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PY-263754-19

Museum of Chinese in the Americas (New York, NY 10013-3601)
Yue Ma (Project Director: May 2018 to present)
Melissa Wansin Wong (Co Project Director: March 2020 to March 2020)
Our Family Treasures

A day-long digitization event to document the personal and family histories of the  Chinese American community, focusing on records and ephemera from family and professional associations, churches, and Chinese schools.  Preservation workshops for the public would be featured at the digitization event, as well as periodically throughout the year on such topics as photograph preservation, textile and object preservation, and training in how to record and save family stories.  Museum staff would also host a subsequent open house with tours of the archives and a “Letters Alive!” program, which would feature readings (in Mandarin and English) of historical letters from the archives written to Chinese American immigrants by their loved ones in China.  With donor permission, digitized materials would be made available for research at the museum’s archives and on the website.  The project would build upon an earlier Common Heritage award by expanding the museum’s outreach efforts in New York City, home to the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia.

The Museum of Chinese in America seeks a $12,000 grant from NEH to support Our Family Treasures. This program series aims to preserve, digitize and showcase Chinese-American family and community history and culture. The series consists of: one day-long Our Family Treasures preservation & digital archiving program; four to five how-to workshops led by professional archivists on preserving heritage materials; and monthly one-on-one digitization and consultation sessions with the Museum’s Collections staff. Working on the premise that American history and experience is shaped by the material culture and memories of those who interact intimately with them over time, Our Family Treasures spotlights the untold stories and living histories of immigrant communities in New York City and their heirlooms—objects, photos, paper documents, business and association paraphernalia, and other ephemera of familial and cultural importance—a goal that has been central to MOCA's mission since our founding.

Project fields:
Asian American Studies; Immigration History; Public History

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 6/30/2020