Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum

Vincent Starrett Collection, 1935-1938, undated

Charles Vincent Emerson Starrett was born on October 26, 1886, in Toronto, Canada. When he was three years old, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois. Starrett began his writing career as a reporter for the Chicago Inter-Ocean in 1905, later joining the Chicago Daily News where he was a crime reporter, feature writer, and war correspondent. In addition to journalism, Starrett wrote mystery, supernatural fiction, horror, fantasy, poetry, and bibliographies, including a biography of Sherlock Holmes. He traveled to Beijing, China in the 1930s, frequenting bookshops during the trip in order to acquire expert knowledge of Chinese detective fiction, which became a theme in his later novels. Starrett died on January 5, 1974, in Chicago.

The Starrett collection consists of 254 photographs and postcards taken and/or collected by Vincent Starrett. Most of the photographs were taken during his 1935-1937 stay in China. The photographs include architectural and street views, Chinese laborers and their habitats, market places, sports events, religious processions, beggars, temple statuary, and Americans in China. The collection also includes five photos of Ida Pruit, two of L. C. Arlington, and two Japanese postcards from Frederick Starr.

A finding aid for the Starrett collection of photographs and postcards can be here.

Locations in this Collection: