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Robert and Eva Tharp Collection

Overview

Abstract

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Personal and Family Materials

Friends and Colleagues

Mission Work and Professional Employment

They Called Us White Chinese

Publications



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Robert and Eva Tharp Collection, 1902-2004 | Special Collections & Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Robert and Eva Tharp Collection, 1902-2004Save to your list.

ID: OCH/RNT

Primary Creator: Tharp, Robert and Eva

Extent: 1.79 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Series I: Family and Personal 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, circa 1920-2004

Series V: Publications, 1902-1996

Forms of Material: Ephemera, Paper records, Photographic material, Publications

Languages: English, Chinese

Abstract

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.

Biographical Note

Robert Tharp was born in 1913 to British missionary parents in the Jehol Province of Manchuria. Evangeline (Eva) Kok was born in 1914 in Yunnan, China, to Dutch missionary parents. In 1918, the family moved to Peking (Beijing), where her father served as the First Chancellor of the Netherlands Legation in China. Eva attended the Peking American School, graduating in 1931. She then attended the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and returned to China to perform mission work after graduating in 1936.

Starting in 1934, Tharp did full-time missionary work in China, with Eva joining him after they married in 1938. After the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, when Japan gained control of Manchuris, Tharp was jailed for nearly eight months while Eva was placed on house arrest. After his release the Tharps worked in New Delhi, India, as a liaison between Chinese and Indian citizens, and then for the British Ministry of Information monitoring Chinese transmissions and writing counter-propaganda. The Tharps returned to China as missionaries after the war; but fled in 1949 as communist forces advanced across the country. Their escape took over a month, after which they were able to travel to San Francisco, California.

In the U.S., the Tharps were almost deported, as they were unable to clear up issues of citizenship, but on the day of their deportation Tharp received a position at the Army Language School, now called the Defense Language Institute. He taught Chinese there for three years, before accepting a position on the faculty at the Yale Institute of Far Eastern Language, where Eva received a teaching position as well.

The Tharps eventually returned to the San Francisco area, where Eva opened a popular takeout restaurant, Eva's Jyaudz Factory, and in 1976 Robert opened the first Mandarin Chinese restaurant in Monterey, the Old Peking. Robert Tharp also wrote an autobiographical novel about his and Eva's experiences in China, They Called Us White Chinese, which was published in 1994 by Eva after Robert passed away in 1993. Eva continued to correspond with friends and former students until she became ill in January of 2004, and passed in August of that year.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Robert and Eva Tharp 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. The collection is divided into five series: Family and Personal Materials (1924-2002), Friends and Colleagues (1943-2000), Mission Work and Professional Employment (circa 1930-1989), They Called Us White Chinese (circa 1920-2004), and Publications (1902-1996).

Series I, Family and Personal Materials, consists of ephemera. photographs, articles, personal narratives, mendicant chants, correspondence and genealogical information written by or related to the Tharps and their family members. Also included are the Tharp's passports, driver's licenses, and applications for United States visas and citizenship.

Series II, Friends and Colleagues, consists of correspondence and articles written by or about Tharp family friends and colleagues, usually discussing their experiences in China.

Series III, Mission Work and Professional Employment, consists of materials related to both Robert and Eva's various mean of employment and their mission work. This includes the Inland China Mission, Robert's work in shipping cases and importing cars into China, his work as a Chinese professor, and Eva's Jyuadz Factory.

Series IV, They Called Us White Chinese, consists of photographs used in the book, and correspondence sent to Eva by readers ordering additional copies, talking about the book, and sharing their own stories of living in China.

Series V, Publications, consists of advertisements for books by other Old China Hands, as well as articles and books collected by the Tharps related to China and the Peking American School.

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions: Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Related Materials: Old China Hands Archives

Preferred Citation: For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials guide.

Processing Information: Tim Kaufler (Intern), 2013

Finding Aid Revision History: Jessica Geiser, 2013


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[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]
[All]

