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Geng (Xiufeng) Diaries
MSS 0718  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents of Collection
  • Publication Rights
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation

  • Descriptive Summary

    Languages: Chinese
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla 92093-0175
    Title: Geng Xiufeng Diaries
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0718
    Physical Description: 3.4 Linear feet (9 archives boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1944-1992
    Abstract: Writings of Geng Xiufeng, peasant activist and leader from the village of Wugong, China. The collection contains 55 bound, handwritten diaries and one folder of loose pages written by Geng from 1944 to 1992, documenting his reactions to agricultural reforms directed by the state.


    Geng Xiufeng was born in the village of Wugong, China, in 1913. Geng received seven years of primary education and worked in education and publishing. In the 1940s his interest in agrarian socialism led him to organize several small agricultural cooperatives. He later particiated in the formation of one of the first large co-ops in his home village of Wugong and continued to promote co-op formation for many years.
    In the 1980s Geng met American historian Paul Pickowicz who was interviewing North China peasants for oral history research projects. Geng shared with him volumes of his writings, which included a record of events in his life, his thoughts on state directed agricultural reforms, and letters written to powerful officials. Pickowicz used these writings as key sources for two books and several articles including: Chinese Village, Socialist State (Yale 1991) and Revolution, Resistance, and Reform in Village China (Yale, 2005).
    Geng had a stroke in 1995, which forced him to stop writing. He died in 1999.

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    The Geng Xiufeng Diaries, comprised of 55 bound, handwritten diaries and one folder of loose pages, were written by Geng Xiufeng from 1944 to 1992. The diaries, written in Chinese, document Geng's life in the village of Wugong, China, as well as his thoughts on the government and agricultural reforms directed by the state.
    Volumes were numbered by Paul Pickowicz and are arranged in numerical order by those numbers. Several of the volumes have dates in English on the cover or first page. These are noted when they occur, but may not represent the entire date range within.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 2010.

    Preferred Citation

    Geng Xiufeng Diaries, MSS 718. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Agricultural laborers
    Agriculture and state -- China
    Agriculture -- China
    Geng, Xiufeng -- Archives