Wenxian Zhang, professor and interim director of Rollins’ Olin Library, recently published China Visualized by Americans: 1840-1911. The period from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century is not only a critical era in modern Chinese history, but also the peak time of illustrated news reporting in the United States.
Besides illustrations from newspapers and journals, this work also presents images about China and the Chinese people published in books, brochures, commercial advertisements, campaign posters, postcards, etc. Together, they have documented colorful portrayals of the Chinese and their culture by the U.S. print media during this historical period. The cultural understanding between the American and Chinese people has been a long, complex process, and this collection of images has essentially formed a rich visual resource that is both diverse and intriguing.
As primary source documents, they carry significant historical and cultural value that could stimulate further academic research.