The materials selected are drawn from a variety of archival collections, compiled by institutions and libraries with varying missions. Many of the collections have distinctive histories of their own. In some cases entire collections have been included; more often a selection of materials relating to the Chinese in California has been selected from a collection with broader scope. It is our hope that The Chinese in California presents a balanced perspective on a tumultuous and changing history of this community in California. Major issues explored in these records include the Chinese contribution to California and the American West in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the rampant anti-Chinese sentiment encountered by these immigrants, eventually leading to the federal Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892 (repealed in 1943); and settlement and development in various communities, including San Francisco's Chinatown, which remains the largest Chinatown in the United States. The materials presented in The Chinese in California are only a small part of the wealth of historical and archival materials documenting this topic at participating institutions.
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