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Register of the Renée Lym Robertson collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Arthur Lym Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Renée Lym Robertson collection
    Date (inclusive): 1890-2014
    Collection Number: 2015C52
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English and Chinese
    Physical Description: 10 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 motion picture film reel (6.1 linear feet)
    Abstract: Writings, correspondence, photocopies of government documents, printed matter, photographs, and audiovisual material relating to the early history of aviation in China and to American involvement with Chinese aviation prior to World War II. Includes biographical data on the early Chinese American aviator Arthur F. Lym (Lin Fuyuan, Arthur Fook Yuen Lyn), father of Renée Lym Robertson, and on others involved in the early history of Chinese aviation, as well as information relating to the Civil Air Transport and China National Aviation Corporation.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Robertson, Renée Lym, collector.


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items, computer media, and digital files. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos, films, or digital files during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Renée Lym Robertson collection, [Box no.], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2015.


    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 http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    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. Robertson permanently moved back to the United States in 1982.
    Robertson was actively involved in the aviation community all of her life and helped form the Guangdong Aviation Association in the 1980s, where she served as Vice-President. She was instrumental in providing resources for various Chinese aviation exhibits in Hong Kong, Seattle, San Diego, and San Francisco. Robertson passed away in 2015.

    Arthur Lym Biographical Note

    1890 December 27 Born, San Francisco, California
    1906 After the 1906 earthquake and fire in San Francisco, moved to Oakland with sister and brother-in-law, Wong Yow
    1911 Managed the Chinatown newspaper Chinese World (Sai Gai Yat Po)
    1913 Took flying lessons in San Diego with Glenn Curtiss
      Received aviation license number 245 from the Aero Club of America
    1914 Offered army commission by Chinese President Yuan Shi-kai and sailed to China
      Returned to United States to purchase Curtiss aircraft for the Chinese government
    1916 Organized Canton Air Force with childhood friend Tom Gunn
    1916 Launched aerial assault on Hainan Island, recapturing the area for Guangdong
    1920 Lead first ever aerial bombing raid on the city of Canton, targeting Kwangsi invaders
    1925 December Married San Francisco native Sarah Chuck Siu Lau in Shanghai
    1928 Appointed Colonel-in-Charge of the National Aviation Bureau; established aerial photography section
    1929 Headed the National Aviation Maintenance Service Division and the National Technical Aviation Division
    1932 Appointed Chief-of-Staff of the Canton Air Force
    1937 Appointed chief of Shaoguan aircraft factory as Japan invaded China
    1938 Moved Shaoguan aircraft factory and staff to the safety of China's interior
    1940 Traveled to the United States and South America, fundraising on behalf of the Chinese government to purchase airplanes for the war and raising more than five million dollars
    1943-1945 Coordinated the transport of strategic war materials into China via the Burma road and "the Hump"
    1962 Died of heart failure in Hong Kong at age 72, buried in Oakland's Mountain View Cemetery
    Source: Patti Gully, Arthur Lym Research Materials, Renée Lym Robertson collection, Box 3, Folders 2-3, Hoover Institution Archives

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Renee Lym Robertson collection is a diverse assortment of papers, printed matter, clippings, photographs, and audiovisual materials. It includes biographical and family records and research, as well as in-depth research relating to Robertson’s father, Arthur Lym (Arthur Fook Yuen Lyn, Lin Fuyuan, Art Lin, Lim Fook Yin). Lym was an aviation pioneer in the United States and China, and a founder of the Canton Air Force during the Second Sino-Japanese war.
    The Arthur Lym Research Materials series contains information and research about Lym's career as an aviator starting in 1911. Materials include biographical information, clippings, printed matter, and photographs of Lym dating from 1911 to the 1950s. These materials are from Lym, as well as source research material provided by Robertson. Additional research materials were provided by Patti Gully, Ernest Gann, and Malcolm Rosholt, who had been researching and writing on Chinese aviation and/or Lym.
    The Aviation Research Materials series focuses on Chinese and American pilots who flew for the China National Air Corporation (C.N.A.C.) and Civil Air Transport (C.A.T.) during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, respectively. Materials include association bulletins, printed matter, and letters. This series also includes information pertaining to the Guangdong Aviation Association, which was formed by former aviators, local government officials, and friends and family of the Chinese aviation community, including Robertson.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese Americans.
    Lym, Arthur F., 1890-1962.
    Sino-Japanese War, 1937-1945.