The Virtual Beijing project relies on images collected in various archives and publications. Yet the main visual corpus of this project actually consists of two exceptional photographic collections in terms of quality and homogeneity. The first is a collection made by Sidney D. Gamble, a sociologist-missionary (or missionary-sociologist) who lived in China from 1917 to 1937 and taught sociology at Yanjing University in Peking. Sydney Gamble, whose work focused on the population of the capital and its most underprivileged sections, has left a unique collection of 6,000 photographs.1 These photographs were initially placed in a private foundation responsible for their preservation and exploitation. After 2008, they were donated to Duke University that made them available on a remarkable web site, Sidney D. Gamble Photographs. These photographs, however, have never been used as such for systematic research.2 The second set of holdings comes from Hedda Morrison, a German photographer who lived in China from 1933 to the end of the Second World War.3 Her collection was entrusted to the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University and entirely digitized. Hedda Morrison Photographs of China consists of about 5,000 pictures, a large majority of which focuses on the common people of Peking.4 While these collections remain in their original digital repositories, they are included in the Virtual Beijing platform with additional metadata and used under the tools developed for the Virtual Cities Project.
Last update on Thursday 26 January 2012 (12:23) by Yi Feng