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Norman Filman Collection



Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

J. Arthur Duff Papers

Personal Papers

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Norman Filman Collection, 1889-2006 | Special Collections & Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Norman Filman Collection, 1889-2006Save to your list.


Primary Creator: Filman, Norman J. (1920-2010)

Extent: 1.3 Linear Feet


Series I: J. Arthur Duff Materials, 1889-1988

Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006

Date Acquired: 03/12/2014

Forms of Material: Paper records, Photographic material, Video recordings

Languages: English


The Norman Filman Collection consists of papers saved by Old China Hand Norman Filman, mostly consisting of materials related to his uncle J. Arthur Duff and Old China Hands reunions. Materials in the collection include correspondence, news clippings, essays, a family tree, and audiovisual materials on China.

Biographical Note

Norman J. Filman was born on November 23, 1920, in Calgary, Canada, and was taken to China soon after to live with his grandparents, John L. and Margaret Duff who had served as missionaries in the country since the early 1890s. He grew up in Kuling, China before attending the Western District Public School in Shanghai. He returned to Canada after graduating high school, where he attended the University of British Columbia and graduated as an electrical engineer in 1944. He moved to Los Angeles in 1949, where he worked for Hughes Aircraft for 31 years. He was also very involved in Old China Hands Reunions, and maintaining contacts with other Old China Hands. He passed away in 2010.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Virginia Edwards

Related Materials: J. Arthur Duff Papers at the Hoover Institution Archives

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Processing Information: Jessica Geiser, 2014

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: J. Arthur Duff Papers, 1889-1988]
[Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006],

Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 1: Maps of ShanghaiSave to your list.
Folder 2: News Articles on Shanghai, 1941-1949Save to your list.
Folder 3: Shanghai PostcardsSave to your list.
Folder 4: Postcards, ca. 1930-1945Save to your list.
Folder 5: Western District Public School Documents, 1938-1939Save to your list.
Folder 6: Nanking Theatre Programme - "Stablemates", 1939Save to your list.
Folder 7: St. Francis Xaviers College CrestSave to your list.
Folder 8: Bacon Family Correspondence, 2005-2006Save to your list.
Folder 9: Correspondence with Virginia Duff, 1988Save to your list.
Folder 10: Correspondence with Katherine Moore, 2000-2003Save to your list.
Folder 11: Correspondence with Other Old China Hands, 1990-1995Save to your list.
Folder 12: Correspondence with Zoya Slyke (Shlakis), 1990-1997Save to your list.
Folder 13: China Society of Southern California, 1995-2004Save to your list.
Folder 14: International Settlement of Shanghai Brochure - Prepared by the American Association of ShanghaiSave to your list.
Folder 15: Old China Hands MerchandiseSave to your list.
Folder 16: Shanghai Memories from Old China Hands, 1990Save to your list.
Folder 17: Civilian Internees Reunion - England, 1988Save to your list.
Folder 18: Old China Hands and Former Camp Internees Reunion - Anaheim, California, 1990Save to your list.
Folder 19: Old China Hands Reunion - Hong Kong, 1990Save to your list.
Folder 20: Old China Hands Reunion - Vancouver, Canada, 1991Save to your list.
Folder 21: Old China Hands Reunion - San Francisco, California, 1994Save to your list.
Folder 22: Old China Hands Reunion - Las Vegas, Nevada, 1996Save to your list.
Folder 23: Old China Hands Reunion - San Diego, California, 1998Save to your list.
Folder 24: Old China Hands Reunion - Scottsdale, Arizona, 2000Save to your list.
Folder 25: Old China Hands Archival Materials at Various InstitutionsSave to your list.
Folder 26: Old China Hands Archives at Calfornia State University Northridge, 2002Save to your list.
Folder 27: Delores Metcalf Photographs from China Trip: Hong Kong, Forbidden City and Great Wall, 1982Save to your list.
Folder 28: Delores Metcalf Photographs from China Trip: Kweilin, Shanghai, School Kids, 1982Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Item 1: Old China Hands Reunion, Anaheim CA - VHS, March 1990Save to your list.
Item 2: Old China Hands Reunion '96: Highlights - VHS, 1996Save to your list.
Item 3: Old China Hands Reunion '96: Speeches - VHS, 1996Save to your list.
Item 4: The Dragon and the Eagle Series: Program One - Westward to China - VHS, 1990Save to your list.
Item 5: The Dragon and the Eagle Series: Program Two - The China Call - VHSSave to your list.
Item 6: Kuling Reunion Trip Tape 1: Hong Kong, Chung King, Yangtze Gorges, Kuling, Jingdezen - VHS, October 1989Save to your list.
Item 7: Kuling Reunion Trip Tape 2: Hangzhau, Shanghai, Xian, Beijing, Gulin, Lee River - VHS, October 1989Save to your list.
Item 8: China Update - Dick Eastman/Wes Wilson - AudiocassetteSave to your list.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: J. Arthur Duff Papers, 1889-1988]
[Series II: Personal Papers, 1930-2006],

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