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Sheril Foster Bischoff collection on Helen Foster Snow

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8463

Scope and Contents

Contains various writings of Helen Foster Snow. It contains materials relating to her life in China, family stories and geneologies, her thoughts on women's rights, as well as other various manuscripts written by her. Materials dated approximately 1940-2015.


  • approximately 1940-2015


Language of Materials

Materials in English, with some correspondence and published materials in Chinese and French.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from the Sheril Foster Bischoff collection on Helen Foster Snow must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Coordinating Committee.

Biographical History

Helen Foster Snow (1907-1997) was an American journalist.

Helen Foster Snow was born on September 21, 1907 in Cedar City, Utah to parents John Moody Foster and Hannah Davis. After attending the University of Utah, she moved to Shanghai, China to work for the American Consulate. Shortly after moving she met Edgar Snow and they married in 1932. The couple moved to Beijing and both began teaching at Yenching University.

In late 1935, the couple began to identify with the Chinese people and began to back the Chinese student movement which helped spark resistance to the threat of a Japanese invasion. They both used their skill as journalists to document this time in history. Helen wrote many publications during her time in China using the pseudonym Nym Wales.

She returned to the United States in 1941 and moved to Connecticut. The Snow's continued to be involved with the Chinese people. However, their marriage was strained due to their involvment in the Chinese war efforts and they divorced in 1948.

Helen remained single the rest of her life but was active in geneology and shared her passion of it through writing. She passed away on January 11, 1997.

Biographical History

Sheril Foster Knight Bischoff (1936 - ) is the niece of Helen Foster Snow and the current living trustee of Helen Foster Snow's Literary Trust. She is the wife of fellow Helen Foster Snow Literary Trustee Garth Lamont Bischoff and had with him 5 children before his death in 2004.

Born Sheril Foster Knight on October 2, 1936, she was the neice of famous American journalist Helen Foster Snow and "Red Star Over China" author Edgar Snow. Prior to Helen Foster Snow's death, she alongside her husband Garth were designated trustees to the Helen Foster Snow Literary Trust, where she donated many important documents of Helen Foster Snow's time in China to Brigham Young University's Special Collections department.

Sheril met her husband Garth Lamont Bischoff at Utah State University and, after meeting, married in the Salt Lake Temple on August 23, 1955. As they were together, the couple raised five children in their home in California. However, she lost her husband in Irvine, CA on February 6, 2004 and, after a seven-year bout with cancer, she then lost her son Kyle Lamont Bischoff in 2014.


13 cartons (13 linear ft.)

1 quarto (1.5 linear ft.)

Custodial History

Sheril Foster Bischoff facilitated getting the materials for this collection from Cedar City, Utah. She then donated the collection to the repository in 2014.

Materials added to the collection by Sheril Foster Bischoff, niece of Helen Foster Snow, in October 2015.

Materials added to the collection by Sheril Foster Bischoff, niece of Helen Foster Snow, in March 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Sheril Foster Bischoff; 2014.

Donated; Sheril Foster Bischoff; 2015.

Donated; Sheril Foster Bischoff; 2016.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed; Catie Freedman, student manuscript processor, John Murphy, curator, 2014.

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, John Murphy, curator, 2016.

Processed; Eric Wolford, student manuscript processor, John Murphy, curator, 2017.

Register of Sheril Foster Bischoff collection on Helen Foster Snow
Catie Freedman
2014 December 12
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States