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Finding aid to the Vivian Low collection of materials on the Military Intelligence Service Language School, Chinese Division
BANC MSS.2023/101  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Administrative history
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Vivian Low collection of materials on the Military Intelligence Service Language School, Chinese Division
    Creator: Low, Vivian
    Creator: Wong, Robert Y., 1915-1980.
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS.2023/101
    Physical Description: 1 linear feet (1 box)
    Physical Description: 3.97 GB (8 files)
    Date (inclusive): 1945-2017.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English and Chinese.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE:, Advance notice required for use.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift Of Vivian Low in 2022.

    Administrative history

    Fighting in the Pacific Theater during World War II required the presence of Japanese linguists for translation, interpretation, and combat purposes. The U.S. military recruited Nisei soldiers to attend the Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) that was first established in the Presidio in San Francisco and later moved first to Camp Savage in Minnesota and then to Fort Snelling in the same state. The MISLS played a key role in producing linguists whose service was essential to both World War II and also the subsequent occupation of Japan. The first language classes were offered to approximately 60 students in 1941 at Crissy Field in San Francisco.The MIS added a Chinese language division and a Korean language class in 1945. Vivian Low's father, Robert (Bob) Wong, served in the Chinese Language Division.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Digital files were received on 2 DVD-Rs and 1 flash drive. The DVDs were duplicates and contained video files which were converted to .m4v files for access using the video encorder, Handbrake v.1.6.1. The flash drive contained 170 files of which 163 were identified as system files. The remaining 7 files include various documents and a copy of "Crossing Oceans in Service to Country."

    Preferred Citation

    Vivian Low collection of materials on the Military Intelligence Service Language School, Chinese Division, BANC MSS 2023/101, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley..

    Processing Information

    Processed at the box level in 2023 by Lara Michels.

    Scope and Contents

    Collection consists of materials relating to the Military Intelligence Service Language School, Chinese Language Division collected by Vivian Low, whose 2017 film "Crossing Oceans in Service to Country" documents a group of Chinese American Veterans who served together in the Chinese Language Division at Fort Snelling. Materials include the memoirs of Vivian's father Wong Y. Kan (Robert Y. Wong), a 1994 booklet commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Fort Snelling Mandarin Class, some papers and photocopies of photographs of Robert (Bob) Wong and other men at Fort Snelling. Included among these papers is a photocopy of a 1945 letter certifying that Wong Y. Kan (Robert Y. Wong) had completed the 16 week Chinese course at the Military Intelligence Service Language School. Also included are a few documents relating to the nomination of George Wong, who also served in the Chinese Division, for Rockwell Engineer-of-the-Year, three photographic prints (two of Robert Wong in uniform and one of Robert Wong and his wife Vera), and two DVD copies of Vivian Low's film "Crossing Oceans in Service to Country."

    Conditions Governing Use

    Some materials in these collections may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user. For additional information about the University of California, Berkeley Library's permissions policy please see: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/about/permissions-policies

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese American veterans
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Participation, Chinese American
    Military intelligence
    Military education
    Veterans -- Education -- Minnesota -- Fort Snelling
    Language and languages -- Study and teaching -- Minnesota -- Fort Snelling
    Camp Savage (Minn.)
    Fort Snelling (Minn.)
    Minnesota -- Fort Snelling
    Born digital
    Low, Vivian -- Archives
    Wong, Robert Y., 1915-1980.
    Wong, Vera, 1923-2008
    Wong, George Sowhong, 1924-
    Military Intelligence Service Language School (U.S.)