Viola I. Fischer
Dr. Viola I. Fischer was born in St. Louis, Missouri on November 11, 1899. She received a B.S. degree from the University of Nebraska in 1922 and an M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota in 1929. During her long career as a medical doctor (1929‑1965) she worked as a missionary for the Lutheran Church in China, Africa, and Malaysia.
From 1930 to 1947, Dr. Fischer served at the Lutheran Mission Hospital in Hsuchang, Honan, China. In 1947 she went to Shanghai and Kunming, staying a year at each location. The Communist invasion of China forced Dr. Fischer to flee to Hong Kong and she remained there for five months before relocating to Tanganyika, Africa in 1950.
In Africa she first worked under the auspices of the National Lutheran Council at the Gonja Mission Hospital in the Pare Mountains (1950‑1953) and then for the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church at the Iambi Mission Hospital (1954‑1959). Dr. Fischer came to the United States in 1959 to study clinical medicine at Johns Hopkins University for a year.
In 1961 she resumed her missionary work and was sent to Malaysia to serve under the mission program of the United Lutheran Church in America. Dr. Fischer remained there until 1965 when she returned to the United States and retired from her medical practice.
The collection consists of approximately 1,875 color slides taken by Dr. Viola I. Fischer of countries where she worked as a missionary medical doctor and places that she visited during her career abroad (Europe, South America, the Middle East, Japan, India, Thailand, and Hawaii). Dating primarily from the 1950s and 1960s, the slides of Tanganyika and Malaysia depict missionary activities, medical clinics and practices, people, villages, dwellings, churches, schools, landscapes, and animals. A small group of China slides show tourist areas visited by Fischer. Also included are slides of missionary friends of Dr. Fischer. Most of the slides have been identified. The collection also contains 38 photographs of people and events in Malaysia.