The CLIR Hidden Collections project is now entering its second year. While work on the MALDEF records continues, we are pleased to report that the project team has also begun processing the records of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. (CRLA).
The two-year CLIR funded MALDEF project, which began in March 2011, is moving along at a rapid pace. The project team has already processed 450 linear feet of the 2400’ total we are aiming to complete by the end of the project.
The earliest materials from the R. Stuart Hummel family papers, donated to Stanford University Libraries by R. Stuart Hummel, tell the story of Dr. George A. Stuart’s life and work as a medical doctor and Methodist missionary in China during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Dr. Stuart arrived in China in 1886, accompanied by his wife Rachel Anna Golden and his daughter Mildred. The family traveled by steamship up the Yangtze River to Nanjing, where Dr. Stuart began work at the Methodist hospital under the direction of Dr. Robert C. Beebe, but was soon charged with building another hospital up the river in the town of Wuhu. George helped design the new hospital, trained doctors and staff to serve the local population, and oversaw its operation for nearly ten years. In 1896, Dr. Stuart was asked to return to Nanjing to establish a medical school at the University of Nanking (an institution that later merged with a number of others to form the present day Nanjing University). Dr. Stuart was soon appointed President of the University of Nanking, a position he held until 1908. During this period, in addition to his work at the University, he translated numerous religious and medical texts from English into Chinese, and towards the end of his life in 1911, he completed a substantial revision of F. Porter Smith’s Chinese Materia Medica, a detailed description of Chinese herbs and their medical uses.
Collection materials from this period, including photographs, bulletins, and newsletters, offer unusual insight into the role American missionaries played in shaping the development of medical and educational institutions in China. Additionally, personal letters from Rachel Anna Golden and George to friends and relatives in the United States provide a rich portrait of the social world occupied by foreign missionaries—a life that was at times sheltered and quotidian and at other times difficult and uncertain, plagued by fear of political upheaval and anti-foreign violence.
The Hummel collection is closed while being processed. We anticipate being able to open the collection to researchers by August 2011. A significant portion of the collection, including most of the correspondence, photographs, and ephemera documenting the life and work of George A. Stuart, will be digitized and made available online soon after the collection is open.
Dr. George A. Stuart (seated front row, center) with students graduating from the University of Nanking, circa 1908 (M1607, box 105, folder 7)