Kitty Bell, born in Paris, France, moved to Shanghai, China in the mid-1930s when she was adopted by a family who lived there. She was 8 years old when she arrived in Shanghai, and attended various schools as she grew up, including Sacred Heart in Shanghai. She also attended the Holy Ghost Convent in Tsingtao, a small seaport and industrial center on the Yellow Sea in northeast China.
During the Japanese occupation, many foreigners were interned in camps. Kitty and her family who were sent to a camp called Chapei, which was established on the former grounds of the Great China University. Chapei housed nearly 2,000 civilians between 1943 and 1945, and is where Kitty met her future husband, Christopher Bell, who was there with his family.
The Bell Family Collection contains photographs of Kitty and Chris Bell and their families taken during the 1930s and 1940s while living in Shanghai, postcards depicting locations the Bells presumably visited in the US, including California, and abroad, including France and China. The collection also includes a religious pamphlet, the text of a toast, and a Monopoly knock-off board game called “The Game of Shanghai Miliionaire." Shanghai Millionaire was most likely a pirated edition copied from Waddington's London edition, designed in English to appeal to the Europeans and Americans living in China.