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Guide to New Neighbors: Sunset Park's Chinese Community oral histories 1994.007

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Brett Dion and Maria Santiago

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 15, 2017
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Administrative History

The New Neighbors: Sunset Park's Chinese Community oral history project began as a joint effort between Brooklyn Historical Society and the Chinatown History Museum (now the Museum of Chinese in America), with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and additional funding from the Ford Foundation. Awarded in 1992, the grant endeavored to explore how the new community of Chinese immigrants centered at Brooklyn's Eighth Avenue took root and blossomed during the 1980s. By the early 1990s, the community boasted a population of approximately 60,000 people and was known as New York City's third Chinatown.

The project's initial co-directors, Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier of the Brooklyn Historical Society and Mary Ting Yi Lui of the Chinatown History Museum designed the project to create primary documentation of the new ethnic community at a moment when many of its pioneers were still in place. They hoped to answer who these settlers were, and what political and economic forces brought them to Brooklyn. They could find no other materials which directly answered these questions, and believed this study to be the first of its kind in New York City.

By July of 1993, the project's staff had restructured to include coordinator Gregory Ruf and lead interviewer Ka-Kam Chui. Fabiana Chiu of Brooklyn Historical Society provided additional assistance in interviews.

Cantonese-language interviews were translated and transcribed primarily by Ka-Kam Chui and representatives from the Chinatown History Museum, and exist in handwritten form. English-language interviews were transcribed, and exist in typed form.

For specific information on language please see the scope and content note below for each interview. For the availability of handwritten original-language transcripts for individual interviews, please see transcripts in Box 2.

The oral history project concluded in June of 1996. The New Neighbors: Sunset Park's Chinese Community public exhibitions at both Brooklyn Historical Society and the Chinatown History Museum displayed the oral histories, photographs, and a narrative.