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4. NOTES 1For a description of eight historical journals see Chinese Republican Studies Newsletter V, No. 1 (Oct. 1979). For the status of scholarship see George Braybrooke, "Recent Developments in Chinese Social Science, 1977-79." CQ, No. 79 (Sept. 1979), 593-607, and Frederick Wakeman, "Historiography in China After the Gang of Four," CQ, No·. 76 (Dec. 1978). 891-911. 21tems 33, No. 2 (June, 1979), published by the Social Science Research Council. Professor Li was part of a delegration from the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences. 3 )~ His introduction was published in Lishi Jiaoxue ~/ t ~( '~ 1979, No. 2, 62-63. 4The separation of the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences from the Chinese Academy of Sciences had occurred by September, 1977. See Braybrooke, p. 59-60, n. 9. See also Philip c.c. Huang, "Current Research on Ming-Qing and Modern History in China," Modern China 5, No. 4 (Oct. 1979), 509. 5see Li Xin, "The Project on the History of the Republic of China," Modern China 5, No. 4 (Oct. 1979), 532-33. 6 Commentary on them and a list of those already completed or in progress are listed in Huang, "Current Research," pp. 521-522. Chinese and English texts of this important list of topics are available from the Center for Chinese Research Materials, 1527 New Hampshire Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20036. 7These data are largely from a press release of the Committee on Scholarly Communication (Aug. 2, 1979) provided by Halsey Beemer of their staff. * * COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY'S CHINESE ORAL HISTORY PROJECT c. Martin Wilbur, Columbia Univer&ity * * . Scholars interested in China during the first half of the Twentieth Century may be interested in the results of the Chinese Oral History Project carried on for seventeen years by the East Asian Institute of Columbia University. Here are life histories of important Chinese political figures, generals, bankers, diplomats, educators and scholars, as well as leaders of the Kuomintang and the Young China Party, all now in English translation, and in many cases accompanied by unique collections of their papers. In 1957 I became impressed with the possibility of enriching the historical record through interviewing eminent Chinese in the New York area in the way that my colleague, Professor Allen Nevins, was doing with prominent Americans. Happily, Professor Franklin L. Ho agreed to be co-director of the project, for his prestige and contacts were important in persuading prominent Chinese to become our subjects. At the time such life-history interviewing was not common. Oral history may be done intensively or extensively. The American Oral History Project at Columbia worked extensively, interviewing and transcribing the recollections of hundreds of persons, but providing minimal research and editorial assistance . Professor Ho and I decided on an intensive approach, concentrating on a few outstanding persona but trying to produce accurate and detailed autobiographies. In selecting ataff we looked for persons well trained in modern Chinese history who would bring knowledge and research ability to the interview process. They should be able to draw out the maximum of information, and also to check the account for 5. accuracy. Most were necessarily bilingual. The scholar-interviewers had the allimportant task of organizing disjointed and sometimes rambling verbal accounts, recorded on tape, into a logical, coherent pattern--that is, to create a book. They became collaborators and were also translators. Interviews ranged from several months to many years, and were conducted in New York and Hong Kong. To encourage frankness, each author was told at the beginning that he had the right to "close" the manuscript until some date or event. Each edited and organized autobiography was submitted to its author for correction and written approval for deposit in Columbia's manuscript library. Most of our authors made their way into Biographical Dictionary of Republican China (BDRC). Our main scholar-interviewers during the years were Miss Julie Lien-ying How (now Mrs. Hwa), Dr. Te-kong Tong, Dr. Minta Chou Wang, Dr. Kai-fu Tsao, Mrs. Lillian Chu Chin, Dr. James Seymour, and Mrs. Crystal Lorch Seidman. The achievements of the project are mainly due to their knowledge, persistence, and tact; but they were helped by many others, including several hardworking typists and editors...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1940-5065
Print ISSN
1521-5385
Pages
pp. 4-10
Launched on MUSE
2021-05-25
Open Access
No
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