Almost a decade ago, I published an article in the Journal of Asian Studies (download it here) on migration, land use, and environmental change in a place in north-central Shaanxi Province 陕西省 called Huanglongshan 黄龙山.
During World War II, China’s Nationalist government resettled thousands of people displaced by Japan’s invasion of China and war-induced ecological disasters, such as the Nationalist army’s intentional diversion of the Yellow River and the 1942-43 Henan famine, to reclaim previouly abandoned “wasteland” for agricultural cultivation.
Eventually, the environmental effects of refugee resettlement and land reclamation in Huanglongshan became a key part of Chapters 2 and 5 of my book The Ecology of War in China: Henan Province, the Yellow River, and Beyond, 1938-1950.
Along with documents collected at the Shaanxi Provincial Archives in Xi’an, this research drew on the Walter C. Lowdermilk papers at the Hoover Institution Archives.
Only later did I discover that the Lowdermilk papers at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library has a collection of photographs that Lowdermilk took in 1943 while he was visiting Huanglongshan.
An interactive ArcGIS map of the photos from Huanglongshan can be accessed below: