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Guide to the Norman Filman Collection, 1889-2006
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Biographical Information:
  • Access Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Arrangement of Materials:
  • Scope and Contents

  • Overview of the Collection

    Collection Title: Norman Filman Collection
    Dates: 1889-2006
    Identification: OCH/NFC
    Creator: Filman, Norman J., 1920-2010
    Physical Description: 1.30 linear feet
    Language of Materials: English
    Repository: Old China Hands Archives
    Abstract: The Norman Filman Collection consists of papers saved by Old China Hand Norman Filman, mostly consisting of materials related to his uncle J. Arthur Duff and Old China Hands reunions. Materials in the collection include correspondence, news clippings, essays, a family tree, and audiovisual materials on China.

    Biographical Information:

    Norman J. Filman was born on November 23, 1920, in Calgary, Canada, and was taken to China soon after to live with his grandparents, John L. and Margaret Duff who had served as missionaries in the country since the early 1890s. He grew up in Kuling, China before attending the Western District Public School in Shanghai. He returned to Canada after graduating high school, where he attended the University of British Columbia and graduated as an electrical engineer in 1944. He moved to Los Angeles in 1949, where he worked for Hughes Aircraft for 31 years. He was also very involved in Old China Hands Reunions, and maintaining contacts with other Old China Hands. He passed away in 2010.

    Access Terms

    This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

    Genre/Form of Material:

    Paper records
    Photographic material
    Video recordings

    Administrative Information

    Processing Information:

    Jessica Geiser, 2014

    Conditions Governing Use:

    Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

    Conditions Governing Access:

    The collection is open for research use.

    Preferred Citation:

    For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

    Related Materials:

    Arrangement of Materials:

    Series I: J. Arthur Duff Materials, 1889-1988
    Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006

    Scope and Contents

    The Norman Filman Collection consists of papers saved by Old China Hand Norman Filman. Materials in the collection, which range from 1889 to 2006, document two generations of Old China Hands living in and escaping from China, and consist mainly of correspondence, news clippings, essays, and reunion materials. The collection is divided into two series: J. Arthur Duff Materials (1889-1988), and Personal Papers (1930-2006).
    Series I, J. Arthur Duff Materials, primarily contains items written by Filman's uncle, James Arthur Duff. Duff was born in Kuling, China in 1899, and settled in Shanghai with his family. During World War II, he escaped from occupying Japanese forces in Hong Kong, and soon after was recruited to work for the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) in China. He also traveled the world, and retired to California before passing in 1996. The materials in the series include a number of writings by Duff reminiscing on his times in China and discussing various political, religious and philosophical topics. Also included are news articles, family correspondence, and photocopies of documents from Duff's life in China.
    Series II, Personal Papers, consists of items saved by Norman Filman related to his experiences in China as well as numerous Old China Hands Reunions he participated in and in some cases helped to plan. These materials include correspondence, postcards, news articles, school report cards, brochures, videos, reunion programs, and reunion attendee rosters. Also included are photographs and home videos from other Old China Hands that took trips back to China in the 1980s to visit.