Harrison Forman papers , 1931-1974

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Forman, Harrison, 1904-1978
Title
Harrison Forman papers
Dates
1931-1974 (inclusive)
Quantity
7.75 linear feet, (10 containers, 1 package, 11 volumes)
Collection Number
Coll 024
Summary
Harrison Forman (1904-1978) was an American explorer, aviator, photographer, journalist and author. Collection comprises 62 diaries kept by Forman while a world traveler and journalist, as well as photographs, journalism, interviews, writings, and books by Forman. Collection materials include accounts of the Sino-Japanese conflict, the Chinese government under Chiang Kai-shek, the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai in 1937, and the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939.
Repository
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives
UO Libraries--SCUA
1299 University of Oregon
Eugene OR
97403-1299
Telephone: 5413463068
spcarref@uoregon.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time. Collection includes sound recordings, moving images, and digital files to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections and University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary. Glass plate negatives and lantern slides are restricted due to the fragility of the format. All decisions regarding use will be at the discretion of the curator for visual materials.

Additional Reference Guides

See the Current Collection Guide for detailed description and requesting options.

Languages
English

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Harrison Forman (1904-1978) was an American explorer, aviator, photographer, journalist and author. Forman was born June 15, 1904 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 11329 after majoring in Oriental Languages. During the early 1930's he went to China where he sold American aircraft and trained pilots.

It was in China that he heard of a mysterious mountain in Tibet supposedly taller than Mt. Everest, officially the highest mountain in the world. Forman went to Tibet and although he never found the mountain he sought he did earn the distinction of being one of the first western visitors to visit Tibet. As a result of his experience in Tibet, Forman in 1937 was the technical director for Lost Horizon, an Academy Award-winning film.

During the late thirties Forman covered the Sino-Japanese conflict as a cameraman for the "March of Time" newsreel service and also reported for the New York Times on Japanese forces across Asia. Forman became best known during this time for his coverage of the Sino-Japanese conflict, the Chinese government under Chiang Kai-shek, the Japanese bombardment of Shanghai in 1937, and the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939. It was also during World War II in 1944 that Forman interviewed Mao Tse-tung, Chou En-lai, and other communist leaders.

After the war Harrison Forman became an often quoted authority on Far East matters. He wrote books on China, Africa, photography and later ran a travel agency. Among the many newspapers and magazines he worked for were the London Times, New York Times, Cosmopolitan, Harper's, Life, Reader's Digest, and National Geographic. He was also a lifetime member of the Explorer's Club. Mr. Forman died on January 31, 1978 in New York City.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Harrison Forman Papers include a variety of material, the most noteworthy being 62 diaries he kept while a correspondent and traveler. They have been arranged chronologically, 1932-1973. Of specia1 interest is Diary #19 (2/1) which includes interviews with Mao Tse-tung and Chou En-lai. There is only one folder of correspondence and a limited amount of manuscript material. Also included in the collection are news dispatches (mostly concerning China┬╗) radio broadcast interviews, audio-visual scripts concerning geographic areas, and books.

Approximately 100 photographs, 59 slides of Tibet, and 8 filmstrips on Africa are included.

A catalogue of Harrison Forman photographs which the donor separated from this collection for separate sale can be found in Box 7, Folder 1)

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Journalists--United States
  • Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945--Journalists
  • War correspondents
  • World War, 1939-1945--Campaigns--Poland

Personal Names

  • Forman, Harrison, 1904-1978

Geographical Names

  • China--Politics and government--1928-1937