Series I: Personal and Family Materials, 1924-2002Save to your list.
Box 1Save to your list.
Folder 1: Eva Tharp (Evangeline Kok) Family Genealogy and Remembrances, c.a 1992Save to your list.
Folder 2: Edwin Tharp Materials, 1953Save to your list.
Folder 3: The Tharp's Account of Leaving China, ca. 1949Save to your list.
Folder 4: Mendicant Chants written by Robert Tharp for Friends, 1982-1992Save to your list.
Folder 5: Peking American School Reunions and Information, 1986-1989Save to your list.
Folder 6: National Security Agency Certificate to Robert TharpSave to your list.
Folder 7: News Articles on Robert Tharp, ca. 1942-1993Save to your list.
Folder 8: Letters from Perry Link about Donating Xiehouyu to Princeton University, 1994Save to your list.
Folder 9: Jerry and Paul Kok Materials, 1997-2002Save to your list.
Folder 10: The Tharp's Untied States Immigration Visa Applications, 1947 October 20Save to your list.
Folder 11: Robert Tharp's United States Citizenship Application and Recommendation Letters, 1953Save to your list.
Folder 12: Edwin Tharp and Margaret Ruth Tharp's British Passports, 1936-1949Save to your list.
Folder 13: Evangeline Tharp's British Passports, 1938-1960Save to your list.
Folder 14: Robert Tharp's British Passports, 1941-1955Save to your list.
Folder 15: Robert Tharp's British India Driving License, 1943Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Folder 1: Personal and Family Photographs, 1924-1992Save to your list.
Folder 2: Negatives, ca. 1930-1964Save to your list.
Folder 3: Slides of China and the United States, ca. 1930-1964Save to your list.
Box 4Save to your list.
Item 1: White Owl Cigar BoxSave to your list.
Item 2: Three Metal Film CanistersSave to your list.
Series II: Friends and Colleagues, 1943-2000Save to your list.
Box 1Save to your list.
Folder 16: Letter and News Article about Ewald CheerSave to your list.
Folder 17: Article on Reverend Leslie and Mary Fairfield, 1985 August 31Save to your list.
Folder 18: Letter and Articles about Daniel Kelly, 1981Save to your list.
Folder 19: Autobiographical Letter by Yen-Chih Lee, 1984Save to your list.
Folder 20: Damaris Peck Reynolds Letters, 1991-2000Save to your list.
Folder 21: Correspondence from Jane Pratt Sheeks about the Peking American School, 1988-1992Save to your list.
Folder 22: "William Ekvall Simpson: A Brief, Bright Flame" by Ray H. SmithSave to your list.
Folder 23: Letter from Geoffrey Turnal in India, 1943Save to your list.
Series III: Mission Work and Professional Employment, circa 1930-1989Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 1: Calling Card of Mr. S.L. Burdett to Introduce Robert Tharp to Col. Yuan ChuanthanSave to your list.
Folder 2: China Inland Mission Documents, 1939-1948Save to your list.
Folder 3: Missionary Documents (In Chinese), 1938-1947Save to your list.
Folder 4: Robert Tharp's Business CardsSave to your list.
Folder 5: Case Shipping Documents, 1947-1948Save to your list.
Folder 6: Ford Motors and Car Importing Documents, 1948Save to your list.
Folder 7: News Article on Institute of Far Eastern Languages, 1962Save to your list.
Folder 8: "Report on Intensive Chinese Language Program at the Institute of Far Eastern Languages" by Robert TharpSave to your list.
Folder 9: Chinese Language Sound Chart ToolSave to your list.
Folder 10: Chinese SayingsSave to your list.
Folder 11: Poem about Robert Tharp written by a Student at YaleSave to your list.
Folder 12: Russian Grammar BookSave to your list.
Folder 13: Eva Tharp's Jyuadz Factory, 1989Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Folder 4: Photographs of Mission Work; Chinese Christians, ca. 1930-ca. 1948Save to your list.
Folder 5: Photographs of Eva's Jyaudz Factory, 1977-1982Save to your list.
Series IV: They Called Us White Chinese, ca. 1920-2004Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 14: Correspondence from Gilbert Tharp to Robert Tharp, 1990-1993Save to your list.
Folder 15: Correspondence, 1994-1996Save to your list.
Folder 16: Correspondence, January-March 1997Save to your list.
Folder 17: Correspondence, April-May 1997Save to your list.
Folder 18: Correspondence, 1998-2004Save to your list.
Box 3Save to your list.
Folder 6: Photographs used in They Called Us White Chinese, ca. 1920-1964Save to your list.
Series V: Publications, 1902-1996Save to your list.
Box 2Save to your list.
Folder 19: Advertisements for Books about Old China Hands, 1996Save to your list.
Folder 20: Asia Magazine, April 1937Save to your list.
Folder 21: "East of the Barrier or Side Lights on the Manchuria Mission," by Rev. J. Miller Graham, 1902Save to your list.
Folder 22: "The Lost Tribe of China" - about Li Tzu-ChengSave to your list.
Folder 23: Miss Moore: A Memoir by F.H. Kim Krenz, 1997Save to your list.

Browse by Series:

[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]
[All]


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