I'm writing a nonfiction book based on the letters of my grandmother, who was Dr. John C. Ferguson's secretary in Boston and Peking (1918-19). She assisted him both with his work at the Shanghai newspaper Sin Wan Pao ((Xinwenbao) and on his Outlines of Chinese Art (University of Chicago, 1919). I have read A Perpetual Fire: John C. Ferguson and HIs Quest for Chinese Art and Culture by Laura Jaishree Netting, along with other pertinent materials related to Ferguson's career, the development of the Chinese press in 20th century, and about Western art collectors in China. Still, I have very little understanding about how he operated a daily newspaper from Peking for nearly 50 years and what, in particular, my grandmother would have done for him (her letters are more about social engagements than workaday responsibilities).
If you have any insights or leads for me, I'd be grateful.