Skip to Main Content

Asian American Collections at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives

Introduction to the Collection

From Iris Chang to the Japanese American internment camps, there are unique collections covering Asian American experiences and histories at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.  

Featured Collections

Anna May Wong in Frank Dorn papers (photographs) - “Anna May Wong was an American actress, considered to be the first Chinese American Hollywood movie star.”

Arthur Lym in Renee Lym Robertson papers (Chinese American aviator) - “Renée Lym Robertson (Lum May Yook, Lin Mai Yue) was born in Shanghai, China, in 1928. She first came to the United States in 1939, immigrating through Angel Island, and returned to China after World War II in 1945.” Collection materials are related to Arthur Lym (Renee’s father), a San Francisco native who was one of the first aviators of Chinese descent to be licensed by the Aero Club of America. 

Buddhist Church of San Francisco - The activities at the oldest Japanese American Buddhist church in the United States offer a glimpse into the religious and daily activities of the San Francisco-based Japanese American community from the early 20th century through the 1960s.

Flora Belle Jan - “Flora Belle Jan, a Chinese American journalist, was born in the United States in 1906 to immigrant parents. She studied literature at University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Chicago. Jan worked as a journalist in both the United States and China for The Fresno Herald, The San Francisco Examiner, The Chinese Students' Monthly, The Peking Chronicle, and other periodicals. Her writings reflect the encounters and reflections of a Chinese American woman in an era of race and gender limitations.”

Frank B. and Josephine Whitney Duveneck collection - The collection features documents on Japanese American internment camps and agriculture and immigration issues.

Harry K. Fukuhara papers - "Harry K. Fukuhara was born in Seattle, Washington in 1920. Following WWII, he worked as part of the US Army's occupation and reconstruction of Japan, helping to establish post-war US-Japanese relations. The collection contains photos, documents, and interviews related to Harry K. Fukuhara's life and career. From high school in Hiroshima, as a military intelligence interpreter, and as a military intelligence officer during the occupation period of Japan."

H.I. Hayakawa - The United States senator from California, 1977-1983 captures his political career as a second generation Japanese American.

Hiroshi Kashiwagi papers - A Japanese American activist, who was incarcerated at Tule Lake camp during WWII and labeled as a disloyal ‘No-no’ boy, expressed his opinions and emotions through literary works. 

Inouye (Kotoharu and Sumiye) papers - A Japanese immigrant chrysanthemum grower in Redwood City was one of the Japanese American leaders in the Bay Area. His and his wife’s journals documented ebbs and flows of their life in the new home, including his incarceration at Department of Justice camps.

Iris Chang - Iris Chang was a Chinese American journalist, author of historical books and political activist. 

Jack Chen papers - Drawings, cartoons, writings, correspondence, and clippings, relating to political conditions in China, foreign relations of China, and world politics. Includes political cartoons by Jack Chen published in the international communist press.

Judy Yung slide collection (Chinese women in America) - “Judy Yung was professor emerita in American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She specialized in oral history, women's history, and Asian American history.”

Margaret Cosgrave Sowers papers - Cosgrave’s intimate correspondence with incarcerated Japanese Americans during WWII.

The Militant photographic collection  - “The Militant Photographic Collection consists of pictorial material created or collected by the staff of The Militant for possible publication as in the newspaper.” (Some photos of Asian Americans at peace protests).

National Japanese American Student Relocation Council records - An American organization helped relocate Japanese American students on the West Coast to colleges outside the military zone. The collection holds correspondences with each relocated student. 

Nippu Jiji Photo Archives - The Nippu Jiji Photo Archives are made available at the courtesy of the Hawaii Times Photo Archives Foundation. This long-term collaborative project started with the Foundation rescuing and organizing about 25,000 published and unpublished photographs and supporting documents, once housed at Nippu Jiji and later Hawaii Times. 

Pardee Lowe Papers - “Named after George Pardee, the governor of California, Pardee Lowe (1904-1996) was born in San Francisco, California, to Lowe Fat Yuen (also known as Low Fat Yuen; pinyin: Liu Fa Yuan) and Miss Ho (Yip) Lowe. An alum of Stanford, Lowe operated a store in West Oakland, Lowe Fat Yuen remained active in business and civic affairs in San Francisco, as a merchant with Sun Loy Co. and vice president of the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce.” There’s an incredible amount of collection about Chinatown.

Paula Gillett Collection - "Autobiographical essays by immigrant and refugee children in California public schools, relating to their lives in their native countries, their journeys to the United States, and their experiences in adjusting to life in the United States and to American schools. Many of the children came from East Asia and Southeast Asia."

Said Hyder Akbar - Said Hyder Akbar is a Pakistani-American writer and an entrepreneur in Afghanistan.

Survey of Race Relations (also available here) - “An anthropological investigative project sponsored by various private organizations in the 1920s, the Survey of Race Relations records include a report, correspondence, interview transcripts, questionnaires, and printed matter relating to the social and economic status of Chinese, Japanese, other Asian, Mexican, and other minority residents of the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada, and to race relations on the Pacific Coast.”

Thomas Ray Bodine papers - A field officer trained with the American Friends Service Committee served incarcerated Japanese Americans on the West Coast during WWII.

Yung Wing in Charles Beach Boothe papers (DFI collection) - “Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from an American University (Yale College in 1854).”

Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection

The Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection is currently the world’s largest online archive of open-access, full image Japanese American and other overseas Japanese newspapers in Asia and South America. Image content in this collection is accompanied by OCR-generated text where possible, thus rendering the text searchable. The holdings of each title are browsable by datetitle, and publication place, with each title cross searchable with other titles on the platform. The nature of the newspapers varies significantly from community-focused to political or military propaganda depending on the political conditions and target readership.

Voices from the Archives Japanese American Internment, 1942–1946 Exhibit

This online exhibit is based on the exhibition, Voices from the Archives: Japanese American Internment, 1942-1946, presented in Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus, February–October, 2017