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Martin and Margaret Hiller Collection of Audiovisual Materials on China, 1945-1948


Hiller, Martin W., 1913-1983.
Hiller, Margaret E. Lauer.


Martin and Margaret Hiller Collection of Audiovisual Materials on China, 1945-1948


Scope and Contents

The Hiller Collection documents cities, industries, farming, and everyday life in China during the second phase of the Chinese Civil War, 1945-1948. Of interest are also documentation of transportation and family life among Americans abroad. The collection has material of potential interest for researchers of the history of China, agriculture, and the American military.

The collection contains over 1,900 glass and acetate slides, several reels of 16mm film, four reels of 8mm film, and magnetic audio tape created by Army Air Corps Capt. Martin Hiller while stationed with his family in Shanghai, China. Hiller organized the slides by subject and city, and the original arrangement has been preserved. The film reels are organized by the city in which they were taken. The audio reels correspond to the 16mm film reels and were intended to be played simultaneously to provide narration for the film. Hiller also documented the films through written notes, which are included in Series 3.


  • 1,946 slides
  • 8 reels of 16mm film
  • 4 reels of 8mm film
  • 3 magnetic audio tapes
  • 0.1 linear feet of manuscript notes and printed materials


Series One: Slides contains 1,946 glass and acetate slides in color and black and white. The slides were originally arranged topically in drawers by subject, and that arrangement has been preserved. Each drawer held around 100-120 glass slides. Place names were transcribed as recorded by the creators.

Series Two: Film and Audio contains 8 reels of 16mm film and 4 reels of 8mm film along with accompanying audio tape. The audio tapes were created as narration for the 16mm films.

Series Three: Manuscripts contains a small amount of printed and handwritten materials that document and provide context for the contents of the films. Notes that were inserted into the original film canisters are included in this series.


As of July 2019, the collection is in the process of being digitized and is partially available in the University of Missouri Digital Library. The collection is available to all researchers. Request materials for use in the Special Collections reading room.

Biographical Sketch

Martin Hiller was a captain in the Army Air Corps, the predecessor to the Air Force, and later retired as an Air Force officer. He was stationed in Shanghai, China from 1945 to 1948, along with his family. Margaret Hiller was a school teacher who taught at the base school in China and later obtained a master’s degree and continued her teaching career in the United States. Most of the photographs and films were taken by Martin Hiller, but some were taken by Margaret Hiller.


Donated to the University Libraries by Marlys L. Hiller Sanford, Marlene L. Hiller Jorris, and Marlin W. Hiller, November 2018.


Copyright is held by the University of Missouri per donor agreement.

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