The Harvard-Yenching Library holds some 5,000 photographs and 10,000 negatives taken by Hedda Hammer Morrison (1908–1991) while resident in Beijing from 1933 to 1946. The photographs, mounted in thematic albums prepared by Mrs. Morrison, and the negatives, were bequeathed to the Harvard-Yenching Library, "the best permanent home for her vision of a city and people that she loved [Alastair Morrison]."
All of the photographs contained in the 28 albums assembled by Hedda Morrison have been cataloged and digitized and can be viewed in VIA (Visual Information Access), the union catalog of visual resources at Harvard. This site provides information about the collection and strategies for effectively searching for Hedda Morrison photographs in VIA. Use the menu at the top to navigate through the various sections of this site.
Hedda Morrison studied photography in her native Germany, and from 1933 to 1938 managed Hartung's Photo Shop in Beijing. From 1938 until she and her husband left China in 1946, Morrison worked as a freelance photographer, selling individual prints or thematic albums of her work and creating photographs for other people's books on China. Her photographs document lifestyles, trades, handicrafts, landscapes, religious practices, and architectural structures that in many cases have changed or have been destroyed.
Publication-quality copies of the images can be made for a fee. Permission to publish any image in the collection is granted at the discretion of the curator (e-mail) upon receipt of an application for reproduction. Funding for the Hedda Morrison Photographs of China project was provided by Harvard University's Library Digital Initiative (LDI).