Robert and Eva Tharp Collection, 1902-2004

Title: Robert and Eva Tharp Collection, 1902-2004
Extent: 1.79 Linear Feet
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Robert and Eva Tharp were both born in China to missionary parents, and both took on missionary work in China individually and after they married in 1938. After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, Robert was imprisoned by the Japanese, and after his release 8 months later the Tharps moved to India where they worked as liaisons between Chinese and Indian citizens and for the British government. They returned to China to continue their mission work, but were forced to flee to America in the wake of the Communist takeover in 1949. In the United States, Robert worked as a Chinese instructor for the Defense Language Institute and the Yale Institute for Far Eastern Languages. The Tharps also opened Chinese restaurants in the Monterey area in the 1970s, and were active in the Chinese community in the area. In 1994, Eva published Robert's autobiographical work, They Called Us White Chinese. The collection consists of items related to both Robert and Eva's family and experiences in China, their careers in the United States, and the publication of They Called Us White Chinese.
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Finding Aid with Box List
Series I: Personal and Family Materials, 1924-2002
Series II: Friends and Colleagues, 1943-2000
Series III: Mission Work and Professional Employment, circa 1930-1989
Series IV: They Called Us White Chinese, ca. 1920-2004
Series V: Publications, 1902-1996