;
  • The photograph album of Kiroku Shashin Honzonkai;
  • The correspondence and papers of John Caldwell Calhoun Newton, pioneer missionary of the Methodist Church South to Japan 1870-1931;
  • Letters of Sir Harry Parkes, British Minister to Japan between 1865 and 1883;
  • Papers of Edward James Parrish, a representative for the British-American Tobacco company in Japan between 1900-1906;
  • Papers of James Barr Robertson, a British resident of Shanghai, c.1870, including letters from W U Lay written from or near Yokohama, Japan;
  • Papers of Mary E (McClain) Sword, including the letters of Hattie (McClain) Gring who was a missionary in Japan during the 1880s and 1890s;
  • Papers of William E Tolbert, with letters from Elizabeth Russell, who had been a Methodist missionary in Nagasaki, Japan, 1859-1941.

The advantage of multiple perspectives is the ability to compare attitudes and judgements between different people and over time.


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