Robert Nash was a PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles conducting research on Chinese fisheries and related
industries in the 19th century. Shortly after his dissertation was completed in 1973 and he earned his Doctoral Degree in
Philosophy from UCLA, Nash died and left his papers to CHSSC. His incredible organization, and fastidious research make this
a rich collection on Chinese fisheries, canneries, abalone, shrimp, squids, junks, and sampans. This collection includes Nash's
notes, letters, artifacts, photographs, oral histories, drawings, clippings, photocopies, and publications on Chinese American
maritime activities, the execution and evolution of Chinese commercial fishing activities, and general information about Chinese
immigrant populations in California.
As Charter Member #1, Dr. Nash was instrumental in starting the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (CHSSC)
in 1975. He was born in Bellefontaine, Ohio in 1915. During the 1950s to the early 1960s he conducted fieldwork for the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization in Italy, Turkey, Portugal and Greece. It appears that education was very important to Dr. Nash.
Beginning in the early 1960s, he attended Pasadena City College and went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts and Master of
Arts degrees from California State University at Los Angeles. He earned his doctorate from the Geography Department at UCLA
in 1971. His dissertation, The Chinese Shrimp Fishery in California, is a seminal work in Chinese American history and geography.
According to Dr. Nash, "The major objective of the research...is a contribution to the history of this ethnic minority's participation
in the development of the State that has heretofore been slighted." Robert A. Nash spent many years methodically detailing
and writing about Chinese fishing activities and watercraft. Especially, California built Chinese junks and sampans. Dr. Nash
passed away in Sierra Madre in 1976. Afterwards, his notes, letters, artifacts, photographs, oral histories, drawings and
publications were donated to the CHSSC.
6.38 Linear Feet
6 Bankers boxes
To access the CHSSC Archives, it is necessary to contact CHSSC beforehand to set up an appointment. A CHSSC staff member will
assist you with directions, parking information, and researcher guidelines.