James Riley Sever Lantern Slide Collection

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At A Glance

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  • Creator

    Sever, James Riley
  • Dates

  • Physical Description

    84 Lantern slides (black and white and color)
  • Collection ID


  • Scope and Contents

    Stereopticons 1875-1877; undated mostly black and white and a few hand-colored, some captioned and numbered, assembled by an unknown source to depict views of Chine, including images of the imperial Summer Palace, in particular the ruins of the Yuanmingyuan taken in 1877 by amateur photographer Thomas Child; the environs of Peking (Beijing), including the Great Wall, Ming Tombs, the observatory, pagodas, the Temple of Heaven and others; a monastery near Foochow (Fuzhou); views of Formosa (Taiwan); a Canton street scene; villages; Chinese workers in various activities; a portion of an English-Chinese lexicon; and works of art depicting Prince Kung, Sir Harry Smith Parkes (1828-1885), "Ward of Salem" [likely William Hayes Ward (1835-1916)], and Christopher Columbus.
  • Biographical / Historical

    William Hayes Ward (1835-1916) was a Congregationalist minister, Orientalist, and editor of the "The Independent", a weekly religious newspaper. Sir Harry Smith Parkes (1828-1885) was a British diplomat who worked mainly in China and Japan.
  • Local Numbers

    FSA A1998.01
  • Creator

    Sever, James Riley
  • Photographer

    Child, Thomas
  • Names

    Columbus, Christopher
    Parkes, Harry, Sir, 1828-1885
    Ward, William Hayes, 1835-1916
  • Place

    Canton (China)
    Beijing (China)
    China -- Description and Travel
  • Custodial History

    Donated by James Riley Sever, 1998. Slides were obtained by Sever from Mrs. Barker, a neighbor of his sister's in Fairlington (Alexandria, Virginia) while she was moving in the summer of 1962. The slides were to be discarded as garbage. Then, stored in closet for 35 years while Sever was employed by as a Foreign Service Office of the United States Information Agency.
  • Archival Repository

    Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
  • Type

    Collection descriptions
    Archival materials
    Lantern slides
  • Citation

    James Riley Sever Lantern Slide Collection. FSA.A1998.01. National Museum of Asian Art Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Arrangement

    Organized in 2 boxes (.5 linear ft.) by slide number and topic.
  • Genre/Form

    Lantern slides
  • Restrictions

    Collection is open for research.

Repository Contact

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
National Museum of Asian Art Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013