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About CCS

Founded in 1957, the Center for Chinese Studies is now one of the most active and respected research centers in the nation. The Center puts on a full program of public activities each semester. These include lectures, colloquia, film screenings, performances, and scholarly conferences. CCS also hosts individual visiting scholars from many countries, and coordinates the visits of Chinese delegations and other China-related activities on campus. CCS provides research grants annually to Berkeley faculty in Chinese studies, and hosts an annual postdoctoral fellowship in Chinese studies. The Center also provides various forms of support for graduate student research on every aspect of Chinese studies, and across many different disciplines.

Research sponsored by the Center focuses on Chinese culture and society in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other countries. Over 70 core faculty members in twenty-five departments on the Berkeley campus are affiliated with the Center. The current research and outreach agenda of the Center for Chinese Studies focuses on the humanities and social sciences, and also the professional schools.

News

C.V. Starr East Asian Library acquires massive and rare Chinese film studies collection

Paul Fonoroff has two rules when it comes to collecting. “You have to be passionate about it,” he deadpans. “And it has to be something that no one else is interested in.”

That maxim helped the Cleveland native amass over 70,000 movie posters, periodicals, photos, lobby cards, theater flyers and other movie ephemera while he lived in Beijing and Hong Kong. Fonoroff’s massive collection — which is the largest of its kind in North America and rivals what can be found at film archives in Asia — was recently acquired by UC Berkeley’s C.V. Starr East Asian Library, opening an enormous cache to researchers and the public.

“I’m very excited that this collection ended up here because it’s so hard to get these materials,” says Chinese language and film studies professor Weihong Bao. “It’s vast, but it’s unique. There’s really rare stuff in there, and it’s exciting for our students and researchers in this field.”

Bao’s excitement is well-founded. Before it was made public, Fonoroff’s collection was notorious within cinema circles. Or, as Bao puts it, “It was one of the worst kept secrets in the field.” Before being shipped to Berkeley, the collection was housed in first one and eventually two apartments in Hong Kong.

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