Fonds RBSC-ARC-1710 - Jim Wong-Chu fonds

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Jim Wong-Chu fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Title based on creator of fonds.

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  • [191-]-2010; predominate 1970-2010 (Creation)
    Wong-Chu, Jim

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Physical description

3.11 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator

(1949 - 2017)

Biographical history

Jim Wong-Chu was a writer, photographer, historian, radio producer, community organizer and activist, editor, and literary and cultural engineer. He was born in 1949 in Hong Kong. In 1953, he was sent to live with this aunt and uncle in Canada as a "paper son", a term which referred to the practice of children who immigrated to the Canada by using real or falsified identification papers of relatives living in Canada. He was sent back to live with his parents in Hong Kong in 1957 out of concern that his paper son identity might be discovered by government authorities. However he returned to live with his aunt and uncle in Canada in 1961.

He attended Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) with a focus on photography and design from 1975-1981. He also attended the University of British Columbia for creative writing from 1985-1987.

He worked as a letter carrier for the Canada Post from 1975 until his retirement in 2013. However he also worked as an associate editor for Douglas and McIntyre and presently works as an associate editor for Arsenal Pulp Press. He also did consulting work for various community organizations as well as film and television productions and literary publications.

He was a founding member of various community and cultural organizations including: Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop (ACWW), Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society/explorASIAN, the Pender Guy Radio Program, Asia Canadian Performing Arts Resource (ACPAR), Ricepaper magazine, and literASIAN: A Festival of Pacific Rim Asian Canadian Writing.

In addition to founding many community and cultural organizations, he was also involved in explorAsian (Vancouver Asian Heritage Month), Go for Broke Festival, B.C. Sinfonetta Society, Federation of British Columbia Writers, The Chinese Community Library Association, B.C. Heritage Trust and the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. He also served on juries and advisory panels for various government grants and book prizes including the Vancouver Book Prize, B.C. Book Prize, and Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize, and Multiculturalism Canada publishing grants.

He was the recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal from the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Canada Post Silver Postmark Award.

Selected Written Publications: Inspection of a House Paid in Full (author), Chinatown Ghosts (author), A Brief History of Asian North America (author), Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Fiction (co-editor), Inalienable Rice: A Chinese and Japanese Canadian Anthology (contributor), Many-Mouthed Birds: Contemporary Writing by Chinese Canadians (co-editor), Millennium Messages: An Anthology of Asian Canadian Writing (contributor), and Swallowing Clouds: An Anthology of Chinese-Canadian Poetry (co-editor). He has also had written works published in West Coast Review, Bridge, Mainstream, New Shoots, Asianadian, and Shift Current Anthology.

Selected Photograph Publications and Exhibitions: The B.C. Photographer (publication), Mainstream (publication), Asianadian (publication), Inalienable Rice: A Chinese and Japanese Anthology (book), and Yellow Peril: New World Asians (exhibit).

Jim Wong-Chu passed away July 11, 2017.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records produced by Jim Wong-Chu. Records associated with Jim Wong-Chu's involvement in various cultural and artistic communities in Vancouver, British Columbia, San Francisco, California, and other areas in the northwestern United States and Canada.

In particular, the fonds includes records related to: Canadian cultural and literary communities; Asian Canadian writers; social justice and historical issues related to discrimination of Chinese and other Asian ethnic groups; and Canada and Vancouver's Chinese and other Asian cultural communities.

The fonds has been arranged into the following 9 series: Asian American communities; Asian Canadian communities; Asian Canadian Writers Workshop; Correspondence; Go for Broke Festivals; Manuscripts; Personal works; Personal Records; Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society; and Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre.

In addition to the series listed above, there is one sub-fonds which includes records created by Garrick Chu, a close-friend and colleague of Jim Wong-Chu.

The main types of records within the fonds include correspondence, meeting minutes, schedules, manuscripts, posters and event flyers, photographs, event programs, financial statements and budgets, publications and articles, reports, conference proceedings, and speeches.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was donated to UBC Rare Books and Special Collections by Jim Wong-Chu in 2013. In addition to this, a box was brought to Rare Books and Special Collections from Allen Cho that had been given to him by Jim Wong-Chu to store which consisted of meeting minutes from Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop and Vancouver Asian Heritage Month Society. Jim Wong-Chu told him to bring the box to Rare Books and Special Collections in April 2013.


The records were received by the archivist with no original order apparent. hat there was no organizational scheme present was confirmed in talking with the creator. Some records were already in files and much of the material was loose in the boxes received.

The archivist arranged the materials into series and sub-series. The archivist also identified one sub-fonds, as these were records that belonged to another person and were placed into custody with the creator after the sub-fonds creator's death.

Original titles of files were kept if there was a file title. If there was no title on the file or the file was created by the archivist, the title was placed in brackets.

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  • Chinese
  • English

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Physical description

Includes 360 photographs : b&w and col. ; 28 x 35 cm or smaller, 16 filmstrips : b&w negatives ; 35 mm, 3 computer disks ; 9x9 cm, 2 computer discs, 1 optical disc (27 min., 38 sec), and 1 audio disc (8 min.) : analog, 45 rpm

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