Sir Henry Norman Far East collection, circa 1890

Scope and Content

Original glass negatives measuring 164 x 122 mm by Sir Henry Norman. Some of the negatives are accompanied by handwritten captions. Views shown are of French Indo-China, China, Malaya, Siam, Korea and Japan.

Administrative / Biographical History

Norman was educated privately in France and at Harvard University, where he obtained his B.A. For several years he worked on the editorial staff of the Pall Mall Gazette and later joined the editorial staff of the News Chronicle, being appointed Assistant Editor of the latter in 1895. He retired from journalism in 1899. During this time he travelled widely in Canada and the United States and in Russia, Japan, China, Siam, Malaya and Central Asia. Much of the material included in the two volumes mentioned in the description was amassed during these tours. He was appointed Assistant Postmaster-General in 1910 and his interest in international communications led to a number of appointments related to wireless and telegraphy, among them Chairman of the War Office Committee on Wireless Telegraphy 1912, and Chairman of the Imperial Wireless Telegraphy Committee of 1920, the latter convened to draw up a complete wireless scheme for the Empire. He was Liberal M.P. for South Wolverhampton 1900-1910 and for Blackburn 1910-1923. Among his publications are The preservation of Niagara Falls (1882), All the Russias (1902), and a play, Will no man understand (1934).

Access Information

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Acquisition Information

Probably presented by Priscilla, Lady Norman.


Includes index.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.

Alternative Form Available

Contact prints have been made of four of the photographs.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Generally in fair condition.


Many of the photographs are reproduced in: Norman, Henry (1895), The people and politics of the Far East, London : T.F. Unwin. Page references are noted against each photograph record. Several of the Japan views probably appear in his The real Japan (1892), London : T.F. Unwin but this work has not been examined.

Additional Information

This collection level description was entered by PJ using information from the original typescript catalogue.

DateText: The date is approximate..

Norman, Sir, Henry