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An Inventory to the Pardee Lowe papers, 1911-1995
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Abbreviations

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Pardee Lowe papers
    Dates: 1911-1995
    Collection Number: 98055
    Creator: Lowe, Pardee
    Collection Size: 477 manuscript boxes, 13 card file boxes, 3 oversize boxes (approximately 210 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The papers consist primarily of writings, correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, minutes, bulletins, clippings, pamphlets, serial issues, and other printed matter, relating to the U.S. Department of State, international education, educational activities of UNESCO, political and economic conditions in East Asia, the Free China cause, and Sino-Soviet relations. Of particular importance are ephemera, clippings, and other research materials related to Chinatowns, especially San Francisco Chinatown, and to Chinese Americans.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: In The collection is mainly in English, with some documents inChinese, Russian, Czech, and German

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pardee Lowe papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Materials were acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1998, 1999, and 2008.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Related Materials

    Richard T. LaPiere papers, Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries
    Institute of Pacific Relations. San Francisco Bay Region Division Records, 1944-1947, Hoover Institution Archives
    Asia Foundation records, Hoover Institution Archives
    Zhang Shuqi papers, Hoover Institution Archives
    Iris Chang papers, Hoover Institution Archives

    Biographical/Historical Note

    Named after George Pardee, the governor of California, Pardee Lowe (1904-1996) was born in San Francisco, California, to Lowe Fat Yuen (also known as Low Fat Yuen; pinyin: Liu Fa Yuan) and Miss Ho (Yip) Lowe (boxes 328, 448, 450). Following the 1906 earthquake and fire, Lowe's family relocated to Oakland, California. While Mrs. Lowe operated a store in West Oakland, Lowe Fat Yuen remained active in business and civic affairs in San Francisco, as a merchant with Sun Loy Co. and vice president of the San Francisco Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Pardee Lowe became active in the Oakland High School ROTC unit, the YMCA, and church activities of the Union Street Presbyterian Church (box 322). Throughout his life Lowe continued to be extremely active in social, professional, alumni, and fraternal organizations and associations.
    Lowe received a BA from Stanford University in 1930, and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1932. While on a 1931 study trip in Germany, Lowe married his first wife, Louisa Hope Bailey (box 328), and in 1936 their child, Pardee Lowe, Jr. (Pardee Joe Yee Lowe) was born in Oakland, California (box 353).
    Pardee Lowe worked at various projects throughout the 1930s. Of longest duration was Lowe's serving as a research assistant for Stanford economics professor Richard T. LaPiere, from 1932 to 1935 (box 328). Lowe conducted work in San Francisco Chinatown for LaPiere and served as a technical advisor for LaPiere's two sociological-historical novels, Son of Han (1937) and When the Living Strive (1941). At LaPiere's recommendation, Lowe became involved in two projects for the Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR). Lowe received funding to conduct a "secret" study of the people of San Francisco Chinatown (box 328, 329, 445). Due to disagreement over scope, methodology, and timetable of completion, the IPR concluded funding for the project in late 1936 (box 449).
    Lowe worked in support of IPR conferences in Yosemite (1936) and Virginia Beach (1939), and continued collecting materials for his projected Middletown Study of San Francisco Chinatown. He had associations with the Social Service Department of the State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) for San Francisco's Chinese Division for a few months of 1934 (boxes 458, 328); and the Social Science Research Conference of the Pacific Coast, 1933-1934. During the Sino-Japanese war, Lowe was active in work to raise funds and increase support for aid to war-torn China, through organizations such as China Relief and Rice Bowl parties. He joined planning and implementation work for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition's Pacific House, before moving to New York to serve as a secretary for Wah Chang Trading Corporation president K. C. Li (box 436).
    In 1942 Lowe volunteered for military service, and served stateside, as well as overseas in the New Delhi headquarters of the China-Burma-India theater, and in Chongqing from 1943 to 1946, with some assignments to the Counterintelligence Corps (box 353). Following discharge from the military, Lowe returned to China, and under the U.S. Alien Property Administration served as manager of the China division of pharmaceutical manufacturer Schering Corporation, New Jersey and Shanghai, 1946-1947 (box 93). Correspondence also identifies Lowe as sales manager for China United Products Co., Shanghai in 1946-1947 (box 457).
    From 1947 to 1949, Lowe worked in the U.S. Embassy in Nanking, administering the beginnings of the United States Educational Foundation in China (USEF China).
    In January 1948 Lowe and Louisa Hope Bailey divorced, and Lowe married Anita Ting, born in Peiping, China, 1919 (boxes 353, 450). In 1960 their child, Patricia Pardee Lowe, was born (box 322).
    Lowe maintained a strong interest in creative writing throughout the 1930s and 1940s, publishing articles in periodicals such as Asia, Missionary Review of the World, and various association newsletters. In 1943, Brown, Little and Co., publisher of LaPiere's socio-historical novels, added to their series a collection of Lowe's autobiographical articles, with names of individuals and places altered for publication. A best-seller that year, Lowe's Father and Glorious Descendant also was issued in an edition by the U.S. Armed Services (box 359). Lowe continued writing throughout his time in the military and in subsequent posts in China.
    Lowe remained in Shanghai until the U.S. ordered withdrawal in 1949. Returning to the San Francisco Bay Area, Lowe entered the University of California, Berkeley, for PhD studies with the Institute for Slavic Studies from 1949 to 1956 (box 195).
    Lowe also joined the U.S. Air Force Reserves, becoming a major by 1952 (box 450). In 1964 he was assigned to the Retired Reserve (box 451).
    In 1955 Lowe joined the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), serving as intelligence research officer, and later as China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong desk officer until 1959 (box 195, 340). From 1959 to 1965 Lowe served as cultural attaché in the U.S. Embassy, Taipei, Taiwan (box 195). His Chinese name was Liu Yu Chang (box 43).
    From 1965 until his retirement in 1972/1973, Lowe served in the U.S. Department of State as education officer of the Multilateral Policy and Program Office assigned to monitor the UNESCO Education Program (box 187, 195, 448).
    After retiring, Lowe occasionally taught at Tatung Tech in Taiwan, and remained a committed advocate to the Free China cause. He continued to gather and organize materials related to Chinese Americans and to Chinatowns for a projected sequel to his 1943 book, telling the story of growing up Chinese American in relation to his late mother and stepmother, and continued his involvement with Christian charities.
    Selected publications:
    "A New Deal for Orientals," Missionary Review of the World 1934 June, pp. 279-281
    "Mixed Marriage," Asia Magazine, 1937 January
    "The Good Life in Chinatown," Asia Magazine, 1937 February. Published version of "Tree-Sitting in Chinatown" (box 485) and "Chinatown Changes" (box 359)
    Father and Glorious Descendant, New York: Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1943
    "Personal Report from China," address to the Commonwealth Club of California, 1946 September 6
    "Soviet foreign policy regarding Manchuria and China, 1945-1950," PhD thesis partial draft, prepared for the Institute of Slavic Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1954 September 9, 3 volumes, typescript

