The family of T. V. Soong, foreign minister of China during World War II, has decided to fully open, on April 26, 2004, all of the historical papers they have donated to the Hoover Institution Archives. While thirty-nine boxes of papers have been available to researchers at the archives since the 1970s, another nineteen boxes were closed out of respect for the privacy of T. V. Soong’s sister, Madame Chiang Kai-shek. When Madame passed away in 2003, the heirs decided, in the interest of fostering a more accurate understanding of their homeland, to open the closed boxes. In addition, the family recently added more than two thousand documents to the collection, all of which are to be opened along with the previously closed papers.
While the arrangement of folders and papers remains unchanged, the boxes in the original acquisition have been renumbered from 1 to 58. The box numbers for what was known as Schedule A have not changed. They are still numbered from 1 to 40. The boxes formerly known as Schedule B have changed. They are now boxes 41 to 58. To assist researchers, a box conversion chart for Schedule B is available.
While the family wishes that all papers of T. V. Soong be opened to the public, they cannot authorize the release of security-classified government documents. In accordance with applicable laws, the archives has withdrawn security-classified documents from the collection. Once government officials are able to declassify them they will be returned to their proper locations in the boxes of open material. Several U.S. government agencies will be involved in the declassification process, and it is not known when declassification will be completed.
As a standard archival preservation procedure, use copies have been substituted for original documents in many cases. All information contained in the original documents is open and available in the use copies. Upon request, the original documents may be viewed under direct supervision by archives staff.