Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Hu Shih Diaries, 1892-1935

Summary Information


The Hu Shih diaries comprises six microfilm reels of diaries by Hu Shih, a Chinese philosopher, essayist, educator, scholar, and diplomat of the 20th century. Materials include in the collection are Hu Shih's diaries, which contain correspondence, news clippings, lecture notes, letters dating from 1921 to 1935, as well as the writings of Hu Shih's father, Hu Chuan, who was a civil official of the Qing Imperial Court.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1950
Bib ID 13527751 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Hu, Shi, 1891-1962 ; Hu, Chuan, 1841-1895
Title Hu Shih Diaries, 1892-1935
Physical Description 6 Reels
Language(s) Chinese .

This collection is located on-site. This collection has no restrictions.



Arranged in original order.


Content Description

The Hu Shih diaries contain 6 microfilm reels of selected pages from Hu Shih's diaries, which include correspondence, notes, writings, dating from 1921 to 1935, as well as the papers of Hu Shih's father, Hu Chuan, related his political career as an official of the Qing Imperial Court. Materials in the Hu Chuan papers include his original writings, survey reports during his time as an official in Taiwan from 1892 to 1895 prior to the First Sino-Japanese war, a memorial tribute among other writings. The Hu Shih diaries contains his daily written entries of his life, and correspondence, letters, news clippings he collected. His diaries also include reading notes, travel notes, and lecture notes, as well as his writings relating to China Foundation, redology, cultural movements, political thoughts, literary reviews, etc.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is located on-site. This collection has no restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Hu Shih diaries; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Material

Chinese oral history project collection, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University. Finding Aid. This collection contains administrative information related to the project, including the interviewee files relating to Hu Shih's interviews.

Hu Shih papers at Cornell University, #41-5-2578. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library. Web page.

Reminiscences of Hu Shih, 胡適口述回憶錄

Hu Shih archive at the Hu Shih Memorial Hall, Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica. Home page.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Separated from the Chinese oral history project collection due to the papers' historical and research value and to allow better discovery and access. Finding aid created by Yingwen Huang, September 2018. Container list derived from an index created by Hu Shih's oral history interviewer, Te-Kong Tong.

Revision Description

2018-09-30 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Diaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lecture notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Manuscripts (documents) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Notes Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Beijing da xue Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Buddhism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Cai, Yuanpei, 1868-1940 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chiang, Monlin, 1886-1964 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
China -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese language -- Study and teaching (Higher) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese literature -- History and criticism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese literature -- Philosophy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Dewey, John, 1859-1952 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Education, Higher -- China Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Europe -- Description and travel Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Language and culture -- China Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Letters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Philosophy, Chinese -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Taiwan -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Writing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Hu Chuan (Chinese: 胡傳; original name: Hu Shan, 胡珊; courtesy name: Tiehua, 鐵花; alias: Dunfu, 鈍夫) was born in Anhui province, 1841. He was a scholar and an official of the Qing Imperial Court. He came from a tea merchant family in Huizhou. During his youth, he studied excessively while helping out with his family's business. In 1881, he traveled alone to the Northeastern region of China and was later involved in politics. He assumed civil positions in Guangdong, Hainan, Zhengzhou, and Jiangsu. In 1890, He returned to his hometown and married Feng Shundi (馮順弟), who was 17 years old at the time. The following year, the Chinese philosopher and scholar, Hu Shih, was born. In 1892, Hu was appointed the chief commissioner to Taiwan where he oversaw all cultural and military affairs. He stayed in Taiwan for three years until the First Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1894 during which Taiwan was ceded to Japan. He later died in Xiamen, at the age of 55.

Hu Shih (pinyin: Hu, Shi; Wade Giles: Hu, Shih; Traditional Chinese: 胡適; Simplified Chinese: 胡适; original name: Hongxing, 洪騂; courtesy name: Shizhi, 適之) was born in Shanghai, 1891. In 1910, he began studying abroad at Cornell University, and received his BA in philosophy and literature in 1914. He later attended Columbia University and studied philosophy under Professor John Dewey. Hu Shih soon became Dewey's translator and helped with his 1919-1921 lecture in China. He later devote his life to the advocacy for pragmatic changes. After returning to China, Hu became the one of the leaders during the May Fourth Movement and the New Culture Movement. He was the main advocate for the use of written vernacular Chinese in contrast to the obsolete classical Chinese. He also made contribution to redology (the study of a classical novel, the Dream of the Red Chamber). From 1938 to 1942, he was an ambassador to the U.S. He served as the chancellor of Peking University between 1946 and 1948. In 1957, he served as the president of the Academia Sinica. He died in Taipei, 1962 at the age of 70.