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The papers consist primarily of writings, correspondence, notes, reports, memoranda, minutes, bulletins, clippings, pamphlets, serial issues, and other printed matter, relating to the U.S. Department of State, international education, educational activities of UNESCO, political and economic conditions in East Asia, the Free China cause, and Sino-Soviet relations. Of particular importance are ephemera, clippings, and other research material related to Chinatowns, especially San Francisco Chinatown, and to Chinese Americans.
    Lowe's papers reflect his service with the U.S. military; the Department of State; civic, religious, alumni, and fraternal organizations in the U.S., Shanghai, Nanking, and Taiwan; and personal research interests. In his personal files, sociology and cultural issues related to Chinese Americans, and issues related to the Free China cause are core areas.
    Lowe's scope and organization for his papers reflects particular methodologies and procedures, which are articulated in documents in his files. These include Lowe's description of his adoption of the Middletown Study sociological methodology (boxes 389, 391, 449). His methodology related to clippings is further described in a lesson plan he developed for the U.S. Air Force Reserve, "How to Clip the New York Times for Intelligence Items on the Soviet Union," 1954 (box 60). A manual of standard operating procedures, 1969 (box 376), sets the framework for the organization and scope of Lowe's Department of State education office work files, as well as his own subject files. Lowe's notes include a list of his permanent projects (box 381).
    Box numbers referred to in this note are not inclusive. A box-level inventory follows this note. In many cases the folder titles do not match contents.
    Biographical files, 1920s-1990s, undated, include personnel records, applications, and correspondence. Especially detailed are those related to Lowe's Armed Forces service (box 448; also 353, 436, 451, 466-468), his correspondence with professor Richard T. LaPiere (box 318), writings, employment files covering 1924-1973 (boxes 449, 436, 448), family history documents (box 117), and correspondence with publishers (box 381). Lowe describes his wartime experience through 1950 in a preface to his in-progress dissertation draft, 1954 September 9 (box 150), which is complemented by diaries, military personnel records, private correspondence, and files related to the various non-military positions Lowe held in China prior to the 1949 withdrawal. The papers also include course notes and papers related to Lowe's degrees from Oakland High School, Stanford University, and Harvard Business School, and to his PhD studies at University of California, Berkeley.
    Of the vast number of projects undertaken during his long career, perhaps Lowe's most extensive research and writing related to Chinese American history and culture is found in his creative writings, correspondence with Stanford Economics and Sociology Professor Richard T. LaPiere, and related sociological work that began as an "undercover" study of San Francisco Chinatown for the Institute of Pacific Relations (box 329). While disagreement over scope, methodology, and timetable of completion led the IPR to conclude funding in late 1936, Lowe continued developing his Chinese American history and sociology research and writing files, 1920s-1990s throughout his life (boxes 125a-131, 190-193, 196-203, 381-385, and others).
    The Chinese American history and sociology research files, 1930s, undated, consist of draft writings and research files, including survey data, correspondence, ephemera, and clippings, in English and in Chinese (boxes 125a-131). In this set of 1930s files, all folder titles (except the first) are by the creator. The Sociological profiles and case studies typescript drafts, 1930s, consist of typescript drafts by Lowe. These drafts are mainly duplicates of typescript materials which appear in the files of notes, drafts, and ephemera, but with some unique drafts, and a revised ordering of the material.
    Encyclopedic in scope, the research strengths of the Chinese American History and sociology files include: ephemera and research related to restaurants and nightclubs, 1930s-1950s; conditions fostering continued occupational segregation for Chinese Americans (box 324); and San Francisco business and civic leader interest that San Francisco Chinatown undergo redesign and marketing as an exotic locale, or the "Chinafication" of San Francisco Chinatown during the 1930s (box 381). There is ephemera related to the original Bank of Canton, San Francisco, including material from the 1920s (boxes 313, 171); and Chinese Hospital, San Francisco, 1920s (box 97, 117). Collected material also includes Chinese opera materials related to the San Francisco Chinatown movie theaters, 1950s-1960s. Lowe also collected reports and other documents related to the WPA and the State Emergency Relief Administration, San Francisco Chinese Division, and was briefly associated with SERA for a few months of 1934 (box 328, 458). Also present is material related to Chinese Christian organizations, including Chinese American organizations, and some material related to evangelical missionary work in China. Lowe's papers include extensive clippings of news items related to Chinese Americans, late 1920s-early 1990s, with additional subject files on interracial marriage, discrimination, and African Americans.
