Fonds UBCA-ARC-1287 - Edgar Wickberg fonds

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Edgar Wickberg fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • Source of title proper: The title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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  • 1952-1997 (Creation)
    Wickberg, Edgar

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Physical description

3.62 m of textual records
8 boxes of file cards

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Edgar Wickberg was a professor of history at UBC from 1969 to 1992. Born in Oklahoma, he served in the US Army before earning a BA and an MA in history from the University of Oklahoma. In the 1950's he studied Chinese and Japanese language and Asian history at the University of California (Berkeley) and completed his Ph.D. in 1961 with a thesis on modern Chinese history. Wickberg taught at the University of Kansas from 1960 to 1969, with extended research periods in Taiwan. After joining the faculty of UBC, he taught courses on modern China and modern Chinese economic and social history. He made several research trips to mainland China, mainly Guangzhou (Canton), Nanjing (Nanking), and Hong Kong. In 1992 he was named Professor Emeritus at UBC. His main research interests are the history and current relationships of Chinese people outside China; land tenure systems in southern China since the 16th century; voluntary associations and ethnicity in Chinese society and overseas Chinese communities; and comparative histories of Chinese communities in Southeast Asia and North America. Wickberg also helped establish an exchange relationship between UBC and Guangzhou's Zhongshan University and the Vancouver Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee. He has published several articles and two books: From China to Canada: A History of the Chinese Communities in Canada, which he wrote in collaboration with four other researchers and edited (1982), and The Chinese in Philippine Life (1965).

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of records which document Edgar Wickberg's research on Chinese land tenure systems and rural society, and the history of Chinese communities overseas. Materials include research notes, correspondence, computer printouts, newspaper and magazine clippings, photocopies of both archival documents and scholarly articles, and file cards and notes stored in file card boxes. The series are Land Tenure (divided into sub-series by region), Rural Localities in China, Chinese in Canada, Chinese in the United States, and File Cards.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired from Dr. Edgar Wickberg in several accruals. The bulk of the materials were transferred in February 1998 and June 2001. Records of the Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee were added in June 2005.


The original series in whichWickberg organized the materials have been retained, as has most of the physical arrangement of the files within those series.

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  • Chinese
  • Japanese

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Finding aids

Online Finding Aid
A brief description of the records written by Dr. Wickberg, discussing his various research projects and the records associated with them, is available in hard copy at the University Archives.

Uploaded finding aid

Associated materials

Some books, microfilm, and maps which were originally included with the records have been transferred to UBC's Asian Library and Map Library.


General note

Many of the research notes, clippings, and photocopied documents and articles are written in Chinese. Some other photocopied documents and articles are written in Japanese. Old file folders on which titles have been written in Chinese characters have been retained.

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