Western Medicine in China, 1800-1950

Guide to Collections at Yale University

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Archives of organizations and institutions

Personal papers

Reports and periodicals

Published material

This guide was created in connection with the Western Medicine in China, 1800-1950 project: http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/wmicproject.

Primary source materials documenting Western medicine in China can be found in the following repositories at Yale:

For additional information on the collections listed in this guide, contact the staff of the repository where they are located, or submit the general research assistance form.

NB: Names listed in the guide are as they appear in the documents; in most cases we have not attempted to supply pinyin versions of names.


Yale University has a long history of interaction with China. Yale graduate Peter Parker was first full-time Protestant medical missionary to China, arriving in Canton in 1834. The Yale-China Association was founded in 1901 as the Yale Foreign Missionary Society by a group of Yale graduates and faculty members. The founders chose China as the focus of their work, in part to honor the memory of a Yale graduate from the class of 1892, Horace Tracy Pitkin, who had worked in China as a missionary and was killed in 1900 during the Boxer Uprising. In the early 1970s, the Yale Divinity School Library, which was already world-renowned for its documentation of the missionary movement, was chosen as the central repository for the China Records Project, a project that sought to collect papers of missionaries to China from varied denominational backgrounds. Manuscript holdings of the Yale libraries are complemented by extensive published holdings.

Yale archival collections on China are dispersed among three repositories: the Divinity School Library, Manuscripts and Archives at Sterling Memorial Library, and the Medical Historical Library. The Divinity School Library's archival holdings on China primarily date from the 1830s to the 1950s and document Protestant missionary work in China. In addition to personal papers, the Divinity Library also holds archives of schools and organizations active in China, including hospitals and medical schools. The holdings of Manuscripts and Archives described in this guide primarily relate to the work of the Yale-China Association and individuals who were engaged in medical work in China under the Association. A guide to China-related collections at Manuscripts and Archives is available at http://guides.library.yale.edu/chinasubjectguide. The Medical Historical Library holdings on China include the papers of Peter Parker and the paintings of patients at Canton Hospital which Parker commissioned Chinese artist Lam Qua to paint.

This guides describes holdings in four categories: Archives of organizations and institutions, Personal papers, Reports and periodicals, and Published material.

Archives of organizations and institutions

Original format archival collections are listed first, followed by microfilm and microfiche collections that contain documentation related to Western medicine in China.

Original format collections:

Microform collections:

Personal Papers

Reports and periodicals

Sampling of published memoirs, biographies, etc.

See the online catalog for a complete listing: http://orbis.library.yale.edu