    Related research and writings by Lowe are found in his Institute of Pacific Relations San Francisco Chinatown survey project files, 1930s. These include holographic data from a street-by-street survey of San Francisco Chinatown buildings and residents, and typescript reports and correspondence with project sponsors (boxes 12, 328-329, 359-360, 381, 389-391, 408, 445).
    Also related are the Richard T. LaPiere socio-historical novel research correspondence and administrative files, 1930s-1940s (boxes 318-319). These consist of correspondence with LaPiere and with LaPiere's publishers related to Lowe's serving as a research and administrative assistant for LaPiere's two novels related to a middle-class family in China and to an immigrant from China to San Francisco Chinatown. In correspondence with Lapiere Lowe provided feedback on LaPiere's depictions of Chinese and Chinese American culture and history, and discussed his own family history. For Son of Han Lowe also provided some source materials, including for publicity; literary feedback; and assisted in publicity for the novel and conducted other administrative work.
    Lowe's Institute of Pacific Relations (IPR) conference administration files, 1930s, mainly consist of notes, correspondence, and printed material related to when Lowe was an administrative assistant to the IPR's 1936 Yosemite conference and 1939 Virginia Beach conference. Lowe's writing files also include research files and draft writings for a history of the formation and early days of the IPR (box 231-232, 334, 366). Lowe's papers also include meeting notes and conference programs, and reports that reflect his brief association in this period with a number of other study groups related to China, Asia, or Chinese Americans in California and San Francisco.
    Related to the IPR study files are the Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) files, 1938-1939, which consist of administrative files, research files, commemorative printed material, and include correspondence with Miguel Covarrubias, and other planning files related to the Department of the Pacific Area, Pacific House, and to China Day at the GGIE (includes Box 328-329, 472-473). Lowe's papers also include correspondence and printed materials related to later reprinting of the Covarrubias maps of the peoples of the Pacific and managing their sales in China, 1946-1947 (box 472).
    China Relief files, 1930s, include correspondence and clippings related to Lowe's participation in relief work benefiting Chinese civilians during the Sino-Japanese war. Publicity materials include clippings related to San Francisco's Rice Bowl Party 1938, in which Lowe's father played a prominent public role (box 200-201).
    San Francisco Chinese Counsel General files, 1933-1939, include correspondence, typescript briefings, drafts of speeches, and clippings related to Lowe assisting Chinese Consul General Chihtsing Feng with a variety of diplomatic and public relations activities (box 325-328).
    Lowe's Writing files, 1929-1990s (bulk 1930s-1940s), include writings related to events in the 1930s and 1940s, including the Sino-Japanese war, autobiography, and culture change. The files include essays and creative writing, notes for speeches, and writings by others. Also included are drafts of Lowe's 1943 autobiographical novel (with names of people and places fictionalized), correspondence with publishers, correspondence and clippings related to publicity, writings related to Lowe's participation in local casting for The Good Earth (1937), and correspondence concerning movie adaptations of his writings. Also included are proposals for a projected second autobiographical novel (box 328), in support of which Lowe continued to create and organize subject files.
    Wah Chang Trading Corporation files, 1940-1942, include correspondence from Lowe's work as a secretary to President K. C. Li in New York.
    World War II Military Service files, 1942-1946, include diaries, training notes and materials, correspondence, and printed maps, related to Lowe volunteering for the military in 1942, receiving various training, including in counterintelligence, and serving in a number of posts in the U.S., at China-Burma-India Theater Headquarters in New Delhi, and Chungking (Chongqing). The papers also include materials related to Lowe's participation in a San Francisco-area China-Burma-India theater veterans group.
