The Hoover Institution has been helping preserve the handwritten diaries of Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo since Chiang family members deposited them at Hoover in 2005.
Those diaries of the former presidents of the Republic of China are on deposit at the Hoover Institution pending the creation of a suitable repository on Chinese territory. Members of the Chiang family screened the Chiang Kai-shek diaries at Hoover so that they could be made available for research.
To ensure their preservation, and to conform to the wishes of family members, use copies of the handwritten pages are available at the Hoover Archives. The copies reflect the fragility and poor condition of the originals, with some pages water damaged, stuck together, or missing entirely. In addition, some sentences were crossed out in ink on the originals.
Given the uninhibited nature of many personal comments in the diaries, family members have chosen to keep some passages private and have thus redacted these from the use copies. Although in most cases the individuals named are deceased, family members wish to protect the feelings of living descendants or other relatives. Recognizing the historical significance of the diaries in their entirety, however, family members have authorized that the redacted passages be released in 2035.
An inventory of the Chiang Kai-shek Diaries is available.
Current state of Diaries 2014 to the Present
The Hoover Institution at Stanford University, for almost nine years, has had on deposit extraordinary archival material, including diaries and other papers, from Chiang Kai-shek, and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo. The Hoover Institution has provided access to redacted copies of the Chiang Kai-shek diaries in our reading room, and the collection has become one of the most popular in the archives, being viewed by hundreds of people from around the world each year. Hoover’s goal is to provide as much of the material as possible for scholarly study.
Having received conflicting claims of ownership to the materials, on September 24th, 2013, the Hoover Institution announced that it was seeking clarity on the ownership of the Chiang family diaries and papers on deposit at the Hoover Institution. The Hoover Institution is looking for legal clarity so it can either return the materials to the proper owner(s) or continue to hold the materials for the proper owner(s), and is not advocating for one outcome over another.
Since then, the Institution learned that the Academia Historica (the Republic of China's highest-level organization concerned with affairs related to the nation's history in Taiwan) claims to have an interest in the deposit. Consequently, as we seek to discover the rightful owners and appropriate treatment of the deposit, the Academia Historica, as an agency or instrumentality of the Republic of China, has been added to the interpleader action, which enlists assistance from the court to determine ownership of the deposit. In its continuing efforts to work with those with any legitimate claim to the deposited materials, the Hoover Institution has reached out to all of the defendants, including the Republic of China, to let them know about the action before the filing.
It has been a privilege for the Hoover Institution to be a home to the deposited materials. It is our hope that a resolution can be found soon.
Contact L&A For assistance contact hooverarchives [at] stanford.edu or 650-723-3563