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Ch'en Shou-yi Papers

 Collection
Identifier: H-Mss-0176

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ch'en Shou-yi Papers include professional and personal correspondence from the 1930s to the 1970s; Photographic materials, including those of family and friends; Personal documents including employment letters from Peking University; Lingnan University-related documents, including photos, exams, and reading notes; Teaching materials including slides, notes, course syllabi, student essays, memoranda, and reports pertaining to Pomona College’s administrative and departmental matters; Research materials including manuscripts of published and unpublished works, and his personal library of Chinese manuscripts, ephemera, and photos from the 18th to early 20th century.

Dates

  • Creation: 1857-1977 and undated

Creator

Language of Materials

Langugages represented in the collection: Chinese and English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biography / Administrative History

Ch’en Shou-yi (1899-1978) was born in Panyu, Canton (Guangdong), China. He graduated from Canton Christian College (later Lingnan University) in 1920, joining the faculty following graduation. In 1925, he went to the United States for his graduate studies and received a Ph.D. degree in comparative literature from the University of Chicago in 1929.

He returned to Lingnan University in 1929, where he became a professor and the head of the Chinese literature department. He also co-founded the academic quarterly Lingnan Journal. From 1931 to 1937, Ch’en Shou-yi taught in the history department at Peking University. In 1935, he took a sabbatical leave and came to Pomona College as a visiting professor for one year.

In July 1937, the Lugouqiao Incident (also known as Marco Polo Bridge Incident) broke out, preventing Ch’en Shou-yi from returning to China and he subsequently accepted a faculty position at the Oriental Institute of the University of Hawaii. In 1941, Ch’en Shou-yi returned to Claremont to join the Pomona College faculty and worked as an academic advisor for graduate students at The Claremont Colleges.

During his years in Southern California, Ch’en Shou-yi was dedicated to cultivating research of China’s history and cultures among young Americans. Thanks to his effective use of a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, the collections of the Asian Library had been significantly developed and expanded. He also brought many prestigious scholars, Hu Shih included, to Claremont, as part of his effort to expand the curriculum of Asian Studies programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

After retiring from 26 years of teaching at Pomona College, Professor Ch’en continued to visit his office for research daily. Ch’en Shou-yi passed away due to illness in 1978 at the age of 79.

Extent

23.2 Linear Feet (20 records boxes, 7 document boxes, 2 half-size document boxes)

Abstract

Professor Ch'en Shou-yi (Chinese: 陳受頤, 1899-1978) was a Chinese scholar known for his groundbreaking contribution to the comparative cultural studies of modern China and the historical studies of Sino-Western cultural exchange. He was born into a prestigious literati family in Panyu, Canton (Guangdong). Ch'en Shou-yi graduated from the Canton Christian College (later Lingnan University) in 1920. In 1929 he received a Ph.D. degree in comparative literature from the University of Chicago. He served as the Chair of the History Department of the Peking University from 1931-1937. He was a highly acclaimed scholar, developed close ties with prestigious scholars of the time such as Hu Shih (胡适)Fu Sinian (傅斯年) Lin Yutang (林語堂), and Chiang Monlin (蔣夢麟), and maintained life-long friendships with them. In 1941 he joined the Pomona College faculty as a full-time professor and remained on that post until his retirement in 1967. After he passed away in 1978, his family donated his correspondence, photos, private library collections, work notes, manuscripts, and more to the Claremont Colleges. The collection consists of Prof. Ch'en's following professional and personal correspondence from the 1930s-1970s: photos, including those of family and friends; Personal documents including employment letters from Peking University; Lingnan University-related documents, including photos, exams, and reading notes; memoranda and reports pertaining to Pomona Colleges administrative and department matters; personal library of Chinese manuscripts, ephemera, and photos from the 18th to early 20th century.

Organization and Arrangement

This collection has been organized into the following series and subseries:

  • Series 1: Biographical and personal materials, 1920-1978 and undated
  • Subseries 1.1: Ch'en Shou-yi, 1920-1976 and undated
  • Subseries 1.2: Hu Shih, 1922-1978 and undated
  • Series 2: Correspondence, 1926-1977 and undated
  • Series 3: Photographic and audiovisual materials
  • Subseries 3.1: Photographic materials
  • Subseries 3.2: Audiovisual materials
  • Series 4: Research materials and writings
  • Subseries 4.1: Maps
  • Subseries 4.2: Printed matter and publications
  • Subseries 4.3: Research notes
  • Subseries 4.4: Writings
  • Series 5: Teaching materials
File folders are primarily arranged alphabetically by title.

Physical Location

Please consult repository.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift, Ch'en Shou-yi family, 1978.

Accruals

No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Title
Ch'en Shou-yi Papers
Status
In Progress
Author
Yuda Li, Xiuying Zou, and Sean Stanley
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library Repository

Contact:
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States