University Archives

Edgar Snow Audio Tapes

The audio tapes listed below have been divided into three sections: tapes relating to the documentary, "One Fourth of Humanity"; recordings related to Edgar Snow’s professional work, particularly speeches and interviews on China; and personal recordings of family and friends. The quality of the sound and the information recorded varies. The data below includes: "marked"-- Snow’s annotation on the tape; "No." -- control number assigned by the University Archives during processing; "Speed/tracks"; and "Contents" -- a very brief description of the recording. No transcriptions exist for these tapes.

"One Fourth of Humanity" (documentary film)Table of Contents

During the production of the documentary various recordings were made: tapes at001-at010 are master copies of the sound track of the film made for security purposes; tapes at011-at013 are lower speed dubbed copies of the sound track master copies; the remainder of the tapes are raw and dubbed recordings that were in part or as a whole used in the productions. Of particular interest are tapes at019-at023 because they are recordings of Snow and the editors reviewing the film footage during the editing process. They discuss ideas for the script and Snow relates information and memories stirred by the images.

[Inventory sections for the film and the manuscript documentation.]

tape # marked no. speed/tracks contents
at001 reel 1A 15/1 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at002 reel 1B 15/2 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at003 reel 1C 15/3 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at004 reel 2A 15/4 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at005 reel 2B 15/5 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at006 reel 2C 15/6 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at007 reel 3A 15/7 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at008 reel 3B 15/8 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at009 reel 3C 15/9 15 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity"
at010 reel 4 15/10 7.5 ips/1 trk Sound track Master for "1/4 of Humanity": Snow interviewing Dr. Chen and his patient, the recipient of the "severed hand operation"; background music and sound for "1/4 of Humanity"; excerpts of talks with various workers for the film
at011 I 15/11 7.5 ips/1 trk interviews and sound recordings for "1/4 of Humanity": INCORPORATES FROM THE MASTER REELS 1A, 1B, 1C, 2A, 2B, and 1/2 of 2C. Foreign Language Institute; visit to an English class; Snow’s interview of Pu Yi; Peking Duck Restaurant; Hall of Supreme Harmony; talk with surgeon; Chinese music; interview with the director of Shanghai’s recreational center; stores
at012 II 15/12 3.75 ips/1 trk interviews and sound material for "1/4 of Humanity": INCORPORATES FROM THE MASTER last of REEL 2C, 3A, 3B, 3C, and most of REEL 4: duck farm; at the home of Ma Hai-de with Dr. Horn; Fudan Food Store in Peking; Peking nursery; pedicab drivers; interview with Pastor Chao of the Peking Protestant Church; interview with Lin Zhao-de, head of the Gynecological Dept.; Peking Zoo; interviews at the Peking Foreign Language Institute with Prof. Wang, Dean of the English Dept., and Mrs. Lake, librarian
at013 III 15/13 3.75 ips/1 trk interviews and sound material for "1/4 of Humanity": INCORPORATES FROM THE MASTER last of REEL 4: interview with the Director of the Shanghai Conservatory; music: Chopin piano solo and Chinese music
at014 17 15/47 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: Snow’s narration for "1/4 of Humanity"; side 2: continued
at015 reel II (2C) 6/12 7.5 ips/1 trk Snow’s narration for "1/4 of Humanity"
at016   15/22 7.5 ips/1 trk Transcript tape 15A and 5: English translations of sound material to be used for "1/4 of Humanity": oration of the severed hand operation; narrative on Ta Chai village
at017   15/23 7.5 ips/1 trk Master narration over Mao footage. Snow, Peking, speaking of his 1965 interview with Mao Tse-tung and the history of the period
at018   15/24 7.5 ips/1 trk "People of China, Severed Hand", in English
at019 20 15/28 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity", related to the film’s planning
at020 21 15/29 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity", related to the film’s planning (?)
at021 22 15/30 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity", related to the film’s planning, speaking as well on the tape is Bernard (Vorhaus)
at022 23 15/31 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity"
at023 24 15/32 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity", related to film’s planning
at023 19 15/40 7.5 ips/2 trk interview with Snow while looking at the film, "1/4 of Humanity", related to film’s planning; most of the track is blank (track 2 ?)

 

Professional related recordingsTable of Contents

Edgar Snow used his recorder as a tool to facilitate and document his work. He would practice reading speeches, record broadcasts off the air, and record interviews and conversations. The following list includes recordings of such activities. Mixed into this list are tapes which in part also include recordings of family and friends.