    Schering Company files, 1946-1947, consist mainly of training materials and correspondence related to Lowe serving as manager of the pharmaceutical manufacturer's China division under the U.S. Department of Justice's Alien Property Administration (box 93).
    Also originating from Lowe's Shanghai activities are the China United Products Co., Shanghai, correspondence, 1946-1947 (box 457). Lowe's participation with alumni groups in China is reflected in Stanford Alumni files, related to alumni in Nanking and other areas in China (boxes 93, 335); Harvard Alumni Club files from Shanghai in 1948, and Taipei, Taiwan in the 1960s (boxes 107-109, 333); International House Alumni group of Shanghai files, 1947-1948 (box 360); and the University of California Alumni Club of Shanghai files, 1947 (box 361)
    Department of State Educational and Cultural Exchange Program (USECFL) files, 1940s-1970s, include material related to Lowe's administrative work for the U.S. Educational Foundation in China (USEFC) and the beginning of the Fulbright program (boxes 317, 344, 364, 367, 447, 479-481). The files include typescript and holographic material, including expense reports and correspondence related to Lowe's USEFC work in Shanghai, 1949, and a typescript memo by Lowe, "Recollection of the First United States Fulbright Educational Exchange Program in Mainland China," 1971 April 22, in which Lowe recounts the history of the program from 1947 through the last year of Lowe's involvement, 1965.
    Lowe's PhD Studies files, 1949-1950s, include research files, correspondence, course papers by Lowe and by others, and draft writings related to Lowe's studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Institute of Slavic Studies.
    China House Association of Berkeley files, 1954-1955, relate to Lowe's work among University of California students, alumni, and others, to develop the China House Association of Berkeley (box 101).
    U.S. Air Force Reserve files, 1950s-1960s, include personnel files and training materials.
    U.S. Information Agency (USIA) files, 1955-1959, include correspondence, reports, and printed material related to Lowe serving as intelligence research officer and then China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong desk officer. An orientation document from the USIA, "The Agency in Brief," provides institutional history of these early years of USIA operation (box 340). Notable in the files are documents related to Lowe's early reports on the development of pinyin Romanization for Mandarin Chinese, and the development of the sinotype, and other advances in Chinese-language keyboarding, typewriters, and typesetting.
    Cultural Attaché files, 1959-1965, relate to Lowe continuing with the Department of State, serving in the U.S. Embassy in Taiwan. Unique materials among these files include correspondence, photos, clippings, and other documentation of the Foo Hsing Opera Company (Fu Hsing), which made tours in the U.S. to support the Free China cause (boxes 43, 343-344, 447, 455).
    Department of State Education Officer files, 1969-1974, include memos, reports, subject files, and printed materials related to Lowe's role as Education Officer, Office of Multilateral Policy and Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, for the U.S. State Department, assigned to monitor policies on education, including in developing countries, with special emphasis on UNESCO. The materials relate to all geographic areas assigned to Lowe: Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and "Overseas Chinese" worldwide (box 272). A large amount of UNESCO printed reports and other printed materials related to education, especially adult education, employability, and vocational training, in the U.S. and worldwide is included. The files also reflect Lowe's involvement with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat (SEAMES) and the 1968 Nairobi conference.
    Lowe also developed University Revolt subject files, 1968-1971, related to the student protests of 1968 and following years, mainly related to those on U.S. campuses. Throughout and beyond his tenure at the Department of State, Lowe continued to develop subject files related to the observation and further development of Asian Studies, and the birth of Asian American Studies.
    Tatung Company teaching and consulting files, 1976-1990s, mainly relate to Lowe's teaching English-language business communication at the Taiwan Technical Institute, while splitting his time between Taipei and Menlo Park, California (boxes 32, 171, 312, 445-446).
    Lowe's subject files, 1918-1990s, were developed throughout his career and into his retirement, including subject files on communism, USSR, communist China, Taiwan, and the Free China cause.


