The Norman Filman Collection consists of papers saved by Old China Hand Norman Filman. Materials in the collection, which range from 1889 to 2006, document two generations of Old China Hands living in and escaping from China, and consist mainly of correspondence, news clippings, essays, and reunion materials. The collection is divided into two series: J. Arthur Duff Materials (1889-1988), and Personal Papers (1930-2006).
Series I, J. Arthur Duff Materials, primarily contains items written by Filman's uncle, James Arthur Duff. Duff was born in Kuling, China in 1899, and settled in Shanghai with his family. During World War II, he escaped from occupying Japanese forces in Hong Kong, and soon after was recruited to work for the Office of Strategic Service (OSS) in China. He also traveled the world, and retired to California before passing in 1996. The materials in the series include a number of writings by Duff reminiscing on his times in China and discussing various political, religious and philosophical topics. Also included are news articles, family correspondence, and photocopies of documents from Duff's life in China.
Series II, Personal Papers, consists of items saved by Norman Filman related to his experiences in China as well as numerous Old China Hands Reunions he participated in and in some cases helped to plan. These materials include correspondence, postcards, news articles, school report cards, brochures, videos, reunion programs, and reunion attendee rosters. Also included are photographs and home videos from other Old China Hands that took trips back to China in the 1980s to visit.