tape # marked no. speed/tracks contents
at024 01 15/15 3.75 ips/1 trk radio interview of Edgar Snow by Michael Brisbane McKarry (?), (very interesting); anecdotal readings
at025 02 15/16 varies/2 trk side 1, speed 3.75 ips & 7.5 ips: Mao Tse-tung and the rectification campaigns; China’s economic and political situation; music; Snow’s children and friends playing with the recorder, in French and English; side 2: rectification campaign continued; Snow listing slide/photo titles
at026 03 15/21 7.5 ips/1 trk CBS-TV Newscast, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 1965, 7-7:30 p.m., concerning the Feb. 2, 1965 Snow interview with Chou En-lai; news clips on: pro-Chinese threats made by citizens, Red China and nuclear testing, the Soviet and Southeast Asia situation, General Maxwell Taylor, interview with the U.S. ambassador to North Vietnam, Vice President Humphrey on U.S. policy in North Vietnam
at027 04 15/14 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1, (low volume): discussion concerning U.S. position on the admission of China to the U.N., Snow was among the speakers; side 2: book/short story reading, not by Snow; the rest of the track is blank
at028 05 15/18 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: Snow lecture and discussion, April 27, 1966, at Knox University, broadcast at the University; side 2: duplicate of side 1; readings of literature and poetry
at029 06 15/17 7.5 ips/1 trk recorded letter from Snow in Beijing to friends afar, regards Chinese music: includes the Yellow River Cantata; Symphony #2, Liberation Symphony, 4th movement
at030 07 15/20 7.5 ips/1 trk Snow’s speech before the education council concerning their recent elections and his wife’s defeat which Snow linked to a community member spreading rumors about Snow being a Communist
at031 08 15/19 3.75 ips/1 trk Feb. 1962 speech on Nationalism, Communism, and livelihood, includes discussion of C.I.C.
at032 10 15/26 7.5 ips/2 trk side 1: background sounds at Snow’s home, mostly family talking to guests; side 2: Helen Canard (?) talking of her life to Snow
at033 27 15/27 1.875/2 trk side 1: Snow talking on phone to "Max" about a proposal to do a major book on Chinese history. Only Snow’s side of the conversation is heard. Most of the track and all of side 2 is blank. "sample of the work of the recorder" noted by Snow
at034 13 15/36 varies (3.75-1.875) 2 trk side 1: interview, Snow with Nehru, panel or news conference (?); side 2: conclusion of Nehru interview, slide presentation (?)
at035 15 15/33 1.875/2 trk side 1: test reading of speech (?) given in London in 1962-63; Telephone conversation with [Ted Gelder ?], a British author on China regarding various projects. Both sides of the conversation recorded. Conversation on the phone with a British woman, [Christine?, a young woman who worked for BBC]. Background recording regarding topics to be discussed on a British talk show. Preparation interview? side 2: comments about the machine not recording. Background recording of Snow on the phone, watching TV show about USSR and China, and visiting with young woman [Christine?].
at036 18 15/34 3.75 ips/2 trk off the air recording of CBS News in which Snow’s interview of Chou En-lai is broadcast in part, remainder is off the air music-Beatles and piano music
at037 25 15/38 3.75 ips/2 trk (only 1 used) interview with Anna Louise Strong ca. 1960
at038 28 15/41 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: interview with American man and Chinese woman, man is a doctor (Ma Hai-de?), much is in Chinese; side 2: Snow’s children and family (?), Snow reading an article from the newspaper, visit to Chinese nursery; both tracks have very poor quality
at039 29 15/42 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: Snow interview with Nehru, Dec. 28, 1959, World Education Council Press Conference; side 2: Snow testing and talking about his tape recorder, others testing it too, possibly in India
at040 31 15/44 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: Chinese folk songs and poems; side 2: Chinese music and commentary
at041 32 15/45 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: speech in Hindi (?), intermittent English translator, regarding class issues and revolution in India, agricultural fair in Delhi, also addresses Snow’s visit to India, question/answer session with Snow; side 2: continuation
at042 16 15/48 1.875 ips/2 trk side 1: 1962-63? background recording at home: Snow talking with children, one named Shelly Dimond. Off air music. Party with Kashin Wheeler, John Willis, Lois Snow, and Marian ___, at 67 Horatio Street, NY? side 2: Snow reading an article/speech about the relationship between China and USSR (practice presentation?) Problem with recorder? -- sound goes in and out. Radio speech on China with audience asking questions
at043   15/49 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: kids joking in French and Beatles music; side 2: kids joking in English, rock n’ roll music, and lecture about why China should be admitted to the U.N.

 

Family and friends Table of Contents

Presumably to test his recorder, Edgar Snow would often turn on the machine and leave it running in the background as his family and friends visited. The children at breakfast, parties, and other social events were recorded. Most of the following tapes appear to be of that type.

tape # marked no. speed/tracks contents
at044 09 15/25 7.5 ips/2 trk side 1: background sounds; side 2: blank track
at045 12 15/35 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: learning French, end portion of tape at 1.875 speed concerns family (?); side 2: French lessons
at046 14 15/37 1.875 ips/ 2 trk side 1: 1962-63, background test of machine. Visit with young British woman, Christine, who works for BBC. side 2: continues
at047 30 15/43 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: bird sounds and Snow talking with Snow’s son, Christopher; side 2 : bird sounds
at048 33 15/46 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1: Snow with family, recorder running in background; side 2: off the air music
at049   15/50 7.5 ips/2 trk wire recording (transferred to tape): background recording of visits with friends and family. Early 1950’s
at050   15/39 3.75 ips/2 trk side 1:  tape in French about music;  side 2:  English, readings of folk stories and poems of China (in translation).

Table of Contents

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Updated: Thursday, July 08, 2010