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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Yi-pao Mei Papers
RG 99.0047
Collection Dates: 1955-1969
0.25 linear ft.

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

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Acquisition and Processing Information: These materials were transferred to the University Archives prior to 1970.  Finding aid created by Denise Anderson, October 2007.

Photographs: None

Yi-pao Mei, 1959

Yi-pao Mei

On Iowa, November-December 1959

Scope and Contents

The papers of Yi-pao Mei include articles he authored while on the faculty at the University of Iowa.

Biographical Note

Yi-pao Mei was born in Tientsin, China, on November 5, 1900.  After seven years of study, he graduated from Tsing Hua College in Peking in 1922, in a program which prepared male students for study in America.  He earned his B.A. at Oberlin College, Ohio, in 1924.  He studied at Columbia and Harvard universities, and took his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago.  Later, he studied at the University of Cologne in Germany.  He married Vong-kyih Nyi in 1929, and they have a son, Tsu-Lin.  Vong-kyih later worked at the University of Iowa Libraries in Iowa City, 1954-1970, and Tsu-Lin taught Chinese linguistics at Harvard during the 1960s.  In 1928, Dr. Mei joined the faculty of the Christian Yenching University in Peking, and taught there until 1949.

In 1942, Japan invaded China.  Dr. Mei was instrumental in moving the Yenching University, where he was acting president for four years, away from Peking (and the Japanese) and into the mountains bordering Tibet.  Dr. Mei taught at American universities after 1949.  He was a visiting professor at universities in Chicago, Indiana, Cincinnati, and Princeton, and at Oberlin, Bowdoin and Wabash colleges, before becoming a visiting professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Iowa in 1953.  From 1955 to 1959, Dr. Mei was full professor and head of Oriental Studies.  In 1960, funds were allocated at the University to teach the Chinese language.

In 1968 he stepped down from his position as head of Oriental Studies in order to devote more time as director of the Center for Far East Studies.  During the spring semester of 1970, he served as acting chairman of the department and retired in June 1970.  On September 1, 1970, Dr. Mei began his appointment as president of the New Asia College of the Chinese University in Hong Kong, serving until June 1973.

[D. Anderson; 10/2007]

Related Materials

Folder, "Mei, Yi-pao," Faculty and Staff Vertical Files collection (RG 01.15.03)

Records of the Dept. of Asian Studies (RG 06.11)

Box Contents List

Box 1

List of publications

Articles, 1955-1969