Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

William Yukon Chang papers, 1920-2010

Summary Information

Abstract

William Yukon Chang was the founder and editor of "Chinese-American Times", a Chinese American paper that published completely in English from 1955 to 1972. While running the newspaper, Chang also served in local social and civic groups to address issues facing the New York Chinatown community, including poverty, juvenile delinquency, mental illness and lack of access to adult language programs. The William Yukon Chang papers document Chang's life and career, Chinese American life, and social service and activism scene in the Lower East Side from the 1950s to the 1970s.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1959
Bib ID 13586803 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Chang, William Yukon
Title William Yukon Chang papers, 1920-2010
Physical Description 46 Linear Feet (27 record cartons, 5 flat boxes, and 2 small gray boxes)
Language(s) English, Chinese, Spanish (Material is primarily in English with some items in Chinese and very few in Spanish)
Access

This collection has no restrictions, but box 30 and box 33 are closed for further processing.

This collection is located onsite.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and Contents

The William Yukon Chang papers contains a variety of materials that document Chang's life and career.The collection holds many of Chang's China Press columns and a scrapbook that Chang made using clippings from the Ching Chow comics published by the News Syndicate Co. Inc. The collection documents Chang's personal life with its extensive holding of photographs and scrapbooks related to his family and life in Honolulu, Shanghai, and New York. There are also rare photos of the Tang family in different parts of China, as well as yearbooks and scrapbooks that pertain to May Tang's travels and schooling in the United States.The collection's CAT series consists of every issue of the newspaper (except February 1965), voluminous correspondence, photographs and subscribers index, and advertisement printing plates, checks and receipts. The collection's newspaper and magazine clippings, organizational memorandums, meeting minutes, and reports, journals, business directories, and photographs offer insights into Chinese American life and social service and activism in post-World War II Lower East Side. The papers also includes community studies and reports on issues such as education, housing, juvenile delinquency, mental health and substance abuse.

  • Series I: Chinese-American Times (CAT), 1955-2005

    This series includes a complete set of the CAT newspaper (except the February 1965 issue), photos that were used in the paper, and CAT subscribers' index, printing plates, and financial documents. This series also contains the editor's correspondence with subscribers and writers for the paper.

  • Series II: Writings and Research Files, 1920-2008

    Files include Chang's China Press columns and other published and unpublished writings, research notes, collected newspapers and magazines that cover topics including Chinatown, Asian American history, the Lower East Side, China, and the Pacific War, Chin Chow comic clippings, and published novels, poems and textbooks.

  • Series III: Community and Professional Activities, 1940-2010

    This series contains Chang's letters from working as a secretary for the Tsung Tsin Benevolent Association, journals from the Soo Yuen Benevolent Association, and reports, publications, and correspondence from the Two Bridges education programs. The series also includes Chang's correspondence with and photos and publications from various community groups and organizations, including the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, Lower Eastside Neighborhood Association, Hamilton-Madison House and Chatham Green Cooperative.The last two subseries contain yellow pages of New York City, tourist guides, restaurant menus and books on education.

  • Series IV: Personal Life, 1930-2007

    This series includes many volumes of photo albums that document William Chang and May Tang's early life and schooling and travels with their family and friends. It also contains transcripts, education certificates, and school directories from Chang and Tang's undergraduate and graduate schools. There are also voluminous correspondence with family and friends and scrapbooks with photos, receipts, and telegrams that document the Chang family's everyday life in Shanghai, Honolulu, Minnesota and New York City.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

This collection has no restrictions, but box 30 and box 33 are closed for further processing.

This collection is located onsite.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); William Yukon Chang Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

The Museum of Chinese in America holds a related collection of Willian Yukon Chang materials.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Hongdeng Gao. Finding aid written by Hongdeng Gao in October 2019.

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.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fliers (printed matter) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Newspapers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Printing plates Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Chang, William Yukon Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinatowns Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese -- United States -- Societies, etc -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese American Times Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Chinese Americans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Education -- New York (State) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emigration and immigration -- United States -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Fraternal organizations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tang, Enbo, 1899-1954 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Tang, Kou Mei Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Two Bridges Neighborhood Council Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

William Yukon Chang was the founder and editor of "Chinese-American Times", a Chinese American paper that published completely in English. A Chinese American from Hawai'i, Chang graduated from St. John's University in Shanghai. After college, he worked for the Republic of China's news agency and the popular English-language China Press. As the Chinese civil war raged, Chang returned to the U.S. and earned an M.A. in education from New York University. He married Tang Kou Mei, the first daughter of the Nationalist general Tang Enbo and an exchange student at St. Mary's College, Winona in 1952 and raised three daughters, Dallas, Marina and Priscilla. He began publishing the CAT (as it became known) in 1955. By focusing on community betterment and staying politically neutral, William Yukon Chang kept his newspaper going until the early 1970s. By that point, many in the English-speaking second generation had moved out of New York City, as so many people did during this period. Because of the Immigration Act of 1965, thousands of new Chinese immigrants–at the time mostly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia–were making New York their home, but they sought Chinese-language papers rather than English ones. And by the early 1970s, Chang had been writing, editing, and publishing the paper for almost two decades, so he eventually decided to end the CAT's run. While running the newspaper, Chang also served in local social and civic groups, including Tsung Tsin Benevolent Association, the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, Hamilton-Madison House, and Manhattan Borough President's Planning Board No.1.