|Rare Book & Manuscript Library|
At a Glance
The materials are arranged into two series.
The Chen Gongbo Papers include original correspondence, reproductions, printed materials, and biographical information, collected and organized by his son Kan Chen. The collection details his academic study at Columbia (1923-1924), his governmental work, and his detainment, trial, and execution. The latter includes letters written to Chiang Kai-chek while Chen Gongbo was awaiting trial and execution. More personal materials include the manuscript of his five volume memoir"Bitter Smile" poetry, and material relating to his wife.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
This collection has no restrictions.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Chen Gongbo Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Selected Related Materials
Two additional copies of the CD-ROM disk are held by the Starr East Asian Library ( DS777.488.C484 A2 2003a ).
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Manuscript of "Bitter Smile" donated to Columbia by his widow, Li-cheong Chen (Shun Mi Chen). Date of acquisition--1967.
Source of acquisition--Remainder of collection donated in by his son, Kan Chen. Date of acquisition--2003.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Papers Processed 02/18/2018 by Kevin Schlottmann
"Bitter Smile" manuscript and "The Communist Movement in China" pamphlet removed from the general Author's Manuscript Collection and added to this collection (Box 2, Folders 4-6) kws 02/18/2018.
Two copies of a CD-ROM disk, containing a slide show of selected digitized documents from the collection in JPEG format, and bundled with a viewer software called FlipAlbum, removed to the born-digital collection. Arranged and described in 2003 by Kan Chen, Chen Gongbo's son. This finding aid is based on his description.
2018-02-26 xml document instance created by Kevin Schlottmann
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Chen Gongbo (Chen Gong-Bo, Chen Kung-Po, Ch'en Kung-Po, 陳公博) was born October 19, 1892 (sometimes incorrectly given as 1890). He studied at Peking National University, graduating in 1920. After a brief period as a journalist, he came to New York and studied at Columbia (1923-1924). His Master's degree thesis was titled "The Communist Movement in China." A Chinese politician with an extensive resumé both in and outside of government, Chen Gongbo was a founding member of the Chinese Communist Party, but left the CCP to join the leftist faction of the Kuomintang and became a close associate of Wang Jingwei and a vocal critic of Chiang Kai-shek from the mid-1920s onward. He served minister of industry (1932-35) and was a leader in the Japanese-sponsored government in Nanking (1940-1945), serving as the president of the Legislative Yuan, the Mayor of Shanghai, and the member of the Kuomintang Central Executive Committee. Even though Chen did not agree with the Peace Movement and opposed the Sino-Japanese Basic Relations Treaty, Wang's separation from the Kuomintang and establishment of the Nanjing Nationalist Government, Chen remained with Wang for both pragmatic and personal reasons. After Wang's death in Japan in 1944, Chen became the second and final premier and chairman of the Nationalist Government. In 1946, he was declared a hanjian (traitor to China) and executed by firing squad in June 1946.
For more information, see the Ch'en Kung-Po entry in the Biographical Dictionary of Republican China (New York:Columbia University Press, 1967)