George and Marion Blydenburgh papers: 1920-1934 (bulk 1920-1931)
Summary Information
Title: George and Marion Blydenburgh papers
Creator: Blydenburgh, George T., 1891-1954.
Inclusive dates: 1920-1934
Inclusive dates: 1998
Bulk dates: 1920-1931
Extent: 3.5 linear feet (in 5 boxes)
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Abstract:
Missionaries to China, 1920-1931; George T. Blydenburgh was the superintendent of a new hospital in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. Correspondence to family members describing daily life, family matters, and news of the hospital's progress; photographs, newspaper clippings, and glass lantern slides documenting the Blydenburgh family's experiences (bulk 1920-1931). Statements and descriptions of incidents related to military campaigns in Nanjing, Shanghai, and Nanchang. Writings and outlines about life in China (1921-1934). Annual reports from the Nanchang General Hospital (1924-1932). Publications from the Nanking [Nanjing] Language School (1921-1922). Scrolls of woodblock prints, calligraphy, and painting (circa 1920-1930).
Call number: 2017044 Aa 2 UAl
Language: The material is in English; select items in Chinese.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Liz Gadelha, November 2017.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by Michael O'Donnell (donor no. 11526) in June 2016 with a second accession in September 2017.

Access Restrictions:

Restrictions apply; see item listing for details.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Commercial use of the collection is prohibited without the written permission of the donor(s) or their heirs until 2039. Duplication of materials for patrons is not permitted.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, George and Marion Blydenburgh papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. [item], [URL], George and Marion Blydenburgh papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.


Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 5 series: 1. Correspondence. 2. Nanchang Hospital Reports. 3. Published Materials. 4. Visual Materials. 5. Writings.


Biography

George Theron Blydenburgh (1891-1954) graduated from Wesleyan University in 1914 and Cornell University Medical College in 1918. He then joined the Navy during World War I and worked at the Brooklyn Naval Hospital in New York until 1919. Afterwards, he took an internship at Park Hospital in New York.

Marion Benson Paterson (1891-1969) graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1915. She taught at West Hartford High School for three years and then worked for the Red Cross in New York for two years.

Marion and George Blydenburgh married in August 1920 in Middletown, Connecticut. In September 1920, they sailed to China, arriving in October 1920 where they stayed in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province for language study before moving to Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. George Blydenburgh was the superintendent of the Nanchang General Hospital (also known as the Susan Toy Ensign Memorial Hospital) through the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. They had three children: George Dean, born in 1921 in China; Stuart Maxwell, born in 1923 in China; and Marion Ellen, born in 1926 in the United States.

In 1927, due to incidents related to military campaigns and subsequent events, the Blydenburgh family lived in Shanghai and Tianjin, China, as well as in Japan and Korea.


Collection Scope and Content Note

Marion P. Blydenburgh lived in China from 1920-1931 with her husband, George T. Blydenburgh, who was the superintendent of the Nanchang General Hospital (also known as the Susan Toy Ensign Memorial Hospital) in Jiangxi Province through the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This collection contains correspondence written to family members in the United States describing daily life, family matters, and news of the hospital's progress as well as photographs, newspaper clippings, and glass lantern slides documenting the Blydenburgh family's experiences.

First-hand accounts from George Blydenburgh, Marion Blydenburgh, and others of incidents related to military campaigns in Nanjing, Shanghai, and Nanchang are among materials in this collection. Also included are annual reports from the Nanchang General Hospital, publications from the Nanking [Nanjing] Language School, as well as scrolls of woodblock prints, calligraphy, and painting. The collection is arranged in five series with Visual Materials and Correspondence encompassing the majority of the collection followed by Writings, Nanchang Hospital Reports, and Published Materials.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • China -- Description and travel.
  • China -- History -- 20th century.
  • China -- Politics and government.
  • City & town life -- China.
  • Country life -- China.
  • Dwellings -- China.
  • Hospitals -- Nanchang -- China.
  • Missionaries -- China -- 20th century.
  • Missionaries, Medical -- China.
  • Missions -- China.
  • Missions, American -- China.
  • Physicians -- China.
  • United States -- Description and travel.
  • Group portraits.
  • Landscape photographs.
  • Lantern slides.
  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographic postcards.
  • Photographs.
  • Portraits.
  • Blydenburgh, George T., 1891-1954.
  • Blydenburgh, Marion P., 1891-1969.
  • Blydenburgh, Marion P., 1891-1969.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Correspondence 1920-1934 [series]

The Correspondence series (1.35 linear feet) is organized as it was received. Correspondence is arranged by year and then, generally, according to author. The majority of the materials are written by Marion Blydenburgh and George (Theron) Blydenburgh to family members in the United States describing daily life, family matters, and news of the hospital's progress during their time in China from 1920-1931. The first exception is a small amount of materials related to George and Marion Blydenburgh's travels in the United States prior to their departure to China from San Francisco in 1920 as well as a return trip to the United States by the Blydenburgh family in 1925. The second exception is materials related to the Blydenburgh family's time spent in Japan and Korea after their evacuation from Nanchang due to incidents related to military campaigns and subsequent events in 1927.

Box   1  
1920 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1921 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1922 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1923 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1924 (3 folders)
Box   1  
1925
Box   1  
1926 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1927 (4 folders)
Box   1  
1928 (3 folders)
Box   2  
1929 (3 folders)
Box   2  
1930 (4 folders)
Box   2  
1931 (3 folders)
Box   2  
1934
 
Nanchang Hospital Reports 1924-1932 [series]

The Nanchang Hospital Reports series (0.1 linear feet) contains five reports, arranged by year, from the Nanchang General Hospital (also known as the Susan Toy Ensign Memorial Hospital). One of the reports covers 1926-1930 in a single volume. The other four reports are single year editions.

