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 the Diaries
The Hoover Institution at Stanford University has had on deposit extraordinary archival material, including diaries and other papers, from Chiang Kai-shek, and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo since Chiang family members deposited them at Hoover in 2005. 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 Hoover 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.
Using the Chiang Diaries
To ensure the preservation of the Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo diaries, and to conform to the wishes of family members, use copies of the handwritten pages are available in the Hoover Institution Library & Archives reading room by reservation only. The diaries are served one folder at a time and must be requested using Aeon at least 7 calendar days in advance. For more information on how to request materials see our Plan a Research Visit web page.
Before examining the paper copies of the diaries, users must sign an agreement stating that:
- The content of the diaries may not be used, published, broadcast, or redistributed in any form without the written permission of the rights owners;
- The diaries may not be photocopied or photographed; only handwritten notes may be taken;
- Cameras, cell phones, computers, scanners, and other image capture devices, as well as tape recorders and other recording devices, are not allowed while using the diaries;
- Violations of the agreement may result in forfeiture of the privilege to access materials at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives.
To learn more and initiate requests to read the diaries, view the collection guides on the Online Archive of California.
Chiang Kai-shek Diaries
Chinese military and political leader and former head of state of the Republic of China
Chiang Ching-kuo Diaries
Former head of state of the Republic of China
Plan a Research Visit
Our reading room is open to the public for academic research. Reservations are required at least 7 days in advance. Before visiting the reading room, please review our Plan a Research Visit guide to get started.
Request to View Items
Click on the "Request items" button at the top of the collection guide. This action will prompt you to log in to your Aeon account. Select checkboxes for the folders you would like to view and submit your requests for retrieval at the bottom of your screen. If you need to add additional information to your request, do so before you schedule your retrieval or keep the item in your review list.
For first time visitors, you will be required to show a government-issued photo ID to complete the registration process. Your photo will also be taken and you will be issued a Library & Archives reader card. Please note that no jackets or sweaters with pockets are allowed in the reading room. Please bring a sweater without pockets in case you get cold. Please read our visitor requirements to ensure you are prepared for your visit.
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Hoover Archives in Phoenix TV Documentary on the Chiang Kai-shek Diaries
A Chinese-language television documentary about the Chiang Kai-shek diaries at the Hoover Archives can be viewed on YouTube. Released in February, the extensive footage from Hoover that appears in Part One was taped in August 2008.
Final Diaries of Chiang Kai-shek Open for Research on July 8, 2009
The diaries of Chiang Kai-shek from 1956 to 1972 are available to researchers at the Hoover Archives as of Wednesday, July 8, 2009, when they will join earlier Chiang diaries from 1917 to 1955, which were opened between 2006 and 2008
President Ma of Taiwan meets with Richard Sousa, director of the library and archives at the Hoover Institution
Postwar Diaries of Chiang Kai-shek Open for Research on July 18, 2008
World War II Diaries of Chiang Kai-shek Open for Research on April 2, 2007
Earliest Diaries of Chiang Kai-shek Open for Research on March 31, 2006
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