Inventory of the Lin Zhao papers
Finding aid prepared by Hoover Staff.
Hoover Institution Archives
434 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA, 94305-6003
Title: Lin Zhao papers
Date (inclusive): 1934-1982
Collection Number: 2009C41
Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material:
1 manuscript box
(0.4 linear feet)
Letters and diaries, written in prison; photographs; and posthumous rehabilitation documents and printed matter: relating
to political prisoners in China.
Hoover Institution Archives
Lin, Zhao, 1932-1968.
Originals closed. Digital and paper use copies available on-site.
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[Identification of item], Lin Zhao papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2009.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
Alternative Forms of Material Available
Digital use copies available for on-site use only.
|1932, December 12
||Born, as Peng Lingzhao, in Jiangsu, Suzhou Province, China.
||Attended Cuiying Private Secondary School and Jinghai Women?s Teachers College in Suzhou
|1950 August - 1952 May
||Participated in the Sunan rural land reform movement
||Admitted to Peking University?s (PKU) School of Journalism where she was editor of the Poetry Society's
PKU Poetry Journal
||Condemned to three years of labor reeducation camp
||Allowed to return to Shanghai for medical treatment; founded
||Accused of founding a counter-revolutionary group; arrested and detained at Shanghai Number One Detention House, Shanghai
Number Two Detention House and Shanghai Municipal Jail
||Released on bail for medical rehabilitation
||Incarcerated a second time in Shanghai, China. Staged multiple hunger strikes and attempted suicide while in prison
|1965 May 31
||Condemned to 20 years of imprisonment
|1968, April 29
||Executed, Shanghai Airport, China
Scope and Content of Collection
On October 26, 2009 the Hoover Institution Library and Archives opened a collection of the letters and diaries of Chinese
political activist Lin Zhao for public use. Lin Zhao, the nom de guerre of Peng Linzhao (1932-1968), was arrested for her
criticisms of the ruling Chinese Communist Party during the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1958; she spent most of the following
decade in prison until her execution in Shanghai in April 1968, at the height of the Cultural Revolution.
During the last years of her life, she compiled an extensive collection of prison writings--some of them written in her own
blood--detailing her grievances with the government and her demands for political reform. Although most of these writings
have long since disappeared, a small collection of original prison diaries and letters were returned to Lin Zhao's family
after her posthumous rehabilitation by the Chinese government in 1981. Those documents form the basis of the new collection
of Lin Zhao's papers at the Hoover Institution, the first such collection of her papers that has been made publicly available
to students and scholars at an academic archive.
Initially an ardent supporter of the Communist Party, Lin Zhao took part in the agrarian reform movement following the Chinese
Revolution of 1949. By the time she began her studies at Beijing University in the early 1950s, she had begun to question
the Communist Party's treatment of its opponents and to wish for reform within the party to which she was still loyal. When
the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1956-1957 encouraged intellectuals to voice criticisms of the government, Lin Zhao and many
of her acquaintances at the university took part. Soon, however, the government changed its course; as it began to crack down
on those expressions of dissent, Lin Zhao was swept up in the subsequent Anti-Rightist Movement and eventually imprisoned
as a result of her outspoken critiques. During her imprisonment she began the writings for which she is well known today,
including the "blood letters," which she wrote in own blood. In the decades since her rehabilitation, Lin Zhao has gained
attention not only in China but internationally, partly owing to a 2005 documentary film by the Chinese filmmaker Hu Jie,
In Search of Lin Zhao's Soul, which chronicled her life and examined her legacy.
The Lin Zhao papers at the Hoover Institution consist of a series of diaries and open letters written between 1965 and 1968,
only a small portion of her prison writings (the rest have disappeared). Those materials, which were returned to Lin Zhao's
family in 1982, were donated to the Hoover Institution earlier this year by her sister, Lingfan Peng. In addition, Ms. Peng
generously donated family photographs of Lin Zhao, as well as additional letters and documents, all of which will provide
researchers with a firsthand look at this intriguing, controversial, and courageous personality whose life continues to generate
interest among students of recent Chinese history.
The papers are arranged by type of material, as they were received from the donor.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Political crimes and offenses--China.
Box/Folder 1 : 1
Zhi Ren Min Ri Bao Bian Ji Bu Xin (Letter to the
People's Daily editorial department)containing appendices [written in ink]:
Kun Shi Ai Si (
Sorrowful Thoughts in the Cell)
Qiu Sheng Ci (
Poem of Autumn Sound), with prologue
Zi Jian (
Xue Shi Ti Yi (
Blood-poetry Written on Cloth)
Sang Li Ou Wen (
Funeral oration) Commentary of
Pan Jue Hou de Sheng Ming (
Statement After Receiving Sentence)
Xue Yi Ti Ba (
Commentary on Blood-poetry Written on Cloth),
1965 July 14
Diaries [prison writings],
Box/Folder 1 : 2
Xin Ling de Zhan Ge: Wo Hu Lei Ren Ai (
The Battle Song of the Soul: I Call Upon Mankind),
Box/Folder 1 : 3
Bei Wang Lu Chang Ri Ji: Liu Gei Gong Zhong he Hou Shi Jie de Ji Lu (
Battlefield Diary: Records for the Public and Future Generations),
Box/Folder 1 : 4
Xue Shu Jia Xin (
Blood Letters, Family Correspondence),
Box/Folder 1 : 5
Ke Juan: Wen Yi Tong Xun (
Class Essay: Literature and Art Communication),
Box/Folder 1 : 6
Letter from Lin Zhao to her sister, Peng Lingfan,
1958 May 4
Box/Folder 1 : 7
Lin Zhao's parents and grandparents,four black and white images,
Box/Folder 1 : 8
Lin Zhao, as a child and adult, 5 black and white images,
Shanghai Supreme Court Documents,
Box/Folder 1 : 9
Criminal adjudication (rehabilitation of Lin Zhao),
1981 December 30
Box/Folder 1 : 10
Letter of notice, sent to family,
1982 March 22
Box/Folder 1 : 11
Liberation Daily (Shanghai), containing editorial about Lin Zhao titled "Historical Judgement," page 2,
1981 January 27
Box/Folder 1 : 12
Democracy and Legal System, containing article titled, "The Death of Lin Zhao,"
1981 March 20
Box/Folder 1 : 13
Sound recording of "Battle Songs of the Soul" panel discussion, featuring Lingfan Peng, the sister of Lin Zhao and discussants,
and Stanford professors Andrew Walder and Thomas S. Mullaney,
2009 October 23
Box/Folder 1 : 14
"Where These Lin Zhao's Papers Come From?,"
2003 April 29
Scope and Contents note
Contains a paper written by Peng Lingfan on the 45th anniversary of Lin Zhao's death.