Wulsin, Janet E. (Janet Elliott). Janet Elliott Wulsin Collection1918-1924:A Finding Aid
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2 linear feet
The Peking correspondence records Janet's daily life in the city, including social activities and Peking "society" that centered on close friends such as Julia and Fritz Deane. She also writes about Americans involved in activities such as the Rockefeller Foundation Hospital, international business ventures, and exploration (Roy Chapman Andrews). Additionally, she describes going to "tiffins" (lunches), playing mah-jongg, taking Chinese language lessons, housekeeping, entertaining, and visiting temples outside the city.
Janet Wulsin also describes the logistics of traveling by train, in a caravan of camels, hunting and specimen collecting, meeting local folk, photography, and other activities related to their exploration. Especially of interest are her observations of isolated monasteries and lamaseries rarely seen by Westerners at that time. Also included in this collection are Mabel Cabot's research notes for her book, Vanished Kingdoms: A Woman Explorer in Tibet, China, and Mongolia 1921-1925.
The young couple spent the next four years on expeditions, using their Peking (now Beijing) house as a home base. In 1921, they traveled for several weeks to Shansi Province. The next trip, the "great trek" of 1923, was funded by the National Geographic Society and took them through the Alashan desert to Kansu Province (Gansu), to several monasteries (Labrang, Kumbum, and Choni), to Lanchow, and then back to Peking for several months. Janet became pregnant and left China in 1924, giving birth to Frederick Jr. the following spring. In the meantime, Frederick completed another expedition and returned to America in December of 1924. Janet and Frederick had two more children: Howard Elliott Wulsin and Janet January Wulsin; the couple divorced in 1929. Frederick married Susanne Emery in 1930, who, along with her husband Harry, had traveled in China with the Wulsins. Frederick had a long and distinguished career teaching anthropology at Tufts University; he died in 1961. Janet married Richard Hobart in 1932, and had one daughter, Mabel "Muffie" Hobart (Cabot); Janet died in 1963.
Source: Cabot, Mabel H. Vanished Kingdoms: A Woman Explorer in Tibet, China, and Mongolia 1921-1925. New York: Aperture, 2003.
- Series I includes Janet Wulsin's original correspondence (when available) 1918-1919, 1921-1924
- Series II includes research copies of Series I.
- Series III includes additional duplicate copies of correspondence and Mabel Cabot's research notes.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These papers are a gift of Mabel H. "Muffie" Cabot, Dr. Howard E. Wulsin
- Wulsin, Janet E. (Janet Elliott). Janet E. Wulsin Collection, 1918-1924: A Finding Aid
- Peabody Museum Archives
- EAD ID
Part of the Peabody Museum Archives Repository
The Peabody Museum Archives contains primary source materials that reflect the Museum’s archaeological and ethnographic research and fieldwork since its founding in 1866. Archival collections contain photographs, documents, papers, and records of enduring value that were created or collected by the Museum, its individual affiliates, or other related entities. The collections also document the history or provenience, as well as the creation of many of the Museum’s artifact collections. To learn more about research visits at the Peabody Museum, please see https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/research-visits.
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