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Lai (Him Mark) papers
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  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Materials
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: Chinese
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Him Mark Lai papers
    creator: Lai, H. Mark
    Identifier/Call Number: M2006
    Physical Description: 4 Linear Feet (5 boxes, one oversize folder)
    Date (inclusive): 1907-2010
    Abstract: Him Mark Lai (1925-2009) was a writer, historian, and archivist of Chinese America. This collections primarily consists of his own family history, particularly that of the Mark/Mai clan, and his parents’ immigration to California.

    Biographical / Historical

    Him Mark Lai (1925-2009) was the eldest child of parents who immigrated to America during the period of Chinese Exclusion. He was a scholar and activist in the area of Chinese America, the “Dean of Chinese American history”, whose involvement in teaching established much of the groundwork for which the topic would be understood and the way in which further research would occur. Lai studied engineering in college and worked in the field at Bechtel Power Corporation for 30 years, but he also had a lifelong interest in history, dedicating work and service to the Chinese-American community.

    Scope and Contents

    The Him Mark Lai papers is primarily composed of Lai’s research into his own family history, particularly that of the Mark/Mai clan, and his parents’ immigration to California. In addition to this are papers relating to his employment as an engineer at Bechtel as well as correspondence and draft copies of his contributions to publications and studies in the area of Chinese American history.
    The collection consists of correspondence between himself, his father, and their relatives in China, spanning a period of about a hundred years from the 1910s to the 2000s, photographs, identification cards, newspaper articles, and genealogical research into the Mai family name and origins. These include web page printouts, maps, immigration files, Mai clan genealogy books, and a taped interview with his mother on cassette tape.
    There are also a commemorative booklet to celebrate Lai’s 70th birthday, group photos from the 2002 Wuyi Overseas Chinese History and Culture Studies International Conference, photo negatives and carbon prints, and a large genealogical poster for the descendants of Lew Kan from 1999.

    Related Materials

    The Him Mark Lai papers and research files at the Ethnic Studies Library of UC Berkeley consist of over 500 linear feet of material relating to his research, professional activities, writings, and personal papers.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Him Mark Lai papers (M2006). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Chinese Americans -- History
    Lai, H. Mark