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Chuan-Hua Gershom Lowe, National Party, Chinese diplomat papers

Identifier: MS 588
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the professional and personal papers created or compiled by Chuan-Hua Lowe over a 94-year lifetime, as well as a collection of 30 books by others and four written by Lowe himself. Series I includes correspondence, both professional and personal, from 1936 to 1996, representing all phases of his career. Series II is his academic and diplomatic papers from 1923 through 1995. Series III is comprised of personal and family papers from 1920 through 1996, and Series IV is a collection of 30 books by others and four by Lowe himself. They range in publication date from 1914 through 1994.


  • 1923-1996; bulk 1940-1996
  • Majority of material found within 1940 - 1996


Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Chuan-Hua Gershom Lowe collection must be facilitated through the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical / Historical

Chuan-Hua Gershom Lowe was born in Nanchang, China, on August 2, 1902. His father was Li Chi-fong, an orphaned beggar who had been raised and educated by a German missionary. His mother belonged to the upper class House of Pong. After attending Boone University in China, in September of 1920 he emigrated to the U.S. to attend the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 1923 with a Ph.B. degree in commerce. In 1924 he did graduate work in political economy at the University of Chicago.

Returning to China, Lowe served as Dean of the Commercial Department of Footeh Academy in Hankow in 1924 through 1926. His work as a journalist began in that year with the Hankow Herald. In 1927 he was Professor of Economics at Chih Tze University in Shanghai. From 1928 to 1934 he worked as head of the Industrial Relations Department of the YMCA National Council of China. In 1934 he became director of the Shanghai office of the International Famine Relief Commission, serving in that capacity through 1938.

Lowe’s journalism work continued with a variety of publications including the Tien Hsin Monthly and the South China Morning Post, where he was contributing editor. Between 1941 and 1949 he worked as a representative of the Chinese Ministry of Information in various locations outside of China beginning with Rangoon. He served as Director of the Calcutta office, then the South American office (Buenos Aires), and finally the Montreal office.

From 1949 to 1952 he was a consultant on Oriental affairs for Canadian Pacific Airlines. Serving as editor and researcher at the Asia Foundation in San Francisco was Lowe’s work in 1952 through 1954. From 1954 to 1956 he was the Pacific coast representative of the China Institute in America. Then in 1956 he moved to Washington, D.C., to be in charge of information and lecturing services for the Chinese Embassy.

Upon retirement from the Chinese Embassy, Lowe embarked on a new career by enrolkling in a library science degree program at Western Reserve University. In 1962-63 he passé the U.S. Civil Service Commission examination for librarianship and joined the U.S. Department of Labor Library as a cataloger. From 1963 through 1 970 he advanced through several cataloging positions at libraries including those at the Riverside and Santa Cruz campuses of the University of California and at Stanford University, where he finished his career as Special Collections cataloger.

Following his second retirement, Lowe completed two publications, The Chinese in Hawaii: a bibliographic survey (1972), and Notable Books on Chinese Studies (1978). His publication career also includes The Labor Movement in China (1933), Facing Labor Issues in China (1934) , Japan’s Economic Offensive in China (1939), The Yunnan-Burma Highway (1940), and A Time to Advance, Not to Retreat (1962).

Chuan-Hua Lowe was married to Sien-ung Sharon Lowe, and they had three children, Donald, David, and Diana. At the time of his 1969 will, there were six grandchildren, Lisa and Lydia Lowe, Jeffrey, Karen, and Maia Chang, and Galen Lowe.

Lowe died on September 23, 1996, at the age of 94.


5 Linear Feet (6 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection consists of the correspondence, papers, and selected books accumulated and saved by Chuan-Hua Gershom Lowe throughout his lifetime as student, journalist, Chinese embassy official, librarian, husband, and father. Lowe was born in China in 1902, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Chicago, lived again in China, in Burma, in India, in Argentina, in Canada, and again in the U.S., dying in 1996.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was a gift donated by Dr. Tani Barlow, November 1, 2011. Gershom-Lowe was her father-in-law.



Guide to the Chuan-Hua Gershom Lowe, National Party, Chinese diplomat papers, 1923-1996; bulk 1940-1996
Unprocessed Addenda
Amanda Focke, Mary Tobin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA