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Harry A. Franck (1881-1962) was a University of Michigan graduate (1903), avid traveler, and veteran of both world wars. He wrote thirty-three travel books describing Europe, South and Central America, China, Japan, and many other places. His most popular books include A Vagabond Journey Around the World (1910) and Zone Policeman 88 (1913). His books routinely featured photographs he took during his journeys: landscapes, street scenes, working people with the tools of their trade, portraits, and snapshots.
The 9,056 black and white images in this collection were digitally photographed from original negatives on nitrate or acetate film and reversed into positives. The 1,001 color images are from hand-colored lantern slides (on glass) that Frank had prepared to illustrate his lectures; most of the color images therefore have a black and white counterpart in the negative series. Some of the nitrate film stock had deteriorated and fused. About three hundred images from the China series were too badly damaged to photograph. Another thousand images or so, mostly from the China series, were partially fused; these were photographed but show evidence of the damage and partial losses to the image.
Additional material (correspondence, manuscripts, drafts, lectures, journals, scrapbooks, and other formats) may be found in the Harry Alverson Franck Papers at the Special Collections Research Center of the University of Michigan Library.
Randal Stegmeyer digitally photographed the film and glass images in 2020. Lee Allen and Tiffany Decker contributed image descriptions for the negatives. Harry A. Franck wrote the image descriptions for the glass slides.
Download an inventory of the negatives sorted in Franck Number order: PDF, Excel. The Franck Numbers are numbers handwritten on each negative by Franck, establishing the order of the negatives within each category.
Notice: We have included the original image descriptions for the glass slides, as written by Franck, because these slides were used for public presentations and lectures and form part of his body of scholarly/literary work. He used some language to describe people and places that was common at the time he was living, but which now may be considered offensive.
Rights and Permissions
All the images in the collection are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International license (CC-BY 4.0). This means you are free to share and adapt the images for any purpose, even commercially, so long as you provide attribution by giving appropriate credit, providing a link to the license, and indicating if changes were made. You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits. The license does not in any way limit your rights under copyright law, such as fair use. Please read the license before using this work. If you use images from this collection, please use the following attribution and copyright notice: "© 2019 Regents of the University of Michigan." If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Special Collections Research Center. If you have concerns about the inclusion of an item in this collection, please contact Library Information Technology.