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   International Institute of Rural Reconstruction Records, 1914-1999, 2013-2018

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Preferred Citation

IIRR Records. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Bib ID:4079905 View CLIO record
Creator(s):International Institute of Rural Reconstruction.
Title:International Institute of Rural Reconstruction Records, 1914-1999, 2013-2018
Physical description:163 linear ft (ca. 160,000 items in 271 boxes; 8 Audio Visual boxes; 17 Flat boxes; & 6 Tube boxes)
Language(s): English and Chinese.
Access: The following boxes are located off-site: 1-166 and 1-108. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »



Selected materials cataloged; remainder arranged. Boxes A-D: Cataloged correspondence; Boxes 1-161: Arranged correspondence & other records; Boxes 162-166: Printed materials; Oversize box: Blueprints, plans, photographs, & maps; Map case 14-13-6: maps. Addition, Boxes 1-108.

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Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, lectures, notes, diaries, notebooks, reports, financial records, blueprints, photographs, and printed materials of Y.C. James Yen and the IIRR concerned with the development, sharing, and financing innovative methods of teaching, improving agriculture, health and family planning, and education in impoverished villages. Among the cataloged correspondents are: Pearl Buck, William O. Douglas, Nelson Rockefeller, and DeWitt Clinton.

The Addition conprises correspondence, reports, financial records, photographs, slides, negatives, contact sheets, photograph albums, scrapbooks, reel to reel films, videocassettes, reel to reel audio tape, tape cassettes, printed materials, maps, works of art, posters, and Chinese calligraphy of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction. This collection is an addition to previously donated and processed IIRR materials. This addition focuses heavily on IIRR's outposts in various countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and houses the bulk of IIRR's photographic, audio visual material, and memorabilia including the awards of Dr. Y.C. James Yen.

Series XII Personal & Career

Note: Y. C. James Yen's awards, biographical notes, medical, citizenship, birthday events, memorial services, Y. C. James Yen's will, fellowships Yen established in honor of his teacher Rev. Aldis, and his friend James Stewart, his replies to criticisms, and institutional problems

Series XVI IIRR International

Note: Exploration Files, and Responses to Reader's Digest (Selections) Article on Dr. Yen

Series XIX Printed Materials

Note: IIRR brochures, annual reports, and other publicity publications

Subseries XIX.2 Annual Reports

Note: In brown folder


Published by IIRR and Scaife Family Charitable Trust

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Using the Collection

Partially Offsite

Access Restrictions

 The following boxes are located off-site: 1-166 and 1-108. You will need to request this material from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the Librarian for Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Preferred Citation

IIRR Records. Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Columbia University.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Records Processed 05/12/1998 HR

Records Processed 05/20/1998 HR

Records Processed by 2005 Molly Monosky, Annie Grunow, Alexsander Gelfand, and Rebecca Farber

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion July 7, 2009 Finding aid written in English.
    2009-07-07 File created.
    2018-04-09 XML document instance updated by Catherine C. Ricciardi. Addition of archived web site.
    2019-03-25 dsc-level genreform tags moved into scopecontent notes, before AS migration. kws