    The papers are in the order in which they were received from the donor. Some folder titles do not match contents.


    The following abbreviations are used in the papers and in this finding aid.
    Chinese communism, or communism in China
    Counter Intelligence Corps, Military Intelligence Service, US War Department
    Educational and Cultural Affairs (US Department of State)
    Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island, San Francisco, 1939
    Office of Information for the Armed Forces (e.g. Box 59)
    Institute of Pacific Relations
    US Military Assistance and Advisory Group, Taiwan
    Abbreviation for projected second auto-biographical novel, "Mother and Glorious Descendant"
    Multilateral Policy and Programs (US Department of State)
    Southeast Asia Development Advisory Group
    Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Secretariat
    Southeast Asia Treaty Organization
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    United States Agency for International Development
    United States Air Force Reserves
    USEFC (also USEF China)
    United States Educational Foundation in China (Fulbright Program)
    United States Information Agency (e.g. Box 340)
    United States Information Service (US Department of State)
    Yound Men's Christian Association. Also used as an abbreviation for Chinese YMCA, the separate YMCA facilities for people of Chinese descent

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    International education.
    East Asia.
    Chinese Americans.
    United States Dept. of State.
    China--Foreign relations--Soviet Union.
    Soviet Union--Foreign relations--China.
    Chinatown (San Francisco, Calif.)
    San Francisco (Calif.)

    Additional Indexing Terms

    Golden Gate International Exposition (1939-1940--San Francisco, Calif.)
    Stanford University.
    Stanford University. Alumni Association.
    Cold War.
    Taiwan Advocates.
    Institute of Pacific Relations.
    Institute of Pacific Relations (6th conference : 1936 : Yosemite, Calif.)
    Institute of Pacific Relations--History.
    Young Men's Christian Association.
    International House (Berkeley, Calif.)
    International House (New York, N.Y.)
    International House (New York, N.Y.)--Alumni and alumnae.
    China-Burma-India Veterans Association.
    Unted States. Army.
    Sino-Japanese Conflict, 1931-1933.
    Sino-Japanese Conflict, 1937-1945.
    Chinatown (Oakland, Calif.)