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Wong (H. K.) oral history collection
M2021  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Collection of oral histories about the history of Chinese immigrants in the American West conducted by H. K. Wong, as well as recordings of radio programs interviewing Wong and others.
Background
Henry Kwock Wong (born April 29, 1907 in Portsmouth Square, San Francisco, died January 13, 1985 in San Francisco), better known as H.K. Wong, was heavily involved in Chinatown's business and civic associations. Between 1957 and 1984 he worked for associations such as the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (known as the "Six Companies") and Chinese Chamber of Commerce. He was a journalist for many publications such as Chinese Digest, Chinese World, East West, and Asian Week. He was also a businessman: he owned several businesses including Ti-Sun Company Hardware & Furniture store, and the Polk Pacific Building Supply Company, and was a co-owner of the Empress of China restaurant. Most importantly he was a founding member and enthusiastic supporter of the Chinese Historical Society of America in 1963. Wong had a long standing interest Chinese American history: along with friend William Hoy, he wandered through gold mining sites of the late 19th century, abandoned Chinatowns, and old Chinese temples, often collecting artifacts that served as the foundation of the CHSA Museum's collection. His great passion was doing oral interviews, something that was hardly done prior to the 1960s. He collected some of his favorite interviews in Gum Sahn Yun (Gold Mountain Men), published posthumously in 1987. Wong's contributions certainly did not go unnoticed. In 1978 he received the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service and the San Francisco Examiner named him one of the 101 most memorable San Franciscans for the 1887 to 1987 centennial year.
Extent
1 Linear Feet (one carton: 6 open reel audiotapes, 58 audiocassettes)
Restrictions
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.
Availability
Open for research. Material from this collection has been digitized and is available in the Special Collections reading room.