Skip to main content

Snow, Helen Foster, 1907-1997



  • Existence: 1907 - 1997


Helen Foster Snow (1907-1997) was an American journalist, photographer, and activist in China.

Helen Foster Snow was born on September 21, 1907 in Cedar City, Utah. She attended West High School. After graduating, she attended the University of Utah. She took the civil service exam, gained a position in China, and moved to Shanghai in August 1931. After arriving in China Helen met Edgar Snow, a reporter also from the U.S. The two were married on December 25, 1933 in Tokyo, Japan. The couple moved to Peking where Helen Foster Snow attended and Edgar taught at Yanjing University. From there they published information regarding the Manchurian incident. Helen Foster and Edgar Snow sympathized with the students who protested the government and its complacency toward Japanese invasion. They helped plan the December movements, and covered events censored in Chinese papers.

Helen published an interview with Zhang Xueliang, a general, who expressed support for communists, contradicting Chiang Kai-shek. In 1937 Edgar and Helen published the magazine Democracy. She worked on the editorial board to editor, and then the editor while Edgar wrote Red Star over China.

Snow entered the communist camp in April 1937, where she interviewed leaders, women, and children of the camp. She would publish her findings in her book Inside Red China in 1938. Helen later toured the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives and wrote to raise support of the initiatives. Helen returned to the United States, living in Madison, Connecticut and travelling the world. Helen died on January 11, 1997.

OCLC 17967705: Stanley, M. Foreigners in areas of China ... 1987 (hdg.: Snow, Helen Foster, 1907- ; usage: Helen Foster Snow)

LC data base, 11/19/90 (hdg.: Wales, Nym, 1907- ; usage: Helen Foster Snow; Helen Foster Snow (Nym Wales); Hai-lun Fu-ssu-tʻe Ssu-no; Nym Wales; Nym Wales (Helen Foster Snow))

Pseuds. and nicknames dict., c1987 (Snow, Helen Foster, 1907- ; American author and poet; pseud.: Wales, Nym)

Bridging, 1997: t.p. (Helen Foster Snow) p. xxxvii (died 1/11/97)

Women in modern China, 2004: t.p. (Helen Foster Snow) colophon (海伦斯诺 = Hailun Sinuo = Snow, H.), Dec. 6, 2011 (Helen Foster; b. Sept. 21, 1907 in Cedar City, Utah; d. Jan. 11, 1997 in Guilford, Conn.; m. Dec. 25, 1932 in Tokyo, Japan to Edgar Parks Snow)

Wikipedia, Dec. 6, 2011 (taught at Yenching University)

Helen Foster Snow, 2006: p. 13 (b. Cedar City, Utah; b. September 21, 1907); p. 15 (Hannah and John Foster); p. 16 (parents civically engaged); p. 18 (frequent moves in childhood); p. 19 (move to Salt Lake City, UT, West High School, yearbook, student gov't); p. 20 (graduated West High, University of Utah); p. 23 (secretary w/ A.G Mackenzie of American Silver Mining Commission in Utah; wanted Europe; decided on China); p. 24 (to China in August 1931); p. 25 (secretary to an American company in China); p. 31 (secretary for bankers); p. 34 (wrote on Manchurian incident); p. 36 (Shanghai refuge for leftist intellectuals and reformists); p. 38 (developed left leaning political opinions; social secretary at U.S. consulate; p. 39 (m. 1933 Edgar Snow); p. 42 (m. Dec. 25, Tokyo); p. 41 (honeymoon in Formosa, the Philippines, Borneo, the Dutch Indies, and Bali); p. 45 (move to Peking); p. 47 (modelling in Peking); p.50 (student of philosophy, religion, and esthetics at Yanjing University); p. 52 (student movement December 1935); p. 55 (rose awareness of fascist threat in China; helped plan December 1935 movement); p. 58 (home as anti-Japanese salon); p. 61 (poem calling students to action; planned Dec. 9 movement in home); p. 62 (press coverage of events censored by Chinese papers; pen names Nym Wales and Hsueh Hai-lun); p. 64 (December 16th movement); p. 69 (foreign correspondence); p. 70 (worked with artists); p. 71 (Chinese short stories published for West); p. 73 (published Living China); p.74 (poetry); p. 76 (Korea trip alone); p. 77 (Communist territory invitation, returned to Peking; interviewed Zhang Xueliang, support for communists against Japan); p. 80 (editorial board, Democracy); p. 81 (editor, democracy); p. 86 (Xian April 23, 1937); p. 87 (journals in the camp, women and children, leaders); p. 94 (observed visitors, GMD reps); p. 97 (Ding Ling); p. 99 (Kang Keqing; wife of Zhu De); p. 100 (divorce and marriage among communists); p. 107 ("The Passing of the Chinese Soviets."); p. 109 (Inside Red China, 1939); p. 117 (Shanghai); p. 125 (children in labor organizations); p. 126 (women in cooperatives); p. 132 (U.S. policy towards China); p. 135 (photographs); p. 136 (Song of Ariran, Korea and Japan interactions); p. 137 (Indusco inspection tour, Chinese Industrial cooperatives campaign); p. 140 (China Builds for Democracy); p. 144 (Dec. 1940 United States); p. 144 (vc American Committee in Aid of Chinese Industrial Cooperatives; China, Indusco II, 1979, founder of I)

