The Old China Hands Oral History Project Collection consists of over 150 audio interviews with "Old China Hands," foreigners who lived and worked in China before or shortly after the Communist takeover of China in 1949. Interview topics include daily life in China, impressions of local culture and business, and experiences related to World War II such as the Japanese occupation and internment of Allied country citizens residing in China. Transcripts are available for most audio interviews.
Many of the interviews were recorded at Old China Hands reunions, beginning with the 1996 reunion in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The collection is divided into seven series arranged chronologically, Las Vegas, Nevada Reunion (1996), Northridge, California (2002), Independent Interviews (2004-2019), Portland, Oregon Reunion (2006), Fremont, California (2011), Shanghai, China (2012), and China Marines (2014). Interviews are arranged in alphabetical order by the last name of the narrator for all series.
Series I, Las Vegas, Nevada Reunion contains oral histories conducted at the Las Vegas Old China Hands Reunion by a team led by Sue Fawn Chung, professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Series II, Northridge, California contains interviews conducted in 2002 at Northridge.
Series III, Independent Interviews contains interviews unconnected with a particular event.
Series IV, Portland, Oregon Reunion contains interviews conducted by the Old China Hands Archives at the Portland Old China Hands Reunion.
Series V, Fremont, California contains oral history interviews conducted by the Old China Hands Archives primarily at the Macau Cultural Center in Fremont, California. The bulk of these interviews are with descendents of Portuguese emigrants.
Series VI, Shanghai, China contains oral history interviews conducted by the Old China Hands Archives during a trip to Shanghai.
Series VII, China Marines Reunion, contains oral histories recorded at the China Marines Reunion in Charleston, South Carolina by the Old China Hands Archives.