The Nanking Massacre Archival Project: About the Project

On December 13, 1937 the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Nanking and the ensuing six weeks became known to history as the Nanking Massacre. This web site provides access to first hand accounts and photographs from Westerners who remained in Nanking after the Japanese invasion. These resources do not provide a comprehensive understanding of what occurred in Nanjing during 1937-1938, but the observations made by these men and women provide an important historical lens to complement additional research.

The materials found in this collection are housed in the Yale University Divinity School Library's Special Collections. The documents are scattered throughout a number of collections and were selected for inclusion in this project by staff from the Japan ICU Foundation, which provided financial support for the project. The main criterion used for inclusion in the collection was the documents' date, although some documents from outside the core dates were included to provide relevant context.  A listing of the files selected is included in the "Documents" section.

The Westerners who remained in Nanking during the Massacre were primarily businessmen and missionaries. The following are links to biographies of the major figures featured in these files:

Miner Searle Bates

George A. Fitch

Ernest H. Forster

John G. Magee

James H. McCallum

W. Plumer Mills

John H.D. Rabe

Lewis S. C. Smythe

Minnie Vautrin

Robert O. Wilson

This web site was prepared by Karl Muth, intern at Yale Divinity School Library, based in part on text from American Missionary Eyewitnesses to the Nanking Massacre 1937-1938, Yale Divinity School Library Occasional Publication No. 9, edited by Martha Lund Smalley.

Last modified: 
Friday, January 28, 2022 - 9:58am