American MemoryThe National Digital Library Program: Archived Documentation

The Library of Congress / Ameritech National Digital Library Competition (1996-1999)

Image from collection

The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, with the California Historical Society

Chinese in California, 1850-1920

Amount of award: $150,000

This collection of 12,500 items documents the nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California and the West. Included in the collection is much that reflects the social life, culture, and commerce of these immigrants. The primary source materials include photographs, original art, cartoons and other illustrations; letters, diaries, business records, and legal documents; as well as pamphlets, broadsides, speeches, sheet music, and other printed matter. Although necessarily selective, such a large body of materials presents a full spectrum of representation and opinion, thus making accessible a "critical mass" of original source materials to support research and teaching, analysis, interpretation, and application to current immigrant situations.

Online Collection

(The above image was included in early proposal materials but was not later included in the final online collection. A similar image was included: Chinese butcher and Grocery Shop. Chinatown, S. F. Taber Photo, San Francisco: From Roy D. Graves pictorial collection: Chinese and Chinatown. )