Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Inventory of the Francis E. Stafford Photographs
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (77.85 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Francis E. Stafford photographs
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1933
    Collection Number: 2012C34
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3 oversize boxes (1.2 linear feet)
    Abstract: Photographs of scenes in China, mainly between 1909 and 1915, and 1932 and 1933.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Stafford, Francis E., 1884-1938


    Originals closed. Digital use copies available.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Francis E. Stafford photographs, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives from Ronald E. Anderson (PhD, Stanford University, 1970) and family in 2012.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Stafford was an American missionary in China from 1909 to 1915 and 1932 to 1933. A lithographer and photographer, he arrived in Shanghai in 1909 and was hired by the Commercial Press-then Asia's largest publishing company--to manage its printing division from 1909 to 1915. During the onset of the Wuchang Uprising in October 1911, Stafford was on hand to capture remarkable photos of the Qing Dynasty's collapse.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection, which consists of nearly 1,100 images, includes the largest number of surviving original photographic prints of the Chinese Revolution of 1911. Stafford's historic pictorials record the turbulent period between 1910 and 1933, as China transitioned from feudal monarchy to republic. Depicted are battle scenes, military and political figures, as well as everyday people, life, and culture in China. Also included are rare glimpses of printing operations and employees of the Commercial Press.
    Stafford's photos first appeared in such publications as the Da Ge Ming Xie Zhen Hua (War Scenes of the Chinese Revolution) and were reproduced as illustrated posters. His work has also been highlighted in several major museum exhibitions in Hong Kong and Shanghai. In 2010 the University of Washington Press republished 162 of the photographs in The Birth of a Republic: Francis Stafford's Photographs of China's 1911 Revolution and Beyond. As noted by the book's editor, Hanchao Lu, Stafford's unique photographs "reveal sweeping social and political change, as well as the tenacity of tradition" and "appeal to historians interested in modern China, revolution, and war."

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    China--Pictorial works.