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Collection Overview

Gamble, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1890-1968
Sidney D. Gamble Photographs
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
2 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2


Consists of eleven photograph albums of Sidney D. Gamble (Princeton Class of 1912). Two contain photographs taken during his senior year at Princeton; the remaining albums are filled with photographs which reflect the life he knew in China as a Y.M.C.A. official (1918-1919, 1924-1927).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of eleven photograph albums of Gamble (Princeton Class of 1912), two of which contain photographs taken during his senior year at Princeton, including some of football games, Princeton President Hibben, and President Taft. The remaining albums are filled with photographs which reflect the life he knew in China as a Y.M.C.A. official (1918-1919, 1924-1927).



Collection Creator Biography:

Gamble, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1890-1968

An heir to the Procter & Gamble fortune, Sidney D. Gamble (1890-1968) was a pioneer sociologist who worked in China between 1917 and 1932, a witness to a convulsive period in China's history. After studying at Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley, he was asked to undertake a social survey of Beijing in behalf of the Y.M.C.A. Over the course of several years there he gathered statistics on incomes, occupations and health care, and he supplemented these bare facts with his photographs. For the most part, however, his pictures were taken to illuminate China's social life and culture, not its political upheavals. His researches resulted in the publication of four remarkable studies of Chinese life: Peking: A Social Survey, 1921; How Chinese Families Live in Peiping, 1933; Ting Hsien: A North China Rural Community, 1954; and North China Villages: Social, Political, and Economic Activities Before 1933, 1963. These groundbreaking studies of Chinese life are still used as basic reference material by writers and scholars. In 1984, Sidney Gamble's daughter, Catherine Gamble Curran, discovered 5,000 black and white negatives, 600 hand colored glass slides, and 21 rolls of 16 mm movie film that had been taken by Gamble and which had been relegated to an attic cupboard in the family home. The Sidney D. Gamble Foundation for China Studies, Inc., was founded in 1986 to manage this archive and to make it available to the general public. Presumably, these scrapbook photographs are prints from some of the same negatives.

Collection History

Processing Information

Folder inventory prepared by Allyse Terrell '2014 in 2011.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Sidney D. Gamble Photographs; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2