The American Heritage Center has elected to interpret the definition of “Asia” in an expansive manner and, as a result, acknowledge that the boundaries of Asia encompass a wide swath of the Asian continent, the Pacific Islands, and the Middle East. This reflects the countries and regions represented by the existing collections that comprise the “American Perspectives of Asia” collecting area. Many of the collections currently in the AHC’s holdings overlap with other collecting areas, most notably with the areas of military history and journalism. Many of the individuals who spent time in Asian nations did so during times of global conflict—World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars, for example. Many of these individuals served as soldiers, sailors, and pilots, as well as journalists assigned to foreign correspondent positions. Other collections share topical areas with the AHC’s focus on politics, as several personal papers were donated by individuals who served in the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Treasury Department, and various branches of the U.S. Foreign Service in consulates and embassies around the world. Also represented heavily are collections that document Americans’ experiences as energy, mining, or infrastructure consultants for foreign firms, universities, or international affiliates of U.S. companies. In addition, mountaineers are fairly well represented in our existing holdings, as certain mountainous regions of Asia include popular climbing peaks, such as Mr. Everest and K2.
Some of our prominent Asian holdings are detailed below. Additional holdings can be located by searching our online inventories (select University of Wyoming as the institution), or by searching our online catalog.
Lloyd Burlingham was born in Manila, Philippines around 1911. From 1955 to1956, he was a research assistant for American University, contributing to books on Cambodia, Laos, and Iran. He joined the United States Information Service (later the United States Information Agency) in 1957 where he worked until 1970. This collection contains unsorted correspondence, newspapers and clippings, periodicals relating to foreign relations, internal memos, press releases, informal field notebooks, and government reports.
Eva Behn Chapline was born in 1895 in Prescott, Arizona. Both Eva and her husband, William R. Chapline, worked for the U.S. Forest Service. She was a photographer and traveler and made numerous films of her travels throughout the world. This collection contains correspondence, loose photographs, and photographs that cover Chapline's life from the 1920s through the 1960s. A second series contains travelogs shot by Eva throughout the world during the 1937 to 1950s, of Rangoon, South America, and Europe.
This collection contains one travel journal written by Mary Hoyt Williams Crozier during her travels with her husband from Washington, D.C., to Japan and China via San Francisco in 1920-1922.
Dorothy Eidlitz (1891-1976) was a women's rights advocate, amateur photographer who lived in Japan for several years during the 1920s. She served as president of the Kobe Women's Club and worked to reduce the suicide rate of young girls. This collection contains photographs, correspondence, publications, and newsclippings. Some materials describe her work for women's rights in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s and her tenure as the president of the Kobe Women's Club. Newsclippings and publications describe the Japan at that time.
Wilfred Fleisher, a journalist, worked as editor of the "Japan Advertiser," an English language newspaper in Tokyo, Japan from 1929-1940 and also as a reporter for the New York "Herald" on Asian affairs from 1931-1940. Fleisher is also the author of the books "Volcanic Isle", "Our Enemy Japan" and "What to Do with Japan". This collection contains professional and personal correspondence, subject files on pre and post-World War II Japan and China, manuscripts; radio scripts, and nine scrapbooks.
U.S. Ambassador Parker Thompson Hart began his diplomatic career in 1938 as vice consul in Austria then in Brazil. In 1944, he went to the Middle East and opened the first U.S. consulate in Saudi Arabia at Dhahran, site of newly discovered oil fields. In 1952, he became the Middle East director and then ambassador to Saudi Arabia and later Turkey. The collection contains correspondence, reports, speeches, copies of papers presented, and subject files about the Middle East for his consulting work with the Bechtel Corporation, RCA, U.S. Steel, and IBM.
Richard Tregaskis was a war correspondent and author. He covered both the Pacific and European theaters of World War II and was badly wounded in Italy. His wartime experiences were chronicled in "Guadalcanal Diary" (1943) and "Invasion Diary" (1944). The bulk of his career was spent reporting on events in Asia and Oceania. Tregaskis covered nine wars, including the Chinese Civil War, Korea, and Vietnam.