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HUM 187

Chauncey, Henry, 1905-2002. The Henry Chauncey Collection of film and photographs from the Harvard baseball team's tour of Japan, 1926-1934: an inventory

Harvard University Archives


Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: HUM 187
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Chauncey, Henry, 1905-2002.
Title: The Henry Chauncey Collection of film and photographs from the Harvard baseball team's tour of Japan, 1926-1934.
Date(s): 1926-1934
Quantity: 1.6 cubic feet (1 flat box, 1 record carton, 1 card box)
Quantity: 11 film reels, 5 film containers, 1 scrapbook photograph album
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Henry Chauncey (1905-2002) became an Assistant Dean of Freshmen and assistant coach of freshman football and baseball at Harvard in 1929. In 1934, the Harvard baseball team accepted an invitation to travel to Japan and play several Japanese college teams, with Chauncey as their coach. The collection includes a photograph scrapbook album from the 1934 Japanese trip, and film reels of Japan from 1926 to 1934, documenting the Harvard team's trip to Japan and visit to China, as well as stops at Stanford University and Hawaii.

Acquisition information:

The collection was donated to Harvard University in 2014 by William E. Chauncey. Accession number 19449; July 29, 2014 William E. Chauncey.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed in January 2015 by Olivia Mandica-Hart. Processing involved a collection survey, re-housing in appropriate archival boxes, and the creation of this finding aid. Titles and dates enclosed in brackets were devised by the archivist. Original film reel boxes have been discarded; photocopies are located in the collection's control file.
This finding aid was created by Olivia Mandica-Hart in February 2015.

Researcher Access:

Open for research. Most of the film reels in this collection have been digitized, although use copies are needed; see reference staff for details.

Preferred Citation:

Chauncey, Henry, 1905-2002. The Henry Chauncey Collection of film and photographs from the Harvard baseball team's tour of Japan, 1926-1934. HUM 187, Harvard University Archives.

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Biographical Note on Henry Chauncey

Henry Chauncey (1905-2002) served as an Assistant Dean of Freshmen (1929-1942) and assistant coach of Harvard's freshman football and baseball teams until the mid-1930s. He later became the Assistant Dean of Faculty and the Chairman of the Committee on Scholarships (1942-1945). As a young man, Chauncey attended Ohio State University for a year until a Wall Street financier helped pay for his Harvard education. While at Harvard, Chauncey played football and baseball, twice turning down offers to play baseball professionally with the Boston Braves. He graduated from Harvard in 1928 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Chauncey resigned from Harvard in 1945 to work for the College Entrance Examination Board in Princeton, New Jersey, where he eventually became the director. After World War II, with the support of Harvard President James Bryant Conant, Chauncey founded the Educational Testing Service, which shaped standardized testing practices in the United States.

Historical Note on Baseball at Harvard University

Baseball has a long history at Harvard. The game was first played by members of the Harvard community shortly before the Civil War (circa 1858) and was formally organized in 1864. Baseball also has deep roots in Japan; the sport was introduced into Japanese culture during the nineteenth century. In 1934, the Harvard Baseball team accepted an invitation to travel to Japan and play several Japanese college teams. The same year, Babe Ruth also visited Japan, where he was greeted with great fanfare. The Harvard Baseball team won five exhibition games in Hawaii, but then went on to lose six out of the ten games played in Japan.


This collection is arranged into two series:

Scope and Content

The collection consists of a scrapbook photograph album detailing the Harvard University baseball team's trip to Japan in the summer of 1934 and film reels showing footage from China, Japan, and the United States. The album, labeled "Harvard Baseball trip to Japan (Honolulu en route), July-August 1934," contains 67 black & white and sepia-toned photographs, including group shots of the baseball team, landscape scenes, shots of Chauncey, the team aboard the M.S. Tatsuta Maru Tokio, combined group shots with Japanese teams, Keio University photographs, and a picture of the Waseda University team during a game. It also includes six Japanese postcards, two newspaper clippings, including "Japan Plays the American National Game," by Henry Chauncey, which appeared in The Literary Digest on November 24, 1934.
The collection also contains 11 film reels in three different formats and sizes from 1926 to 1934: four 7" diameter reels with footage of Japan, two 2 ½" x ½" unlabeled reels, and five 16mm reels; nine of these reels have been digitized. The digitized footage shows various scenes of Tokyo, Japan, as well as Shanghai and Hong Kong, China. Many of the subjects captured in the scrapbook's photographs are also documented on Chauncey's film reels. One reel documents the team's stops at Stanford University and Hawaii while en route to Japan, which shows footage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at a military review at Schofield Barracks and with members of the Harvard baseball team. Some of the footage's other highlights document baseball games and practice times with American and Japanese baseball players, including the Harvard baseball team, Keio University, and Waseda University, both of Tokyo, Japan. The rest of the footage mostly captures the travels of the Harvard baseball team throughout China and Japan. It is possible that some of these films may have been used for strategic reconnaissance of Tokyo Bay by the United States military during World War II.

Inventory update

This document last updated 2018 January 5.










Formats and genres

Container List