UPB files, July 25, 2018 (1931, American consulate; Living China, short stories, 1935; photojournalism; Song of Ariran)

Found in 61 Collections and/or Records:

Helen Foster Snow pamphlets, 1928-1994

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 9 Sub-Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains pamphlets authored by Mao Zedong, as well as items published by China's Foreign Languages Press. Additional topically-arranged pamphlets are also included.

Dates: 1928-1994

Helen Foster Snow papers, 1925-2000

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 9 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains unpublished works, drafts, and other writings by Helen Foster Snow. Also includes correspondence, genealogy papers, biographical information about Helen and Edgar, newspaper clippings, miscellaneous papers, and assorted Asia-related pamphlets, including many related to cooperatives. Materials date from 1925 to 2000.

Dates: 1925-2000

Helen Foster Snow papers on China, 1927-1997

Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains works written during Helen's nine years in Asia spent as a foreign correspondent, mostly covering events and people related to the Chinese Revolution. Materials include articles, essays and personal correspondence. Materials date from September 1931 through December 1940.

Dates: 1927-1997

Helen Foster Snow papers on family history, genealogy, and early life, 1924-1999

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 1 Sub-Series 1
Scope and Contents

Contains manuscripts and drafts of historical prose, poetry, music, photographs, postcards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, maps, notes, conference papers, and pamphlets compiled by Helen Foster Snow, many related to genealogical research in New England. The section of correspondence is in roughly chronological order. Materials date from 1924 to 1999.

Dates: 1924-1999

Helen Foster Snow papers on women's issues, approximately 1726-2000

 Sub-Series — Box 172: Series 8 [Barcode: 31197227638563]
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 8 Sub-Series 4
Scope and Contents

Contains undated and untitled essays, material on Chinese and general women's issues, topical correspondence, and material relating to the Seneca Falls Convention.

Dates: approximately 1726-2000

Helen Foster Snow pedigree charts, family group sheets, and New England surnames files, 1833-1977

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 1 Sub-Series 2
Scope and Contents

Contains materials relating to Helen Foster Snow's family and ancestors, including miscellaneous genealogical work sheets and research notes on New England family histories (alphabetical), correspondence, pamphlets, family letters and manuscripts, photos, maps, essays and school memorabilia, clippings, personal cartoons, class notes and outlines, and letters of endorsement. Materials date from 1833 to 1977.

Dates: 1833-1977

Helen Foster Snow periodicals, 1933-1996

 Sub-Series — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 8 Sub-Series 7
Scope and Contents

Contains magazines, journals, and other periodicals. Topics include tourism, history, foreign affairs and other subjects, all related to China. Dated 1933 to 1966.

