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Ginling College (Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng, China) Records, 1920-1993 (Bulk: 1920-1950)
9 boxes (3.92 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 70

Abstract:
Foreign Sister College to Smith College. Contains notes, letters, reports, photographs, articles, and bulletins from Alumnae Committee members, Ginling College students and faculty, and others involved with Ginling.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the Ginling College Records must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Official Smith correspondence and documents is copyrighted by the Smith College Archives. Provenance and copyright ownership is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Ginling College opened in 1915 with six faculty and eleven students, the product of the imagination of a group of American women educators stranded in Shanghai in 1911, all refugees from the revolutionary turmoil in central China. One was Matilda Thurston, who became the first president of the College. She graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1896, and went to China in 1913 to find a location for Ginling, hire faculty, and recruit students. It was only in 1907 that the Chinese emperor issued an edict favoring education for women in China. The Revolution of 1911 marked a new beginning, and Ginling College was ultimately founded by five mission boards -- Northern Baptists, Disciples of Christ, Northern and Southern Methodists, and Northern Presbyterians. Each board pledged US$10,000 for buildings and equipment, the support of a representative on the teaching staff, and a contribution of US$600 toward current expenses.

Ginling graduated its first class in 1919; thus Wu Yi-fang, who would later become President of the College in 1928, and four other women became the first women in China to receive fully accredited Bachelor of Arts degrees. All subjects were taught in English except for the Chinese classics.

Smith's relationship with Ginling began in 1916. Through the enthusiasm of Delia Leavens '01 and Frederica Mead '11, both of whom had spent considerable time in China, the Smith College Association for Christian Work adopted Ginling as its foreign project. Their first campus contribution in 1916 amounted to $1,000 and was made annually until 1921, when it was raised to $2,500, due to increasing interest in Ginling. It was also in 1921 that Smith officially recognized Ginling as its little sister in the Orient. During the difficult period of war, the contribution reached $4,000 a year. The Smith Alumnae Committee for Ginling was started in 1923, and Smith alumnae donated $50,000 for the construction of a recreation building in Ginling. Also, annual contributions to the current expenses of the College gradually increased until it reached a maximum of $5,500 a year.

Throughout the increasing turmoil in China, the relationship between Smith and Ginling flourished. The Sino-Japanese War began in 1937, and in 1938 Ginling College decided to go into exile in West China Union University in Chengtu. Smith raised almost $2,500 as a gift to Ginling to celebrate its twenty-fifth birthday in 1940, and this money was used for repairs after the war. The Smith College Alumnae Committee for Ginling was expanded in 1941 to include students and faculty. By 1942, fifteen Smith alumnae had taught at Ginling.

In 1943, Dr. Wu Yi-fang visited Smith to receive an honorary LLD. She brought the gift of a satin scarf bearing the signatures of all the Ginling seniors and an accompanying letter from them to Smith's 1943 graduating class, expressing their gratitude for their concern and help. After the new People's government was established on October 1, 1949, Dr. Wu was recognized as a leader in China and was asked to serve on various committees for education, women's rights, and community service. She began working to change the curriculum and the administration of Ginling so it would be acceptable to the new government.

The new government pushed for self-support and Chinese leadership in all its institutions, especially those connected with overseas schools and religious groups. In 1950, the U.S. and China cut off all financial transactions with each other. In 1951, Ginling was combined with the University of Nanking to become National Ginling University under government control. Smith was greatly troubled by these changes, and many Smith students and faculty wanted to transfer the Ginling support to Tunghai University in Taiwan, to which a number of Ginling College supporters had gone. Smith was frustrated by the confusion of the situation, so alumnae groups were notified not to collect funds for Ginling and by March 1954 most local Ginling committees had disbanded.

Ginling College re-opened in 1987 with sixteen students in a two-year course in Applied English in Nanking Normal University. In order for the government to permit it to re-open, Ginling had to provide courses that were unique, different from the others offered in Nanjing Normal University. In 1995, Ginling had 300 students in three programs -- Applied English, Nutrition and Food Sciences, and International Accounting. Ginling is also developing a year-long training program for around 100 women teaching in rural middle schools. The College is funded mainly by the government, although it does receive some private donations from Ginling alumnae and the Wu Yi-fang Memorial Foundation.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ginling College Records cover a period from 1920 to 1993. However, the majority of the materials span the time when interaction between Smith and Ginling was at its peak, from 1920 to 1950. A large quantity of the material is composed of letters, reports, photographs, and publications. Other types of material represented in the collection include articles, published works, and other memorabilia.

