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Seeing into Asia - China, Korea, Japan from 1917 to 1932

Chinese FlagWhether you are the family historian or a lover of erotic places, there is an online database of some 5,000 photos that capture scenes of China, Korea, Japan and and Russia between the years of 1917 to 1932. At the Duke University Internet site, in their digital collection, the photos taken by Sidney D. Gamble covering four separate trips to Asia are available.

Known as the Gamble Collection the digitalized images are just fascinating. Besides the photos of Asian locations, Gamble took photos of the American Hawaiian Territory.

Sidney Gamble, born in 1890, started traveling to Asia and taking photos in 1908. Duke University will be adding the digitized images Gamble took between 1908 and 1916 in the future.

The site has an easy search box to use. Numerous aspects of the locations are covered in the photos. Gamble has urban and rural scenes. There are places like hospitals and schools pictured. Different cultural events are forever captured on film. Putting in the city of ‘Peking’ produced 34 images. Images of Japan number 173 and 73 for Russia. Any of the thumbnail images can be clicked on to enlarge. By clicking on the ‘details’ section above the photo provides the information noted by Gamble for the image.

Another feature is the interactive map of China. Click on this link to view a labeled map with the names of villages, cities and the route Gamble traveled.

In researching the photos you can even sort through them by categories; such as children, pagodas, The Great Wall, farms, churches, wedding ceremonies, houses or food, to name a few. Overall, the Sidney D. Gamble photos are a wonderful collection and now made easier to view by being made digital. Your ancestors may have lived in the regions or visited some of these same locations. It is an intriguing way to travel back some 90 plus years to foreign lands and a different way of life.

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