Dates: 1933-1996

Helen Foster Snow photograph documentation, 1973-1979

Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 5 Sub-Series 5
Scope and Contents

Contains documentation, mainly grouped together in binders or originally grouped in binders. Documentation includes letters to Tim Considine, copies of photographs he owns as well as photographs in the Helen Foster Snow papers, and lists of captions for Helen Foster Snow and Tim Considine's photographs. Helen went to China in 1978 with Tim Considine and a film crew to retrace her steps from X'ian to Yan'an. Dated 1973 to 1979.

Dates: 1973-1979

Helen Foster Snow photographs, approximately 1853-2000

Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 5
Scope and Contents Contains photographs, including slides and negatives, taken by or collected by Helen Foster Snow throughout her life. Photographs of Helen’s personal life include family members, friends, vacations in the United States, Europe, and other destinations, and trips she took throughout Asia with her husband, Edgar Snow. The bulk of the photographs come from her professional life, documenting her time as a photojournalist in China beginning in 1931 and later returns to China in 1972 and 1978. Also...
Dates: approximately 1853-2000

Helen Foster Snow photographs distributed by Magnum Photos, Inc., approximately 1933-1937

Identifier: MSS 2219 Series 5 Sub-Series 3
Scope and Contents

Contains photographs taken during Helen's time as a photojournalist in China and distributed by Magnum Photos, Inc. Duplicates of these photographs are also found throughout the subseries "Helen Foster Snow photographs of Asia." Also included are photocopies of the original typed captions for the photographs. Materials dated 1933 to 1940.

Dates: approximately 1933-1937

Additional filters:

Archival Object 56
Collection 5
China -- Politics and government -- 1928-1937 39
Photojournalism -- China 39
Photojournalists -- China 39
China -- Politics and government -- 1912-1949 35
Politics, Government, and Law 28
∨ more
India 24
Philippines 24
Yan'an Shi (China) 24
Beijing (China) 23
Shanghai (China) 23
Utah 23
Xi'an Shi (China) 23
Letters 21
Drafts (Documents) 18
Genealogy 14
Communes (China) 13
International Relations 13
Journalism 13
Books 12
Articles 11
Photographs 11
Essays 10
Notes 10
Literature 9
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 8
Correspondence 7
Manuscripts 7
Archival materials -- Digitization -- Utah -- Provo 6
Book reviews 6
Connecticut -- Photographs 6
Library exhibits -- Utah -- Provo 6
Workflow management systems -- Utah -- Provo 6
China 5
Colleges and Universities 5
Communism -- China -- History 5
Education 5
Proposals 5
Agendas 4
Conference materials 4
Domestic animals -- Photographs 4
Memorandums 4
United States -- Photographs 4
Asia -- Photographs 3
China -- Photographs 3
Documents 3
Interviews 3
New England -- Genealogy 3
Photojournalism 3
Poetry 3
Research 3
Social Life and Customs 3
Autobiographies 2
Civic Activism 2
Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) 2
France -- Photographs 2
Greece -- Photographs 2
India -- Photographs 2
Maps 2
Minutes (Records) 2
Negatives 2
Pamphlets 2
Papers (Documents) 2
Personal papers 2
Publications 2
Reports 2
Research (Documents) 2
Vacations 2
Acetate negatives 1
Agriculture -- China 1
Artifacts 1
Audiocassettes 1
Authors, American -- Biography 1
Bali (Indonesia : Province) -- Photographs 1
Book covers 1
Books -- Reviews 1
Caricatures and cartoons 1
China -- History -- 20th century 1
China -- History -- Republic, 1912-1949 1
Chinese language 1
Clothing 1
Collections management 1
Communism 1
Computer software -- Development -- Utah -- Provo 1
Conference papers and proceedings 1
Contracts 1
DVDs 1
Diaries 1
Digitizing 1
Documentary films 1
Documentation (Activity) 1
East (U.S.) -- Photographs 1
Economics and Banking 1
England -- Photographs 1
Families -- Research -- United States 1
Fiction 1
Financial records 1
Folklore 1
Glass negatives 1
Home and Family 1
Japan 1
+ ∧ less