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Schurmannn (Franz) Papers
BANC MSS 98/123 cz  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Alternate Forms Available
  • Materials Cataloged Separately
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: The Bancroft Library
    Title: Franz Schurmann papers
    creator: Schurmann, Franz, 1926-2010
    Identifier/Call Number: BANC MSS 98/123 cz
    Physical Description: 9.5 linear feet 7 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 cardfile box
    Date (inclusive): circa 1955-1986
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1957-1970)
    Abstract: The papers of Franz Schurmann, American historian and sociologist and expert on China during the Cold War.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection 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 without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Franz Schurmann papers, BANC MSS 98/123 cz, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Materials Cataloged Separately

    Negatives have been transferred to Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

    Acquisition Information

    The Franz Schurmann papers were gifted to the Bancroft Library by Franz Schurmann in 1995.


    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Lara Michels in 2013.

    Biographical Information

    Franz Schurmann, born in 1926 in Astoria, Queens, was an American sociologist and historian (though he referred to himself as an explorer-journalist). An expert on China during the Cold War, Schurmann taught in both the Departments of History and Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley for thirty-eight years. He also served for some time as the head of the Center for Chinese Studies. Schurmann was fluent in as many as twelve languages (partly the product of the fact that his father spoke five). He served in World War II, during which he met Stephen Brecht, the son of Bertolt Brecht. The two would remain friends and Schurmann was known to spend granduate school summers at Brecht's house in Southern California. Schurmann received his Ph.D. in Asian Studies from Harvard University after the war. One of his first major projects was to spend two years in Afghanistan during the late 1950s documenting a tribe thought to be descended from the invasions of Ghengis Kahn. He published his findings in a book entitled The Mongols of Afghanistan (1962). Schurmann's major work was his book Ideology and Organization in Communist China, which was first published in 1966 at the start of Mao's Cultural Revolution. Schurmann was an opponent of the Vietnam War and founded the Berkeley Faculty Peace Committee in 1964. He toured parts of Vietnam in 1968 with fellow activist Mary McCarthy. Schurmann also was instrumental in starting the Pacific News Service in 1970 in order to bring more journalism about Asia to the United States.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection includes correspondence; writings; research files; professional and personal materials; and audio-visual. The correspondence mostly dates from 1960 to 1970 and documents both personal and professional activities. Schurmann's writing files include drafts of some of his books as well as manuscript versions of talks, lectures, and unpublished essays, mostly on Chinese topics but also on issues relating to the Vietnam War. Among Schurmann's personal and professional materials are pages from journals or self-reflections kept by Schurmann during the 1960s, which document, in detail, his personal life as well as his thoughts on his work process and on places and events. Of particular note are Schurmann's journals of his trips to Vietnam and Cuba with political activist Mary McCarthy in 1968 as well as his journals from Paris in 1962 (in which he comments extensively on contemporary events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis). There are also cassette tapes mainly relating to Vietnam and Cuba and five reel-to-reel audio tapes, at least one of which derives from Schurmann's work in Afghanistan in the late 1950s. The final series consists of Schurmann's personal professional files which had been retained by the Center for Chinese Studies and were transferred to The Bancroft Library in 2014.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Peace
    China--Politics and government--1949-1976
    Angel Island (Calif.)
    Faculty papers
    Schurmann, Franz, 1926-2010
    Schurmann, Franz, 1926-2010--Archives.
    University of California, Berkeley. Center for Chinese Studies
    University of California, Berkeley. ǂb Faculty Peace Committee