The collection includes many letters from alumnae committees regarding the development of Ginling College, as well as minutes from meetings. Insight into the political turmoil rampant in China during the period can be gained from the reports of Ginling administrators and faculty. The Ginling College budgets are also included, with the breakdown of spending on various areas.

There are also a few papers on the history of Ginling College, most notably a book by Mrs. Lawrence Thurston, the first president of the College. Faculty files, such as that of Dr. Wu Yi-fang, detail what it was like to live and teach at Ginling at that particular period. Letters, notes, and bulletins of various organizations associated with Ginling also give one a sense of the early history of the college. There are records from the Association of Christian Colleges in China, the Board of Directors, the Board of Founders, and the United Board of Christian Colleges in China.

Photographs of buildings, students, and faculty in various time periods, accompanied by descriptions, also give one a feel for campus life. There are many newsletters on events and developments at Ginling, as well as brochures and course bulletins. Publications of student organizations and the President's reports also prove a good source of information on life at Ginling.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives.

Restrictions on use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the Ginling College Records must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Official Smith correspondence and documents is copyrighted by the Smith College Archives. Provenance and copyright ownership is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Ginling College (Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng, China) Records, Box #, Smith College Archives.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

The Ginling College Records were processed by Alissa Chadburn 1998 and Katrina Cokeng 2002, Friends of the Smith College Libraries Archival Interns.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
SERIES I. ALUMNAE COMMITTEE FOR GINLING COLLEGE

0.98 linear feet

This series includes letters from various members of the Alumnae Committees, reports from Ginling College faculty and administrators, minutes from meetings of committees, and lists of Ginling alumnae and supporters. The letters, spanning a period from 1920 to the 1950's, give great insight into the progress of Ginling, from its tentative early stages to the eventual parting of Smith and Ginling due to China's tense political situation. The folders are arranged chronologically, and contain a mixed of typed and handwritten letters, notes, and reports.

Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1920-1935

Box 1: folder 1
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1936-1937

Box 1: folder 2
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1938-1940

Box 1: folder 3
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1941-1943

Box 1: folder 4
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1944-1945

Box 1: folder 5
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1946-1947

Box 1: folder 6
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1948

Box 1: folder 7
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1949

Box 1: folder 8
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1950

Box 1: folder 9
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1951

Box 2: folder 1
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1952-1953

Box 2: folder 2
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1954

Box 2: folder 3
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1955

Box 2: folder 4
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1956-1957

Box 2: folder 5
Alumnae Committee for Ginling College
1958-present

Box 2: folder 6
Alumnae Association Ginling College Record Book
June 1975

Box 2: folder 7
Alumnae Association
n.d.

Box 2: folder 8
SERIES II. GINLING COLLEGE: GENERAL

0.49 linear feet

This series contains not only a comprehensive history of Ginling College, but also articles from Smith Alumnae Quarterly, records and letters from Ginling alumnae, and files of faculty members Wu Yi-fang and Frederica Mead Hiltner. Letters, articles, pamphlets, reports, and booklets comprise the history of Ginling. In particular, there is a report entitled "Remembering Our Sisters in China" by Patricia N. Page (1945) and a book "Ginling College" by Mrs. Lawrence Thurston and Ruth M. Chester. Page's report looks back on Ginling's early history, focusing particularly on President Wu Yi-fang and Smith's relationship with the college. Thurston and Chester's book is a broader look at Ginling, from its inception as a pioneer women's college to its alliance with the University of Nanking in the 1950's.

Alumnae Quarterly Articles
Feb. 1950 - May 1951

Box 3: folder 1
Alumnae Reunion
1983

Box 3: folder 2
Anniversary - "Smith Around the World"
1925

Box 3: folder 3
Anniversary - 1940
1940

Box 3: folder 4
Alumnae in U.S.- Ginling Association in America
1939-1966

Box 3: folder 5
Faculty - Hiltner, Frederica Mead
1967-1977

Box 3: folder 6
Faculty - Wu, Yi-Fang


Box 3: folder 7
Gifts from Ginling
1925-1950

Box 3: folder 8
History of Ginling
1921-1940

Box 3: folder 9
History
1941-1981, n.d.

