Monday, January 16, 2012

Him Mark Lai -- The Master Archivist

Uploaded by on Jan 2, 2009
Proclaimed by THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION as the Scholar who legitimized the study of Chinese America, Him Mark Lai has been at the core of many community institutions as well as a pivotal figure for the Chinese Historical Society of America . CHSA is proud to announce an upcoming project about Him Mark Lai's scholarship and determination to record and celebrate the lives of the descendants of Chinese immigrants to America.

Born in San Francisco in 1925 to immigrant parents, Him Mark Lai's trailblazing accomplishments are many and varied. In 1969 with Phil Choy he team-taught the first college-level course in the United States on Chinese American history at San Francisco State College (now San Francisco State University), before moving on to teach the first course at the University of California, Berkeley. He has written books and essays on Chinese American history and compiled two bibliographies on Chinese language materials on the Chinese in America. Major works include: ISLAND: POETRY AND HISTORY OF CHINESE IMMIGRANTS ON ANGEL ISLAND, 19101940 (coauthor with Genny Lim and Judy Yung; San Francisco: HOC DOI, 1980); CONG HUAQIAO DAO HUAREN [FROM OVERSEAS CHINESE TO CHINESE AMERICAN] (in Chinese; Hong Kong, 1992), BECOMING CHINESE AMERICAN: A HISTORY OF COMMUNITIES AND INSTITUTIONS (Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press, 2004); CHINESE AMERICAN VOICES FROM THE GOLD RUSH TO THE PRESENT (coauthor with Judy Yung and Gordon H. Chang, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006), as well as articles on the history and society of Chinese in the United States in HARVARD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN ETHNIC GROUPS (Cambridge, 1980) and THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CHINESE OVERSEAS (Singapore, 1998). He has consulted on the special collections of and in 2000 made a major donation of his research files to the Ethnic Studies Library of UC Berkeley. He has served as an adjunct professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and past president of the Chinese Historical Society of America. An integral part of the Editorial Committee of the Society's journal since its inception in 1987, Him Mark Lai also currently has multiple books in prep and in press.


2009 will debut the first phase of with

In Search of Roots * Details about the founding of the In Search of Roots program, which guides young Chinese Americans with ancestral roots in China's Pearl River Delta region to research their family history and discover and travel to their ancestral village ( ) * Online editions of Him Mark Lai's ever-evolving & updated manuscript reference materials developed for the In Search of Roots program, and links to current program activities.

Through this project, the Chinese Historical Society of America aims to bring awareness and understanding of the depth of Him Mark Lai's contributions to Chinese American history and create an interface for people worldwide to be able to access, learn from, and work with Him Mark Lai's groundbreaking scholarship.




Laura and Him Mark Lai
John Kuo Wei Tchen
Charles McClain
Robert Barde
Philip P. Choy
Dr. Rolland Lowe
Felicia Lowe
Liana Koehler


Executive Producer

Producer Director

Hannah Guggenheim
Editor Filming (CHSA interviews)

Julie Wolf

HML Film Project: Felicia Lowe, John Kuo Wei Tchen, Ruthanne Lum McCunn
Filming Jim Choi
Transcriptions Lillian Louie

Anna Naruta
HML Master Archivist Project Manager

Additional Footage

Jeffrey Gee Chin

Evan Leong

© 2008 Lowedown Productions, Anna Naruta and the Chinese Historical Society of America

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