Research files, oral histories, photographs, and writings from historian Judy Yung with a focus on Angel Island Immigration
Station and the experiences of Chinese American women in the twentieth century.
Judy Yung (1946-2020) was a historian of Chinese American history working in the Bay Area. Born and raised in San Francisco's
Chinatown, Yung earned a BA from San Francisco State University and an MA in Library Science from University of California,
Berkeley. Her first job was as a librarian at the Chinatown Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, where she became keenly
aware of the lack of materials about Chinese Americans and specifically Chinese Americans women. As a librarian with the Oakland
Public Library, she helped build up the first Asian American branch library in the United States. Collaborating with Him
Mark Lai and Genny Lim, Yung published Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 (Chinese Cultural Center of San Francisco, 1980) to preserve the Chinese poems carved into the walls of the Angel Island
Immigration Station by former detainees. Yung's connection to Angel Island was a personal one, as her father had been detained
on the island in 1921. Yung began collecting oral histories as part of the Island project and soon embarked on a much larger oral history project to document the experiences of Chinese American women. In
1981, she received funding from the Women's Educational Equity Program to organize an exhibit on Chinese American women, which
she then expanded into Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History (University of Washington Press, 1986). Yung returned to UC Berkeley to obtain a PhD in Ethnic Studies in 1994 with her
dissertation, which she expanded into Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (University of California Press, 1995). In 1990, she was hired as a professor in American Studies at UC Santa Cruz. There
she taught Asian American history, women's studies, and oral history courses until her retirement in 2004. Yung continued
to research and write on the experiences and social history of Chinese Americans, publishing Unbound Voices: A Documentary History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (University of California Press, 1999); Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present, co-edited with Gordon Chang and Him Mark Lai (University of California Press, 2006); San Francisco's Chinatown (Arcadia Publishing, 2006); and Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America, co-authored with Erika Lee (Oxford University Press, 2010). In 2003, Yung married Eddie Fung, the only Chinese American
soldier captured by the Japanese during World War II. She recorded over fifty hours of interviews with Fung, resulting in
the publication of The Adventures of Eddie Fung: Chinatown Kid, Texas Cowboy, Prisoner of War (University of Washington Press, 2007). After Fung's death in 2018, Yung moved back to San Francisco's Chinatown to continue
her public history work, where she passed away in December 2020.
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