The Him Mark Lai Papers are divided into four series: Research Files, Professional Activities, Writings, and Personal Papers.
Lai's extensive research spans over four decades, with the bulk of materials dating from 1970 to 1995. Although Lai was born
and raised in the United States, he is fluent in both English and Chinese and this bilingualism is evident in the materials
contained in the collection. His commitment to documenting this history is reflected in the numerous biographies of Chinese
and Chinese Americans, and in the materials on Chinese overseas, particularly within the United States, and their homeland
relations. His research files include information relating to family associations, Chinese American organizations, Chinatowns,
the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party), and the history of China. Also represented in the collection are Lai's teaching files,
materials gathered during his participation in various professional activities, his writings, biographical information, and
personal miscellany. Lai's interest in Chinese newspapers is unparalleled: he subscribes to practically every Chinese newspaper
available in the United States. This interest resulted in the inclusion of a significant number of newsclippings along with
correspondence, interviews, manuscripts, drafts, monographs, journals, statistical data, photocopies of legal documents and
FBI files, bylaws, minutes, organization records, historical documents, maps, slides, photographs and negatives.
Him Mark Lai was born on November 1, 1925 into a San Francisco working class family. The family's Chinese surname was Mark, but it became
Lai in America because his father had entered the country as the paper son of a merchant with the surname Lai. Him Mark Lai
received an Associate of Arts degree from City College of San Francisco in 1945 and a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical
engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1947. He was a mechanical engineer at Bechtel Power Corporation
from 1953 to 1984.
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must be submitted in writing to the appropriate curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Ethnic Studies
Library as owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must
also be obtained by the reader.