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Anne C. Goodrich went to China as a missionary in 1931, and she soon found herself fascinated by the world of the paper gods she encountered in and around Beijing. Goodrich wanted to learn more about the world of these local folk religions and she began purchasing a great deal of these materials as they became available. Many years later she would publish a three-volume study on the subject. After she passed away in 2005, staff members at the Columbia University Libraries Digital Program began digitizing a variety of prints from her collection. The images on the site are divided into those items which were purchased to be burned immediately and serve as emissaries to heaven and those which were purchased to be displayed for a year while offering protection to the family in a variety of ways. There are several hundred of these images offered within the collection, and they are further subdivided into categories like "pantheons", "heaven", and "Earth". Visitors seeking additional background information on these artifacts should consult the online essays here as they address the iconography of these items as well as their conservation.
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