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Old China Hands Archives

Chinese currency, advertisement for policemen in Shanghai, photograph of foreign nationalsThe Old China Hands Archives was established in the fall of 1996 by Professor Robert Gohstand to preserve and publicize the heritage of the many people from other countries and cultures who have resided and worked in China. The Archives holds a growing collection of materials generously donated by former Old China Hands, including correspondence, diaries, photographs, postcards, books, periodicals, newspapers, and other materials. 

Collection Strengths

Holdings in the Old China Hands Archives document the varied experiences of foreigners living in China during the early 20th century. Whether employees of the government of China, business persons, missionaries, maritime or military servicepersons, refugees from Nazi Germany or Communist Russia, civil administrators, or journalists, their documentation of cultural interactions, international travel, local economies, and their own personal experiences provide a fascinating window into a turbulent phase of China's history.

To view collections which are a part of the Old China Hands Archives, please browse or search our finding aids, search the OneSearch, or the library's Digital Collections. For more information about how to access our collections, please read more about Using the Collections and our Duplication Services


For updates about the Old China Hands Archives and its activities, read our newsletter.

Selection of Materials

Materials are designated for the Old China Hands Archives when their subject matter, format, age, scarcity, or other unusual characteristic merits their inclusion. The Head of Special Collections & Archives determines what materials shall be placed in the Archives. The librarian may also confer with members of the Library faculty regarding the transfer of items already in the collection that meet these criteria, or for the purchase of new materials.