Box 3: folder 10
History: Ginling College
1945-1955

Box 3: folder 11
History: Far East Conference Minutes
1950

Box 3: folder 12
SERIES III. ORGANIZATIONS

0.49 linear feet

This series is composed mostly of letters and bulletins from the Associated Board of Christian Colleges in China, whose name was later changed to the United Board of Christian Colleges in China in 1948. Meetings address what actions to take with Ginling, what policies to implement, and how to go about doing this. The notes, letters, and minutes span a period from 1931 to the 1950's, and are arranged chronologically.

Associated Boards of Christian Colleges in China
1931-1941

Box 4: folder 1
Associated Boards of Christian Colleges in China


Box 4: folder 2
Associated Boards of Christian Colleges in China
1946-1947

Box 4: folder 3
Board of Directors: Minutes
1932

Box 4: folder 4
Board of Founders
1937-1945

Box 4: folder 5
United Board of Christian Colleges in China
1948-1949

Box 4: folder 6
United Board of Christian Colleges in China
1950

Box 4: folder 7
United Board of Christian Colleges in China
1951

Box 4: folder 8
United Board of Christian Colleges in China
1952-1954

Box 4: folder 9
United Board of Christian Colleges in China
1956-1993

Box 4: folder 10
United Board of Christian Colleges in China: Publications
1934-1954

Box 4: folder 11
Photograph Album


Box 5
SERIES IV. PHOTOGRAPHS

0.735 linear feet

This series contains photographs of Ginling. The folders are divided chronologically. There is an album that contains pictures of the campus, faculty, and students. Most of the photographs, both candid and posed, are accompanied by descriptions. There are photos of Ginling's original campus as well as Ginling in Chengtu. In addition, there are little scrapbooks made by various Ginling students.

Photographs
pre 1920

Box 6: folder 1
Buildings
1920

Box 6: folder 2
Photographs
1920-1925

Box 6: folder 3
Photographs
1939-1938

Box 6: folder 4
Photographs
1939-1940

Box 6: folder 5
Photographs
1940-1941

Box 6: folder 6
Photographs
1942-1990

Box 6: folder 7
Alumnae Association 25th Anniversary
1940

Box 6: folder 8
Alumnae Association 40th Anniversary
1955

Box 6: folder 9
Alumnae Association Exhibit
1949

Box 6: folder 10
Faculty
n.d.

Box 6: folder 11
Jenshow - Ginling's Rural Project
n.d.

Box 6: folder 12
Ginling in Chengtu, Szechuan
1939

Box 6: folder 13
General photographs
n.d.

Box 6: folder 14
SERIES V. PUBLICATIONS

1.225 linear feet

This series is divided up into brochures, bulletins, newsletters, magazines, and student activities. The newsletters make up a large part of the series, and are arranged chronologically. These document the events at Ginling, as well as developments in its history. The course bulletins allow one to see the direction Ginling has taken academically. There are also copies of the Ginling College Magazine, and the news articles and editorials they contain reflect student opinion. The President's reports and publications of student organizations are also included in this series.

Brochures
1915-1934

Box 7: folder 1
Brochures
1935-1950

Box 7: folder 2
Bulletins
1915-1931

Box 7: folder 3
Bullentins
1961

Box 7: folder 4
Calendars
1924-1952

Box 7: folder 5
Newsletters



Newsletters
1922-June 1937

Box 8: folder 1
Newsletters
Sept. 1937-Mar. 1938

Box 8: folder 2
Newsletters
Apr. 1938 -1939

Box 8: folder 3
Newsletters
1940-1944

Box 8: folder 4
Newsletters
1945-1946

Box 8: folder 5
Newsletters
1947-1948

Box 8: folder 6
Newsletters
1949-1950

Box 8: folder 7
Newsletters
1951-1957

Box 8: folder 8
Newsletters
1940-1950

Box 8: folder 9
News from Schwen Hwa Cheng
n.d.

Box 8: folder 10
President's Reports
1915-1920

Box 8: folder 11
Recipe Book
1940

Box 8: folder 12
Student Activities



Ginling College Magazine
1924-1928

Box 9: folder 1
General
1943

Box 9: folder 2
General


Box 9: folder 3

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Ginling College (Nanjing, Jiangsu Sheng, China).
  • Universities and colleges--China.
  • Women's colleges--China.


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