Zhang Hongtu Papers

Zhang Hongtu picDate Range: 19742011
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-08-05
Creator: Zhang, Hongtu (1943-)

History: Born in China’s Kansu Province in 1943, Zhang Hongtu studied at the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts in Beijing. The Chinese Civil War and the Cultural Revolution presented many difficult challenges to Zhang, not only because of his family’s Muslim background, but also because of shifting perceptions of artists and intellectuals. His schooling was cut short, and he was assigned to do farm work in the countryside. A few years later, he was assigned to make jewelry to be sold to Westerners. Throughout this period, Zhang continued making art. After participating in a group exhibition sometimes called the “Contemporaries Group,” Zhang moved to the United States in 1982, his wife and son joining him a few years later. He studied at the Art Students League in New York City and later became an artist-in-residence at the Asian American Arts Centre. Read more

George Yuzawa Papers

GY_GradDate Range: 19082009
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-09-14
Creator: Yuzawa, George

History: George Katsumi Yuzawa was born in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 1915. George’s immigrant parents named their Nisei son after the first president of their adopted country, George Washington (whose birthday was a day later on February 22). His parents, Tamasaburo “James” and Bun “Mary” Yuzawa, immigrated to the United States from Nagano, Japan. In 1917, James Yuzawa established the Vermont Flower Shop in downtown Los Angeles near the University of Southern California campus. He served a term as president of the Southern California Floral Association.As a young man, George was a founding member of Boy Scout Troop 64 in Los Angeles and achieved the rank of Life Scout.

William F. Wu Comic Book Collection


will wu coverDate Range:
 19421986
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2009-04-08
Creator: Wu, William F. (1951-)

History: William F. Wu is a Chinese-American science-fiction writer who has published thirteen novels and more than fifty short stories. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Wu attended the University of Michigan as an undergraduate, and later returned to earn his Ph.D in American Culture. During this time he became active in East Wind, an Asian American student group. His doctoral dissertation titled The Yellow Peril (1981) documents evolving depictions of Chinese and Chinese-Americans in American fiction.Wu has been nominated for the Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award and the Hugo Award, twice individually and once as a member of the Wild Cards. Hong on the Range, set in a futuristic version of the wild west, was chosen for the Wilson Library Bulletin’s list of science fiction “Books Too Good To Miss” and was a selection for the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young People, the New York Public Library’s Recommended Books for the Teen Age, and was also a Young Adult Editor’s Choice by Booklist Magazine.

Martin Wong Papers


Date Range:
 19821999
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2008-12-01
Creator: Wong, Martin (1946-1999)

History: Acclaimed Chinese American artist Martin Wong (1946-1999) is best known for his cityscapes of New York’s Chinatown and the Lower East Side, his championing of graffiti art as a legitimate art form in the 1980s and ‘90s, and his incorporation of homoerotic sensibilities into his paintings. Wong was born in Portland, Oregon on July 11, 1946. He grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown district and attended Humboldt State University, graduating in 1968 from its Art Studio program with a focus on ceramics. He was involved in the Bay Area’s performance art scene through the 1970s, but after moving to New York in the early 1980s, began to focus almost exclusively on painting. Read more

United Automobile Workers of America, District 65 Photographs

Basebll Protest

Date Range: 19381969
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-05-20
Creator: United Automobile Workers of America, District 65

History: District Council 65 of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) began as a group of Jewish laborers working in dry goods warehouses in the Lower East Side of New York City. The union became a local of the Wholesale Dry Goods Employees Union in 1935 before affiliating with the Distributive Trades Council of New York and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Its affiliation with the UAW began in 1979. In later years, the union’s membership grew beyond the warehouse and retail workers to include white-collar workers in publishing and universities. The union remained active until bankruptcy forced the union to close in 1994. Read more

Oral History of the American Left: Radical Histories Collection

Date Range: 19201980
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2008-10-24
Creator: Tamiment Library

History: The Oral History of the American Left (OHAL) project was started in 1976 by the Tamiment Library at New York University. The purpose of this project was to expand the archive of American labor and radicalism through the creation of “living documents;” the memories of veteran activists. After receiving major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1982, the project conducted a sweeping oral history of ethnic-immigrant radicalism, its press and fraternal organizations. The NEH grant also enabled OHAL to collect hundreds of hours of interviews made by filmmakers on American anarchism, the Hollywood blacklist, the Communist Party, the Columbia University student strike of 1968, and other subjects. Read more

Yoland Skeete Research Files on Newark Chinatown

Newark014Date Range: 19992009
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-05-06
Creator: Sumei Multidisciplinary Center

History: Founded in 1993 by a group of artists, musicians, and writers, the Sumei Multidisciplinary Arts Center aims to support emerging and established artists through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, workshops, and residencies. Sumei serves as a platform for artists around the world to connect with communities in Newark, and provides educational programming and art workshops for elementary to college age youth throughout the area. The organization aims to be a space for community building and engagement through art, writing, video, and performance. Read more

Harley Spiller Menu Collection

Date Range: 18792009
Survey Conducted: Mon, 2009-03-16
Creator: Spiller, Harley (1960-)

History: Harley Spiller (1960- ) moved to New York after college in 1981 to pursue a career in the museum field. A native of Buffalo, NY and a graduate of Northwestern University, the self-described “meat and potatoes” Spiller was promptly introduced to the diverse cuisine of New York City. He received a job as an administrative assistant for the curatorial department of the Jewish Museum, and with his tight annual salary, found himself going to Chinatown to buy inexpensive food. According to Guinness World Records, he now holds the largest menu collection in private hands.

South Asian Women’s Creative Collective Records

Date Range: 19972009
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2009-11-10
Creator: South Asian Women’s Creative Collective

History: In 1997, Jaishri Abichandani founded the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) to foster a sense of community among South Asian women artists and creative professionals in New York City. Fourteen women, who were invited through community-based organizations such as Sakhi for South Asian Women and the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA), attended SAWCC’s first meeting in the offices of the Sister Fund. In March 1998, the collective held its first annual fundraiser and art show, “Karma Kollage,” which drew a crowd of over 300. Soon, SAWCC, the only New York–based South Asian arts organization at the time, began meeting monthly at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, providing a space for members to collaborate, network, share their work, and gain exposure.

South Asian Journalists Association Records

Date Range: 19942010
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-02-09
Creator: South Asian Journalists Association

History: In the Spring of 1994, four South Asian journalists and friends met in a New York City restaurant and founded the South Asian Journalists Association—an organization committed to providing networking opportunities for journalists of South Asian descent and those with an interest in South Asia and its diaspora. Among them was Sreenath Sreenivasan, now Dean of Student Affairs and Professor of Professional Practice in the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, in whose office SAJA’s records reside. By 1995, the organization had 200 New York City-based members and was hosting monthly meetings. Members included correspondents, reporters, and editors for South Asia-based publications (e.g. Associated Press of Pakistan, India Today), ethnic media outlets based in the United States (e.g. India Abroad, Minaret), and mainstream news sources (e.g. Time, Wall Street Journal). Read more