Carter Holton Film Collection

Carter D. Holton (1901-1973), a missionary in northwest China until leaving in 1949, made these films in Gansu and Qinghai between 1923-1949. The video clips depict Tibetans, Mangghuer (Tu), Muslims and Han Chinese involved in trade, travel, agriculture and religious rituals. These two digitized films are the only extant video in the public domain that depict the Minhe Mangghuer (Tu) in the 1930s and 1940s. Holton died at the age of 72 in Riverside, California. He was born in Chetek, Wisconsin and moved with his family at a young age to Washington State.

He attended Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle, Washington 1922-'23, where he met his future wife, Lora Newberry. They both then attended the Missionary Training Institute in Nyack, New York for one year to prepare for missionary service under the auspices of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

In the fall of 1923, he and his fiancee, Lora Newberry, traveled separately to China, eventually arriving in Gansu Province. They were married in 1925, and continued their work in and for China over the next 27 years.

In 1929, while on forced furlough due to political unrest in Gansu, they attended Seattle Pacific College, Seattle, Washington where they both earned BA degrees. On furlough in 1934-35 Carter studied Arabic and Moslem religion and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary under Dr. Samuel Zwemer.

In 1949 they left their home in Gansu, staying in Hong Kong for a year while working in the refugee camps and hoping to return to Gansu. When that was not possible they left China for the last time as missionaries in August 1950.

The voice-over was recorded in 1995 by Robert Carlson with some assistance from Robert Shuster. Robert Carlson specifically mentions a solar eclinse briefly featured in the video as occurring on 21 August 1941. This video has been made availably courtesy of the Christian and Missionary Alliance National Archives, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, and is disseminated and co-hosted by the Digital Himalaya Project.

Please click on one of the images below to play the film.

Carter Holton CollectionCarter Holton Collection