Guide to the Him Mark Lai Papers M2006

Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Green Library
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford 94305-6064

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


Series 1: Genealogy and personal papers

Box 1, Folder 1

Family history drafts

Box 1, Folder 2

Family history drafts and other papers

Box 1, Folder 3

黎潤愛 (Letters) 1924-1931

Box 1, Folder 4

李德 (Letters) 1930-1968

Box 1, Folder 5-7

Other pre-war letters

Box 1, Folder 8

Pre-war letters (copies)

Box 1, Folder 9-10

Post-war letters 1946-1959

Box 2, Folder 1

Lai family interviews

Box 2, Folder 2-3


Box 2, Folder 4-5, half-box 5, Folder 5

Mai family research files

Box 2, Folder 6

股份 1907-1968

Box 2, Folder 7-9

Lai family artifacts 1912-1955

Box 3, Folder 1-3

Family correspondence 1978-2002

Box 3, Folder 4


Box 3, Folder 5

Funeral 1976 1987

Box 3, Folder 6


half-box 5, Folder 2

Immigration papers

half-box 5, Folder 3-4

Immigration INS testimony


Series 2: Public work and other files

half-box 5, Folder 1

Him Mark Lai 70th birthday booklet 1995

Box 3, Folder 7

Who's Who 1991-1998

Box 3, Folder 8

Employment records 1966-1995

Box 3, Folder 9


Box 3, Folder 10


Box 3, Folder 11


Box 3, Folder 12

Correspondence with publishers 1999-2010

Box 3, Folder 13

On becoming Chinese American copies 2003

half-box 4, Folder 1

UCB catalog records

half-box 4, Folder 2


half-box 4, Folder 3

天使島 Angel Island

half-box 4, Folder 4

Correspondence with booksellers 1967-1992

half-box 4, Folder 5

Miscellaneous letters received

half-box 4, Folder 6

Miscellaneous papers

half-box 5, Folder 6

五邑华侨历史文化国际学术研讨会 2002

map-folder 6

廖氏族譜 Descendants of Lew Kan 1999