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Jen Yu-wen papers

Call Number: MS 1924

Scope and Contents

The papers, consisting of drafts of The Taiping Revolutionary Movement , correspondence, articles, and clippings document Jen Yu-Wen's research and writings on the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1866) and General Feng Yuxiang, a powerful warlord in northern China in the 1920s. The bulk of the papers are in Series I, which consists of Jen Yu-Wen's writings and research materials on the Taiping Rebellion. Thirteen of the nineteen boxes in the series consist of drafts of Jen Yu-wen's The Taiping Revolutionary Movement , which was published by Yale University Press in 1973. The rest of the series contains articles and artifacts of Jen Yu-Wen and materials collected by Jen Yu-Wen on the Taiping Rebellion. The second series consists of an autobiography, diary, and photograph of Feng Yuxiang. It is unclear whether the autobiography is original or a manuscript copy. With the exception of the book drafts, most of the material is in Chinese and Japanese.


  • 1922-1977


Language of Materials

The material is in Chinese, Japanese, and English.

Conditions Governing Access

Box 20 are restricted due to condition.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Jen Yu-wen, 1968. Transferred by the East Asia Library Curator in 2008.


The materials are arranged in two series. Series I: The Taiping Rebellion. Series II: General Feng Yuxiang.


14.75 Linear Feet (22 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers document Jen Yu-wen's (Jian Youwen) research and writings on the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1866) and General Feng Yuxiang. The papers include drafts ofThe Taiping Revolutionary Movement, correspondence, articles and clippings.

Biographical / Historical

Jen Yu-wen (Jian Youwen) was born in Canton, China, in 1896. Jen was baptized as a Christian in 1910. He attended Oberlin College and obtained his master's degree from the University of Chicago in 1919. He returned to China in 1921. While teaching at Yenching University in Peiping, he met General Feng Yuxiang (1882-1948), a powerful warlord in northern China in the 1920s. In 1926, Jen joined the political party, Kuo-min tang, and was sent to work in Feng Yuxiang's army.

In 1936, Jen founded the literary historical journal,Yijing. Later in 1938, he founded a second journal,Typhoon Magazine, which ceased publication in 1941 when Japan occupied Hong Kong. After 1949, Jen moved to Hong Kong and devoted more attention to his Taiping studies. From 1954 to 1965, Jen Yu-Wen held research fellowships at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the University of Hong Kong, the Academia Sinica in Taiwan and Yale University. He completed two monumental three-volume works covering the entire history of the Taiping Rebellion,Taiping tianguo dian zhi tong kao (Studies on the Institutions of Taiping tianguo) andTaiping tianguo quan shi (Complete History of Taiping tianguo). HisThe Taiping Revolutionary Movement was published by the Yale University Press in 1973.

Jen had a long, multifaceted career as educator, historical scholar, government official, political advisor, art collector, folklorist, storyteller, and librettist. Jen Yu-wen died in Hong Kong in 1978.

Processing Information

Some monographs were retained in the East Asia Library and cataloged separately.
Guide to the Jen Yu-wen Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Dong Feng and Chi-wah Chan
October 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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