This collection includes correspondence, receipts, ledgers, and other bound volumes that afford insights into commerce among
members of California's Chinese community in San Joaquin and Yuba Counties during the late nineteenth and early twentieth
centuries. It also contains a Chinese dictionary and a fortune telling book.
The Chinese presence in California dates back to the eighteenth century, but not until the era of California's Gold Rush did
it include significant numbers. Overwhelmingly male and attracted by economic opportunities, those who arrived in the nineteenth
century made their most visible marks as laborers in the gold fields, on railroads, and in agriculture. Others operated businesses
that catered to the preferences of the Chinese community, which maintained its distinctiveness in the face of racism, ostricism,
and discrimination embedded in white society and the legal structure of California and the United States.
The library can only claim physical ownership of the collection. Users are responsible for satisfying any claimants of literary
Collection is open for research by appointment.