Anna Louise Strong camera and slide collection, circa 1936-1940  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970
Anna Louise Strong camera and slide collection
circa 1936-1940 (inclusive)
1 Perfex 44 camera (35mm)
17 slides ; 2 x 2 in.
Collection Number
The 35 mm Perfex 44 Camera used by Anna Louise Strong on her trip to China 1936-1940 and 17 slides. The slides do not appear to relate to her China tri
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
Access Restrictions

Open to all users.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Anna Louise Strong was a journalist, world traveler, observer of revolutions and author of over 30 books and countless articles. She was the daughter of a Congregationalist minister, Sydney Strong, who was a pacifist and practitioner of the social gospel. She was educated at Oberlin College, Bryn Mawr and University of Chicago, where she earned a Ph.D. After finishing her education, Strong joined the National Child Labor Committee and organized child welfare exhibits throughout the country from 1910-1912.

Sydney Strong moved to Seattle in 1906 where he lived until his death in 1938. Anna Louise Strong, who seldom lived anywhere for long, joined him there from 1916 to 1921, which was for her a time of radicalizing events, including the Everett massacre and trial, and the Seattle General Strike. In Seattle, she began her journalism career and wrote for the Seattle Union Record. During this time, she was elected to the Seattle School Board and subsequently recalled because of association with the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.). In the wake of these events, Strong went elsewhere in search of socialism in practice. Her quest took her first to the Soviet Union, where she was based from 1921 until 1940. During this period she spent part of the year in the Soviet Union, but would return to the United States for a lecture tour, usually between January and April.

Strong also became one of the earliest journalists to cover the Communist revolution in China. She visited China first in 1925 and returned frequently until 1947. During the course of her visits to China, she met and interviewed the Chinese Communist leaders, including Chou En-lai and Mao Tse-tung, gaining their respect and trust. In his 1946 interview with her, Mao first used the expression "paper tiger" to describe the United States.

Strong's enthusiasm for the Chinese revolution may have led to her arrest, imprisonment and expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1949. After these events, she was cut off from the Soviet Union, shunned by American Communists and denied a passport by the United States government. She settled for a time in California, where she wrote, lectured and invested in real estate. She was cleared finally of the Soviets' charges against her in 1955. When her passport was restored in 1958, she immediately made her way back to China, where she remained until her death in 1970. During the latter part of her life Anna Louise was honored and revered by the Chinese, one of the few Westerners with entree to China after the revolution and one of the last "Old China Hands" to remain in the good graces of the Chinese through the cultural revolution. The Chinese leaders considered her their unofficial spokesperson to the English speaking world.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The 35 mm Perfex 44 Camera used by Anna Louise Strong on her trip to China 1936-1940 and 17 slides. The slides do not appear to relate to her China trip.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Personal Names :
  • Strong, Anna Louise, 1885-1970--Archives

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Visual Materials Collections (University of Washington)