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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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Annual reports.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Appointment books.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architectural drawings.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Financial records.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Greeting cards.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Manuscripts for publication.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Press releases.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Tax returns.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
Adult education teachers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Adult education--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Adult education--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Agricultural education--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Agricultural education--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Agricultural teachers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Altschul, Frank, 1887-1981.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Cooperating Committees.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American-Chinese Committee of the Mass Education Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American-Chinese Cooperating Committee.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Area specialists.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Astor, Brooke.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Benton, William, 1900-1973.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Blaine, Anita McCormick.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Blair, William McCormack.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Bowles, Chester, 1901-1986.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Buckley, James Lane, 1923-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chen, Cheng, 1898-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chen, Qizi.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Development--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Economic conditions.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
China--Rural conditions--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chinese Americans.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chinese Mass Education MovementPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chinese National Association of Mass Education Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Chinese--United States--Societies, etc.--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
College of Rural Reconstruction.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Community development--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Community development--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Davidson, Carter, 1905-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Developing countries specialists.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Dewey, John, 1859-1952.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Douglas, Helen Gahagan, 1900-1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Douglas, William O. (William Orville), 1898-1980.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic assistance, American.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development projects--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development projects--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development--China--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development--Philippines--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Economic development--Taiwan.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Field, Marshall, 1893-1956.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fundamental education--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Fundamental education--Philippines.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hocking, William Ernest, 1873-1966.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hoffman, Paul G. (Paul Gray), 1891-1974.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hutchins, William S., 1871-1958.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
International Committee of the Mass Education Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
International Mass Education Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Jimmy Yen's Rural Reconstuction Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kaltenborn, H. v. (Hans), 1878-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Koo, V. K. Wellington, 1888-1985.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Kuo, Ping Wen, 1880-1969.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lasker, Mary W.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Latin America--Economic conditions--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lehman, Herbert H. (Herbert Henry), 1878-1963.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lehman, Herbert H.,--Mrs.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lovett, Robert A. (Robert Abercrombie), 1895-1986.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lu, Zuofu, 1893-1952.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Marshall, George C. (George Catlett), 1880-1959.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
McCloy, John J. (John Jay), 1895-1989.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mellon, Paul.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Moe, Henry Allen, 1894-1975.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Moynihan, Daniel P. (Daniel Patrick), 1927-2003.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Myers, William Irving, 1891-1976.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Non-governmental organizations.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Paley, William S. (William Samuel), 1901-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Penney, J. C. (James Cash), 1875-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Philippines--Rural conditions--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public health personnel.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public health--China--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Public health--Philippines--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reading teachers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reagan, Ronald.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reconstruction (1939-1951)--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reid, Whitelaw.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Reuther, Walter, 1907-1970.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rockefeller, David, 1915-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1874-1960.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rockefeller, John D., 1906-1978.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rosin, Alex G.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Scherman, Harry,--db.1887-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Schultz, Theodore W. (Theodore William), 1902-1998.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Skouros, Spyros P.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Soong, T. V. (Tzu-wen), 1894-1971.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Swope, Gerard, 1872-1957.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Taft, Charles P. (Charles Phelps), 1897-1983.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States.--Agency for International Development.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
United States.--China Aid Act of 1948.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Vanderbilt, William H. (William Henry), 1901-1981.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wallace, DeWitt, 1889-1981.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wallace, Lila Acheson, 1887-1984.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Walsh, Richard J., 1912-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Watson, Thomas John, 1874-1956.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Wilbur, Ray L. (Ray Lyman), 1875-1949.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
World War, 1939-1945--Economic aspects--China.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Xie, Fuya, 1892-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Yen, Y. C. James, b. 1893.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zhang, Qun, 1889?-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zhang, Zhizhong, 1890-1969.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zhonghua ping min jiao yu cu jin hui.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Zhu, Jiahua, 1893-1963.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note


The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) was founded in 1960 to combat rural poverty worldwide. Its head and founder is Dr. Y.C. James Yen. It deals with the problems of poverty, illiteracy, disease, and misgovernment in China, the Philippines, and other third world countries, and promotes American aid programs. Y.C. James Yen was born in 1893 in Sichuan Province, China. He graduated from Yale University in 1918, and later studied at Princeton University. During early experience as a Y.M.C.A. teacher in France among Chinese workers in 1919, Dr. Yen recognized the need for Chinese workers, traditionally a lower and undereducated class in their native country, to have basic reading and writing skills. He set about teaching them basic Chinese characters, enabling them to communicate with family members back home. Inspired by his success, he returned home to China. In 1923, he became the head of the Chinese National Association of the Mass Education Movement (later, the Chinese Mass Education Movement) and its fund raising arm, the American Cooperating Committee. Together these organizations supported the College of Rural Reconstruction in China. During World War II, Yen returned to the US and organized the American-Chinese Cooperating Committee (later the American-Chionese Committee of the Mass Education Movement) to secure American support and funding for his educational efforts in China. His committee was responsible for the China Aid Act of 1948 (otherwise known as the "Jimmy Yen Act") and the creation of the Chinese-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction.

After China turned to communism, Dr. Yen turned his attentions to the Philippines and other, smaller, nations in need. He formed the International Committee of the Mass Education Movement, later known as both the International Mass Education Movement (IMEM) and Jimmy Yen's Rural Reconstruction Movement (JYRRM). These organizations merged into the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction in 1960. The IIRR headquarters in the Philippines acted as the driving force behind a number of smaller movements in other countries. These movements included the Colombia Rural Reconstruction Movement (CRRM, MCRR), the Guatemala Rural Reconstruction Movement (GRRM, MGRR), the Ghana Rural Reconstruction Movement (GhRRM), the Indian Rural Reconstruction Movement (IRRM), the Korean Rural Reconstruction Movement (KRRM), and the Thailand Rural Reconstruction Movement (TRRM) to name a few. Dr. Y.C. James Yen died in 1990. He was survived by his movement, which still has regional centers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America as well as its headquarters in the Philippines.

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