Box   2  
1924
Box   2  
1925
Box   2  
1926-1930
Box   2  
1931
Box   2  
1932
 
Published Materials Circa 1921-1927 [series]

The Published Materials series (0.05 linear feet) contains two publications produced by the Nanking [Nanjing] Language School in 1920 and 1921, where George and Marion Blydenburgh attended Chinese language classes. Additionally, a folder of newspaper clippings, largely undated, document the Blydenburgh family's experiences, including incidents related to military campaigns and subsequent events, in China.

Box   2  
The Linguist, Nanking [Nanjing] Language School 1921
Box   2  
The Linguist, Nanking [Nanjing] Language School 1922
Box   2  
Newspaper Clippings Circa 1927
 
Visual Materials Circa 1920-1931, 1998 [series]

The Visual Materials series (1.75 linear feet, 1 oversize folder) is organized by genre. This series contains a box of glass lantern slides, loose photographs and photographic postcards, as well as seven photograph albums that document the Blydenburgh family's experiences in China. Generally, the subjects of the photographic media in this series are individual and group portraits, interiors and exteriors of dwellings, as well as various modes of transportation. Additional subjects include tourism and travel documenting landscapes and landmarks; life in cities, towns, and the country; and the Nanchang General Hospital (also known as the Susan Toy Ensign Memorial Hospital).

Additional subjects are present in the photograph albums. Of note is documentation of the Nanchang city wall being pulled down in 1926, which is in the third album, Nanchang, Kiangsi, China. In the fourth album, which is untitled and undated, there are architectural drawings and a photograph of a stone house designed by George Blydenburgh and built in Kuling, in the Methodist Mission. The sixth album, Refugee Book No. 1 contains photographs of the Blydenburgh family's time spent in Shanghai, China; Nagasaki, Japan; and Korea after being evacuated from Nanchang in March 1927. Also included in this album is a photograph with the caption "Major General Duncan reviewing British troops just arriving across the Garden Bridge, Shanghai, Spring 1927." The seventh album, Refugee Book No. 2 contains photographs documenting the Blydenburgh family's time spent in Mukden (Shenyang), Peking (Beijing), Tientsin (Tianjin), and Peitaiho (Beidaihe) including photographs of the Great Wall of China.

One oversize panoramic photograph of approximately 150 adults and children, which was given to George and Marion Blydenburgh by the Nanchang Auxiliary Committee in April 1931, is part of the Visual Materials series. Also part of this series are color prints made in 1998 that are copies of glass lantern slides from circa 1920-1931. The glass lantern slides are arranged in eight partitions and two cartons mirroring their physical arrangement in their original box. Furthermore, the Visual Materials series includes six scrolls featuring calligraphy, painting, and woodblock prints, two of which are both titled 2 men in boat in storm - Man on shore - Wood Block - Black & White.

 
Glass Lantern Slides Circa 1920-1931, 1998
Box   5  
Partition 1 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 2 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 3 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 4 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 5 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 6 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 7 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 8 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 9 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Partition 10 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   2  
Notes and Outlines undated
Box   5  
Carton 1 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   5  
Carton 2 undated [Due to their fragile nature, access to the orginal items is restricted.]
Box   2  
Color Copies 1998
 
Photograph Albums Circa 1920-1931
Box   2  
Postal Souvenirs Circa 1920-1925 (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
Nanchang, Ki. China undated (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
Nanchang, Kiangsi, China Circa 1924-1929 (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
untitled undated (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
Nanchang General Hospital Circa 1928-1929 (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
Refugee Book No. 1: Shanghai, Japan, Korea Circa 1926-1927 (1 photo albums)
Box   3  
Refugee Book No. 2: Mukden, Peking, Tientsin, Peitaiho Circa 1928 (1 photo albums)
 
Photographs and Postcards Circa 1921-1931
Box   2  
Photographs and Postcards Circa 1921-1931
Oversize Folder   1  
Photographs and Postcards Circa 1921-1931
 
Scrolls Circa 1920-1930
Box   4  
2 Flamingoes [sic], Man with a load, Mountain Home - Wood Block - Black & White - Contentment undated (1 prints (scroll))
Box   4  
2 men in boat in storm - Man on shore - Wood Block - Black & White undated (2 prints (scrolls))
Box   4  
Print - Mountain Retreat - Lion - Wolf approach dwelling undated (1 prints (scroll))
Box   4  
1 of two - Caligraphy [sic] China 1920-30 - Unidentified Circa 1920-1930 (1 paintings (scroll))
Box   4  
Blue & pink butterfly - Old '20's - Chewed by dog in Lakewood Circa 1925-1929 (1 paintings (scroll))
Box   2  
Writings Circa 1921-1934 [series] (5 folders)

The Writing series (0.25 linear feet) consists of five folders. It includes the following writings: The Present Situation in China by George Blydenburgh, September 15, 1925 Some of Our Experiences in Nanchang, China by Marion Paterson Blydenburgh, 1925; Nation Making in China (Not for Publication); An American Family in China; and one untitled work written by George Blydenburgh. Outlines titled The American Mother in China, Ten Years in China, and Women and the Way are also included.

Additional materials are first-hand accounts of incidents related to military campaigns in Nanchang, Nanjing, and Shanghai in March 1927 by Marion Blydenburgh as well as Miss Golisch; Dr. Rowe; R.J. Pryor; and WM. R. Johnson, Principal of the Nanchang Academy Boys School of Methodist Episcopal Church. Furthermore, a November 1934 edition of the China Christian Advocate and an annotated copy of The Linguist from 1921 that belonged to Marion Blydenburgh along with blueprints, newspaper clippings, parts of letters, photographs, and other materials are included in this series in their original order.