In 2018, Professor Chou Wen-chung donated the Center’s 40-year archive of files to the C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University. The collection has been accessioned into the Library’s East Asian Special Collection and will be available for research use in the latter part of 2020. The C.V. Starr East Asian Library, dating back to 1902, is renowned as one of the major collections for the study of East Asia in the United States.
Comprised of seventy-five cartons of records, the Center for US-China Arts Exchange Collection is rich with a wide range of materials. Early correspondence between Chou Wen-chung, government officials in China and leaders in the arts in the 1970’s and 1980’s provide an unusual window into the country during a unique period in cultural history. Hand-written reports and letters from prominent artists describing their first adventures outside of China, and trip reports written by American visitors illustrate unexpected discoveries and changing mindsets. Personal memorabilia include items a copy of the novel “Jia” signed by author Ba Jin and commemorated to American writer Henry Wouk who visited Beijing in 1982.
The Center for US-China Arts Exchange Collection is located off-site. Readers must request the materials from the East Asian Library at least five business days in advance in order to view the materials in the Rare Books and Special Collections reading room. Single copies may be made for research purposes. The Library’s “finding tool” created for the collection will facilitate research requests.
The C.V. Starr East Asian Library is located on the campus of Columbia University in 300 Kent Hall, at 1140 Amsterdam Avenue.