Guide to the Norman Filman Collection, 1889-2006

Special Collections & Archives

Oviatt Library

California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA, 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
Fax: (818) 677-2589
© Copyright 2014 Special Collections & Archives. All rights reserved.

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Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge.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.

Collection Contents


Series I: J. Arthur Duff Papers, 1889-1988

Box 1, Folder 1

Filman's Notes on J. Arthur Duff's Papers

Box 1, Folder 2

Duff Family Tree, 1969

Box 1, Folder 3

News Articles on J. Arthur Duff, 1942-1987

Box 1, Folder 4

J. Arthur Duff's Papers at the Hoover Institution, 1984-1987

Box 1, Folder 5

Far Away and Long Ago: Some Random Reminiscences of J.A. Duff, 1982

Box 1, Folder 6

Correspondence from John L. Duff to Charles D. Duff, 1889-1894

Box 1, Folder 7

Correspondence from Margaret Ostler Duff to Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ostler Duff, 1899, 1945

Box 1, Folder 8

Letter from J. Arthur Duff to Margaret Kyte, 1976 Feburary 10

Box 1, Folder 9

William A. Duff Obituary, 1977

Box 1, Folder 10

Letter Seeking Vital Documents for Margaret Kyte, 1981

Box 1, Folder 11

Letter from J. Arthur Duff to Patricia, 1982

Box 1, Folder 12

General Writings on China

Box 1, Folder 13

General Stories from China ca. 1910-1930, 1980-1987

Box 1, Folder 14

General Stories from China ca. 1931-1945

Box 1, Folder 15

Maps of China

Box 1, Folder 16

Writings and Information on Kuling, China

Box 1, Folder 17

The Duff Family in Kuling, China

Box 1, Folder 18

Fairy Glen Hotel in Kuling, China

Box 1, Folder 19

Kuling Community Hospital Association Shares Certificate, 1931

Box 1, Folder 20

Bruno Arndt Kuling Property Statement

Box 1, Folder 21

Character Statements for Kuling Property Claim, May 1981

Box 1, Folder 22

Escape From Hong Kong to Free China

Box 1, Folder 23

OSS (Office of Strategic Services) Files, 1943-1945

Box 1, Folder 24

Correspondence and Essay about Trip to Africa, 1971

Box 1, Folder 25

Writings on U.S.S.R. and Russian Turkestan, 1971

Box 1, Folder 26

Hunza, Pakistan

Box 1, Folder 27

Correspondence and Writings on Duff's Life, 1978-1988

Box 1, Folder 28

Barbara Tuchman, 1980-1984

Box 1, Folder 29

Letters to Duff from Pearl Buck and Indira Gandhi, 1980-1983

Box 1, Folder 30

Writings on the Cold War, 1980-1986

Box 1, Folder 31

Letters Regarding British Relations with China, 1981-1984

Box 1, Folder 32

Letters to World Leaders on Nuclear Policy, 1982

Box 1, Folder 33

Philosophical Writings, 1980-1983

Box 1, Folder 34

Religious Writings

Box 1, Folder 35

John Birch

Box 1, Folder 36

Gracie Kingham - The Nanchang Riots of 1906

Box 1, Folder 37

Annie and Emily Hunter - Missionaries to China

Box 1, Folder 38

Generals George C. Marshall and A.C. Wedemeyer

Box 1, Folder 39

Excerpts from Borodin: Stalin's Man in China by Dan M. Jacobs

Box 1, Folder 40

Excerpts and Notes on China Called Me: My Life by Percy Chen, 1979

Box 1, Folder 41

Notes on Marshall in China by John Robinson Beal, 1970

Box 1, Folder 42

Notes on Time-Life Books on China, Burma and India, 1981

Box 1, Folder 43

"Canada at War" The Magazine, 1983


Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006

Box 2, Folder 1

Maps of Shanghai

Box 2, Folder 2

News Articles on Shanghai, 1941-1949

Box 2, Folder 3

Shanghai Postcards

Box 2, Folder 4

Postcards, ca. 1930-1945

Box 2, Folder 5

Western District Public School Documents, 1938-1939

Box 2, Folder 6

Nanking Theatre Programme - "Stablemates," 1939

Box 2, Folder 7

St. Francis Xaviers College Crest

Box 2, Folder 8

Bacon Family Correspondence, 2005-2006

Box 2, Folder 9

Correspondence with Virginia Duff, 1988

Box 2, Folder 10

Correspondence with Katherine Moore, 2000-2003

Box 2, Folder 11

Correspondence with Other Old China Hands, 1990-1995

Box 2, Folder 12

Correspondence with Zoya Slyke (Shlakis), 1990-1997

Box 2, Folder 13

China Society of Southern California, 1995-2004

Box 2, Folder 14

International Settlement of Shanghai Brochure - Prepared by the American Association of Shanghai

Box 2, Folder 15

Old China Hands Merchandise

Box 2, Folder 16

Shanghai Memories from Old China Hands, 1990

Box 2, Folder 17

Civilian Internees Reunion - England, 1988

Box 2, Folder 18

Old China Hands and Former Camp Internees Reunion - Anaheim, California, 1990

Box 2, Folder 19

Old China Hands Reunion - Hong Kong, 1990

Box 2, Folder 20

Old China Hands Reunion - Vancouver, Canada, 1991

Box 2, Folder 21

Old China Hands Reunion - San Francisco, California, 1994

Box 2, Folder 22

Old China Hands Reunion - Las Vegas, Nevada, 1996

Box 2, Folder 23

Old China Hands Reunion - San Diego, California, 1998

Box 2, Folder 24

Old China Hands Reunion - Scottsdale, Arizona, 2000

Box 2, Folder 25

Old China Hands Archival Materials at Various Institutions

Box 2, Folder 26

Old China Hands Archives at Calfornia State University Northridge, 2002

Box 2, Folder 27

Delores Metcalf Photographs from China Trip: Hong Kong, Forbidden City and Great Wall, 1982

Box 2, Folder 28

Delores Metcalf Photographs from China Trip: Kweilin, Shanghai, School Kids, 1982

Box 3, Item 1

Old China Hands Reunion, Anaheim CA - VHS, March 1990

Box 3, Item 2

Old China Hands Reunion '96: Highlights - VHS, 1996

Box 3, Item 3

Old China Hands Reunion '96: Speeches - VHS, 1996

Box 3, Item 4

The Dragon and the Eagle Series: Program One - Westward to China - VHS, 1990

Box 3, Item 5

The Dragon and the Eagle Series: Program Two - The China Call - VHS

Box 3, Item 6

Kuling Reunion Trip Tape 1: Hong Kong, Chung King, Yangtze Gorges, Kuling, Jingdezen - VHS, October 1989

Box 3, Item 7

Kuling Reunion Trip Tape 2: Hangzhau, Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Gulin, Lee River - VHS, October 1989

Box 3, Item 8

China Update - Dick Eastman/Wes Wilson - Audiocassette