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Yung (Judy) papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Judy Yung papers
    Creator: Yung, Judy
    source: Lee, Samantha J.
    source: Lee, Amanda K.
    source: Lee, Veronica L.
    Identifier/Call Number: M2788
    Physical Description: 54 Linear Feet (105 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1960s-2020
    Abstract: 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.
    Language of Material: English, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese, Toishan)
    Physical Location: Special Collections and University Archives materials are stored offsite and must be paged 36 hours in advance.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Audiovisual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.
    Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use. Series 3, subseries 1 of Series 9, Series 10, and Series 15 are currently closed while the materials continue to be processed.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was given by the family of Judy Yung to Stanford University, Special Collections in 2022.


    The collection contains eighteen series reflecting Yung's research and books. 1. Biographical and Personal Papers; 2. Poetry on Angel Island; 3. Angel Island Oral History Project; 4. Book: Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America; 5. Angel Island Archives; 6. Book: The Chinese Exclusion Act and Angel Island: A Brief History with Documents; 7. Advocacy at Angel Island; 8. Angel Island Research Files; 9. Chinese Women of America Project; 10. Chinese Women in California; 11. Books: Unbound Feet and Unbound Voices; 12. Book: Chinese American Voices: From the Gold Rush to the Present; 13. Book: The Adventures of Eddie Fung; 14. Book: San Francisco's Chinatown; 15. Oral History Files - Miscellaneous; 16. Chinese American History Research Files; 17. Him Mark Lai; 18. UC Santa Cruz

    Biographical / Historical

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [identification of item], Judy Yung papers (M2788). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Related Materials

    Earlier archival collections pertaining to Judy Yung and her work can be found at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library:
    • Judy Yung research files, ca. 1980s (AAS ARC 2000/60)
    • Angel Island Oral History Project, 1975-1990 (AAS ARC 2000/62)
    • Chinese Women of America 1848-1982 project files (AAS ARC 2000/88)
    The Judy Yung slide collection (97006) can be found at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University: https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt8f59s0s5/ Oral histories conducted by Yung's students in the American Studies program at UC Santa Cruz can be found at UC Santa Cruz' University Archives (UA 55): https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt067nd78v/

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists mainly of oral histories and research files gathered throughout the span of historian Judy Yung's career. Beginning in the 1970s, the collection mainly includes research files and oral histories from Yung's two research fields: Angel Island and Chinese American history. Much of the collection is made up of files Yung assembled on these two fields, containing scans of primary resources, book chapters, written first-hand accounts, and photographs. Series 1 focuses on Yung's personal papers and background. Series 2-8 stem from Yung's decades-long involvement with Angel Island and includes files on her collaboration with Him Mark Lai and Genny Lim on the engraved poetry left behind by detainees on the island; documents about advocacy efforts for preserving the history of the Immigration Station; and research and drafts of Yung's books on Angel Island. Series 9-16 include research on Chinese American history; correspondence and drafts of Yung's books on Chinese American history; and biographical information about Yung's husband, Eddie Fung. Series 17 contains papers about Yung's long-time collaborator Him Mark Lai and Series 18 covers her time as a professor at UC Santa Cruz. A large portion of the collection is dedicated to Yung's oral history work, especially the Chinese Women of America Project, which Yung directed during the 1980s. Series 9 contains paper files and original recordings of the roughly 260 oral histories Yung and her team conducted. Approximately 150 additional oral histories recorded by Yung and her colleagues are included throughout the collection.

    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. Some series within this collection have additional or differing copyright restrictions.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Angel Island (Calif.)
    Angel Island Immigration Station (Calif.)
    Oral history
    Chinese American women
    Chinese poetry
    Emigration and immigration law -- United States
    United States. Chinese Exclusion Act
    Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Lee, Samantha J.
    Lee, Amanda K.
    Lee, Veronica L.
    Lai, H. Mark